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where's my table saw?
31,495 Posts
go in person

A local source will give you a chance to see the wood in person and choose the grain and color you prefer.
As far as how to build it, the outside "staves" have bevels on both lengths, not much, probably just a few degrees. You can rip them on your table saw or set the jointer fence over a few degrees. On the tablesaw the beveled rip on one side can become the opposite face for the next piece. You save time and material this way.

Your idea of a cylindrical form is good, how ever it must be straight walled to work, a bucket won't be. Another method is to cut 2 circles from the inside of square pieces of plywood, leaving a 3" minimum perimeter for strength. Then support the squares with plywood on at least 2 sides at the desired height. This is your building form. Now you can start placing the strips around the interior of the form and secure them with a touch of hot mely glue while using actual wood glue on the bevels. You can also make 2 tapered plugs for each end to force the strips into the form. Or you can find a beach ball or basketball that fits inside and then inflate it to press against the insides to hold the slats.

The infill of full length strips will make the entire thing very heavy. I would use a different method which would use shorter pieces supported on a form on the inside to decrease the weight. An overturned pail or plastic bucket with a circle of plywood cut to the interior dimension would support the short pieces at the same distance off the bottom. It will be important to get the top surface as level and flat as possible or you will be in for a long sanding or planing spree.

The process is called "coopering" or barrel making, but there are some differences in making real barrels with steel hoops.

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