How to Make a Wood Barrel

There are different uses for barrels at home. You might need them to store homemade wine or some other material. No matter what your need is, this guide will show you how to build a wooden barrel all by yourself. If you are making wine barrels, French oak is the best type of wood to use for this project. Building a wooden barrel could be a tedious and time-consuming process but you can achieve it by following the instructions listed here.

The procedure for making wooden barrels

Bringing down the tree

You are going to find the tree for this project before doing anything else. After you have selected the right tree, chop it down with the help of your trusty chainsaw. For excellent results in making wooden barrels, the tree should be at least 100 years old. Cut the tree just above the lowest branch then hand split the rest of the tree into quarters. Every quarter will become the staves that will form the barrel shape you want to achieve. Each of those quarters should now be cut into the size you want for the staves.

Drying staves

The next step on how to build a wooden barrel is preparing the staves. Choose a very dry place with a humidity level below 15% and leave the staves there to dry. You should leave the staves there for a period not less than three years. This makes sure that the barrel you build will be waterproof. You have to maintain the humidity level of the staves and for this, you should pour some water over them from time to time. After the staves have dried properly, the ends of the barrel will be tapered off and made as long as desired. When you continue in your steps for making a wooden barrel, ensure the staves are close together as they will be fastened with iron hoops.

Heating staves

Place the staves in the barrel around an iron hoop. With a damp sponge, put some water on the staves. After doing this, you will make a fire for the purpose of heating the staves. Put the staves in a perpendicular position and heat them over the fire. To this continuously for at least 30 minutes.

Making the barrel

To make a wooden barrel, you will use a winch to bend the staves until they fit the form of the barrel you want. Insert the starves into the iron hoops from the bottom and use a mallet to make the hoops as tight as possible around the staves. On the flat edges of the staves, cut some furrows to make sure the barrel covers fit at the top and bottom. Any rough edges should be smoothed down with sandpaper. This will give a fine barrel finish and your job is done.

Using oak for wine barrels is important for the color, flavor, and texture of the wine. The barrel you created will be able to store wine all through the fermentation and aging process.

Tools & materials required to make a wooden barrel

These woodworking tools are what you will need for making wooden barrels.

Tools & materials
  • Chainsaw.
  • Handsaw.
  • Mallet.
  • Winch.
  • Sponge.
  • Sandpaper.
  • 24-36 staves.
  • 4 iron hoops.
  • 2 barrel covers.

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