PART 1 – Picking out the barrel
Making wine barrel chairs is really enjoyable and fun, but there are some helpful things you should know that will make your project go even smoother. I’m going to talk about few little hints that I picked up along the way which will have you working with barrels like pro. First and for most is snagging up a barrel. A good place to look for some are of course local wineries, give them a call to see how much they have and what the prices are. Another good place is home improvement stores, you’d be surprised on how many places will have them just sitting in the outside garden section waiting for some one to turn them into planters or whatever. If you still did not find one then there is always a chance in the local news paper ads or the Internet publication like Craigslist. I know its a long shot but you never know. Once you finally hunted one down its time to pick the right one. What I look for in a barrel are a few things: Make sure that there are a minimum of 2 stave that are 4″ wide which you’ll need for the arms. I find it important to have the arms of my chairs nice and wide to keep it looking in proportion. Next some barrel have the bung hole still plugged up, try to find one that isn’t because there is a good chance that the inside is very moist and might make your sanding job a bit more messy. But if that’s the only one don’t worry, just break the barrel down and let it dry for a while. Another benefactor of having the hole uncovered is that you will be able to tell what the barrel contained wine or bourbon. ( Also you might be able to identify what was inside by finding the companies name or logos on the top or bottom.) Now that you decided on you barrel its time to take it back to your shop. If you have a pick up truck that is a simple process, just throw it in the back but make sure you tie it down very well no body likes to play Donkey Kong in real life, ha ha. If you only have a car and don’t mind it getting dirty a little breaking down a barrel is a cinch. All you need is a hammer and flat head screw driver. Just pop out the nails (there are two in each ring) then hammer the rings off by working it on both sides, a little at a time. IMPORTANT! – When you place the screw driver between the ring and barrel try to put it where two staves come together, that way if any damage occurs its only in area where you’ll have to sand anyways. Will talk more about that in part 2. Now that you have the barrel back in your shop, I say congratulation because in my opinion the hardest part is over.
PART 2 – Getting Started ( Coming Soon)