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  1. #1

    Bourbon Barrel Care

    I have just acquired a used barrel that was dumped for bottling within the last two months. I want to sand it and possibly polyurethane it and display it along with my collection. I have heard that if the barrels dry out they will collapse inward (?) Give me your expert advice and possible solutions! Also other possble uses are appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    840

    Re: Bourbon Barrel Care

    Quote Originally Posted by whgaunce@alltel. View Post
    I have just acquired a used barrel that was dumped for bottling within the last two months. I want to sand it and possibly polyurethane it and display it along with my collection. I have heard that if the barrels dry out they will collapse inward (?) Give me your expert advice and possible solutions! Also other possible uses are appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
    I have two empty barrels - 1 from 1994 - which have not "collapse(d)
    inward" yet. They have dried out and I can see space between the
    staves so if you want it to remain watertight, read here.

    Two other threads here and here.
    John Q.
    Tennessee Squire
    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva
    It won't be any cheaper than it is today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    Someone will pay it. Someone always pays it.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chester County, PA
    Posts
    360

    Re: Bourbon Barrel Care

    As the staves dry out, they will become loose and eventually the barrel may fall apart. I refinsihed a few old barrels. I first drilled holes through the top and bottom bands and installed screws through the bands and staves into the top and bottom heads. I installed wood screws through each stave (top and bottom).

    The other bands require only a few screws to prevent them from moving out of position when they shrink. When the top and bottom hoops were attached to the heads, I removed the other bands and sanded the staves. After sanding, I coated the entire barrel with about 4 coats of spar varnish.

    I wanted to maintain the information stenciled on the barrel head, so I only carefully cleaned that head and then varnished it. I removed the rust from the bands and painted them with Rust-Oleum black paint.

    After finishing, I replaced the plated steel screws with black pyramid head wood screws. When finished, I had a round 1/4" glass plate made to fit on the top that had the identification. The barrel head had warped but the glass provided a flat surface.
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