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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    New Joisey

    Empty Barrel Care?

    Any thoughts on the subject?

    A little more than a year back, I purchased my own barrel of OWA. I've been using the barrel like a side table in my home office - just rolled it in and stood it on end.

    One of the rings has slipped off and another is loose - the dry barrel seems to be shrinking. Curious if anybody has any tips for keeping an empty barrel together. Do I need to put a little water in it to keep the staves humid? Varnish it? Or if i slide the ring back in place and hold it with a screw will I be good for another ten years?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Washington DC

    Re: Empty Barrel Care?

    Wow. What a problem.

    Back when JD was 94 proof and I drank it constantly, I, too, got an empty barrel (obviously, while I was consuming said stuff) from some reseller. When the staves shrunk, I drilled out rivets and replaced with stainless wood screws. I kept the barrel out of the rain. It lasted until I cut it in 1/4s and used for deck planters. Even then, I varnished the outside and Rustoleumed the inside, and they lasted a good 5 years more outside 24/7/365-6 (two leapyears - those extra 2 days were killers).

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Re: Empty Barrel Care?

    There may be a cheaper option out there, but I like to use Boo's Board Cream (beeswax) on my butcher block when it dries out and starts to have little separations at the joints. Just rub a good coating on and let it sit for 24-48 hours while it expands and use a dry rag to remove.
    Birth, School, Whisk(e)y, Death!

  4. #4

    Re: Empty Barrel Care?

    I put a couple coats of polyurethane on mine. It has kept them from shrinking and gives it a nice shine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Downriver, Detroit, MI

    Re: Empty Barrel Care?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry in WashDC View Post
    (two leapyears - those extra 2 days were killers).
    Harry you, sir; are a Hoot!

    Never having been accused of any expertise on preserving anything, I'll nevertheless throw my advice into the thread.
    If using any 'wax type' of product to preserve (or waterproof) any sort of porous substrate; first, gently heating the substrate to open the pores, then rubbing in the 'wax' product, then allowing cooling and 'soaking', before wiping has always worked best for me.
    As to indoor 'keeping' of the barrel together, the screws should work easily and permanently. Myself; I like the natural dry/rough outer surface; but the varnished look could enhance some wood, even weathered barrels, if that's a look you favor. Any clear urethane-based finish should work well indoors.



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