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Restoring a dried barrel?

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I have a couple of old barrels and while recently checking them out,

noticed that when looking through the bung hole, I could see "space"

between the staves opposite the hole.

My wife has been thinking about "appropriating" one for use as a rain

barrel and I wondered if cutting out the head and filling with water

would "swell" the staves to their original (or close to) condition.

Is it possible to "restore" the barrels to good condition i.e. water tight

capable or are they pretty much "ruined" and suitable for display purposes


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It is possible. Put the staves in place, and fill with water. Fill, and refill. It sucks, but it can be done.:grin:

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All the staves are in place - there is just minor "space" between some.

I was hoping it would be possible to "restore" but figured it may take time.

Thanks for confirming. Guess it's time to move one outside...

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I thought that hosing down the outside might help but my barrels

have shellac/varnish on them. On an unfinished barrel soaking the

outside as well as filling with water may work faster.

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