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The Making of a Wine Barrel Table

posted by Julie November 6, 2015 2 Comments

wine barrel table

I’m a wine addict.  I love wine, red wine specifically.   After a fun couple’s trip to Sonoma and Napa, my husband surprised me on my birthday with a wine barrel. A wine barrel?  YES! It was a barrel from Sonoma that had once aged merlot.  Somehow, he found a company here in the midwest that sells the old barrels.

wine barrel tableI had no doubt what he intended to do with this gift.  He was going to make us something, whatever I wanted. I asked for a wine barrel table, and then we set out to find a design.

wine barrel table

Once we were settled on a design, my husband went about disassembling the barrel.  The metal rings had to be clipped off, leaving only the top and bottom bands to keep the barrel together. The wine staves all had to be numbered before they came apart so that the staves could be put back together properly. Next, we had to decide which grouping of wine staves would be part of the table. Now, it was time to gather materials, including lumber and numerous sanding discs.  There was a lot of sanding to be done!

wine barrel table

For a couple of weekends, it seemed that all he did was sanding.  Stains, dings, flaws, and age had to be removed.  Needless to say, it was a labor of love.

wine barrel table

When it was first brought home, I was amazed at the barrel’s strong fragrance. The bunghole was only capped with a paper cup.  When I removed the cup, I inhaled the sweetest, most delicious, and most robust smell of merlot I ever have smelled.  The aroma was intoxicating! Once the wine barrel was done being sanded, the last two metal bands were removed.  As my husband began taking the barrel apart, I savored that intense merlot smell again.  The purple hue to the inside of the barrel was coupled with tartrate crystals from the aging of the wine. Eventually, those crystals were sanded off.

wine barrel table

Before the barrel was reassembled, we repainted the black metal bands because of their dull color.  He came up with an interesting way to spray paint them and allow them to dry.

wine barrel table

After disassembly of the barrel, the staves were separated, gathering only the staves that were going to be part of the barrel.  The staves were then arranged in the proper order.  We reattached the staves by screwing them and then clamping them together to keep them aligned. Soon, half of the barrel was constructed. Staining and finishing came next.

wine barrel table

The circular ends of the barrels were cut to fit the half barrel. Then the metal bands were also cut to fit.  As the round barrel needs to be set on a stable base, supports were cut, stained, and assembled to fit under the table.

wine barrel table

wine barrel table

Now, my husband had to create the frame that the lid rests on.

wine barrel table

The final pieces were coming together and details were added.  He added silver screws to accent the black metal bands.  After sanding out the tartrate crystals from the inside of the barrel, the inside was polyurethaned, sealing in that deep purple color. A long hinge was added, then the lid, ensuring a perfect fit.

wine barrel table
wine barrel table

wine barrel table

The barrel was screwed to the based and then all holes were filled and stained. Even though we debated on whether to have a glass or a wooden top, I picked a wooden top. I chose wood because it goes better with our decor, I didn’t want glass with the kids, and I also didn’t want to be looking at the blankets, or whatever else we store in there.  The best benefit of choosing a glass top is to be able to see the beautiful purple wine color.

wine barrel table

Overall, I was extremely pleased with how well my husband constructed this wine barrel table.  I have to note that he is a software engineer/manager by day and all of his carpentry skills are self-taught.  I know that these tables online cost on average $800-$1,000!  I am so proud of his work and how beautifully the table turned out!

Cheers to repurposed furniture!

-Julie

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2 Comments

Julien Miquel November 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Great post. Many wine lovers love this sort of tables and would be jealous (and curious to know how you made this!). Much worth sharing now on social 🙂 cheers

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Julie November 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve always thought it would be fun to repurpose a wine barrel in some way. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it! Cheers!

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