Tappas Plates

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Project by wood_wench posted 02-03-2009 04:55 AM 1669 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of years ago a winery in the area decided to replace all of their 120 year old wine cask, made from the most beautiful quarter sawn white oak you have ever seen, with stainless steel cask. When I discovered it, the winery had already chopped up two of these giant cask and put them in the dumpster. I’m trying not to start crying – again!

ANYway – I was able to salvage over 3,000 board feet of 6 in wide 2.25” thick and 16 to 20 feet long boards. Most of the boards were straight (the winery had emptied the cask a year earlier and left them banded in place so the boards got to dry slowly and under clamping pressure of the keg bands as they dried) – yeah!. These kegs were mostly vertical flat topped cask that were taller than me (I’m 5’6”) and approx 10’ in diameter. But, two of the kegs where Hogshead kegs, horizontal kegs 10’ in diameter and approx 20’ long, but the long boards are bent or curved. What to do with the bent boards? The straight ones are being used to make Arts & Crafts furniture.

I then got the idea to take the curved boards, cut them in 6” squares and turn Tappas plates. Tappas I think is a spanish term used to describe small pcs of meat or cheese or bread that a bar keep would place on the top of patrons wine glasses to keep the dust and flies out of the drinks.

These tappas plates are made from old wine cask and have recessed rings turned to fit a variety of wine glasses, red, white, etc. These recesses keep the plate from sliding around on the glass as the party go’er walks around a room balancing their cheese squares on their tappas plates perched on top of their wine glasses. I’ve been making them for about 2 years now and selling them for $40 for a set of 4.

Alas, before I could get all the wine cask, a little winery in the North East discovered them and bought up the remaining 20 cask (I was given the wood for free just to get the cask out of their way). Oh well.

I am still enjoying the wood I was able to salvage and hope to be making A&C furniture and tappas plates from it for many years to come.

6 comments so far

View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 02-03-2009 05:30 AM

Great Project and Great Wood Score!!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4309 days

#2 posted 02-03-2009 05:55 AM

Nice. Love the salvage story.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#3 posted 02-03-2009 01:13 PM

that’s cool. Great idea and beautiful creation.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View ganders's profile


40 posts in 3576 days

#4 posted 02-03-2009 02:05 PM

What type of finish are on the plates?

-- A famous poet once said: “There is a name hidden in the shadow of my soul, the name is wood. Sweet, ever beautiful, earth grown wood. It warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye.”

View toyguy's profile


1649 posts in 3831 days

#5 posted 02-04-2009 01:41 AM

very interesting. never heard of these plates before. nice score on the wood too.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View wood_wench's profile


89 posts in 3425 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 02:15 AM

ganders – thanks for the interest. I have experimented with several different approaches to finishing the tappas plates. The first ones, I would just wipe them with copious amounts of mineral oil, let sit and wipe off excess and then rub down and buff with some paraffin canning wax. After much reading and research that seemed to confirm that any “cured” finish was considered food safe, I started using ArmRSeal to finish the plates. This is essentially a tung oil poly commercially available finish. After this finish has “cured” for 2-4 days (probably over kill) I put a light coat of wax on the plates and buff them out. I suggest that they be hand washed only, no submersion if possible, and periodically wiped down with a heavy coat of mineral oil, let them sit for an hour of so and wipe off the excess. The fact that they are made from q.s. oak helps prevent them from cupping or warping with heavy use. The oldest ones are 4 years old and look better today then when they were first made.

I just noticed that the one upside down on the counter in the first photo needs to be wiped down with some mineral oil – the side grain is starting to “dry out” a bit.

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