Wine Barrel Stave Candle Holder

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Project by Hopman posted 01-16-2012 09:35 PM 2808 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Forgive me for a lengthy description of what many of you can do with your eyes closed. It’s my first real wood working project since I took a shop class in 6th grade. See, I like to wine taste and I frequently see things for sale at wineries that people have crafted out of wine barrels. It looked pretty easy and I recently acquired some tools from my father so I bought a barrel to play with. It’s french oak, all quarter sawn.

First thing I did is cut a stave down to length. Then I used a forstner bit to bore a few 2-inch holes, trying my best to get them all level. The ends of the stave looked a little strange to me so I tapered them a bit first, then cut platforms or “feet” on the bottom so it had a stable flat spot to sit on. In retrospect I probably took a little too much off the bottom because the natural curve of the stave is much less prevalent now. Then I sanded the whole thing to soften edges/corners. I was careful around the parts that had the markings from the hoops – I liked those and thought it gave it a more rustic character.

Metal Hoop Sections: I cut them with a Dremel grinder attachment then cleaned up the edges on my real grinder/wire brush tool. Since then I picked up some metal blades for my jig saw which I’m hoping will make that job easier as the Dremel disks get worn down FAST on the galvanized steel.

Finish: English Chesnut, and 2 coats of satin poly. I waivered on semi-gloss vs. satin, and on the stain color too. I think maybe a lighter more natural stain may be more pleasing for most people. Regardless, I was REALLY pleased to get the finish on and see all the grain come to life.

Assembly: I thought it would look more natural to adhere the metal bands (second picture) rather than screwing them on (first picture) so I used Gorilla Glue – which would have worked fine if I did it BEFORE the poly. They ended up sliding a bit though on the slick poly and I had to chisel them off after they set a little crooked. Luckily there was no damage in the process and I decided to screw them on. It was a blessing in disguise because in retrospect, it looked a little naked without the extra hardware.

Now that I’ve learned a few things on this first one, I could easily crank these out no problem. I might do that for friends/family who are interested in having one. Of course, I’ve got some other designs in the works too – one that’s a full stave and holds 5 candles, one that curves upwards so you see the natural wine stains, etc.

PLEASE if you have any suggestions for me – let ‘er rip. I don’t have anyone looking over my shoulder telling me what to do differently so I’m hoping I can make it look really professional with a few tips from you guys – especially in the staining/finishing arena. Thanks for reading!

1 comment so far

View a1Jim's profile


117243 posts in 3727 days

#1 posted 01-17-2012 04:27 AM

Pretty darn creative,good job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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