Whiskey Barrel Stave Reception Desk

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Project by JosephWasHere posted 08-30-2012 07:30 PM 6739 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a reception desk I built out of whiskey barrel staves for a local whiskey distillery.

Formica counter top and the base/trim is painted spruce.

-- Joseph, Piedmont SC,

10 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4201 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 08-30-2012 09:37 PM

Very nice.
And welcome to Lumberjocks.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 08-30-2012 11:06 PM

Wow! Impressive!

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2392 days

#3 posted 08-31-2012 12:25 AM

Unique reception desk – god job !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6230 posts in 3557 days

#4 posted 08-31-2012 01:04 AM

Sharp looking to say the least!

Wellcome to LJ’s!


-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2437 days

#5 posted 08-31-2012 02:24 AM

Nice design and beautiful execution ! I have done a few projects with whiskey barrels and I understand the effort that went into your desk. The light shining thru is amazing!

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View scrimman's profile


87 posts in 2430 days

#6 posted 08-31-2012 03:54 AM


-- No matter where you go, there you are!

View JosephWasHere's profile


17 posts in 2299 days

#7 posted 08-31-2012 05:21 AM

Thank ya’ll for the kind words and the welcome.

The clients wanted something different and I did a bit of searching and couldn’t find anything concerning whiskey barrel stave bars or desks with the crisscrossing pattern so I went with it. I like how you can see the inside, outside and fresh clean oak on the sides of the staves. Plus the jet black char on the inside of the staves looks pretty sharp.

I was trying to contrast the short, heavy, bulbous feel of an intact whiskey barrel with a visually lighter feeling design. I new I had pulled that off when, during the early phase of construction, the client says ” Man, that looks flimsy”. I’m pretty sure you could park a car on the thing.

The barrel staves were a challenge considering the concave, convex, taper, bow and differing lengths. Not to mention the char.

I first pressure washed the staves, this removed alot of the dirt and grime on the outside and loose char on the inside. Then I used a tapering jig to flatten the sides. This allowed for each side to sit flush with its adjacent stave.

I hand selected each stave, as close as possible, to have the same bow. The staves were inconsistently bowed due to shipping. They came on a pallet and the weight of the top staves flattened the bottom most. Steam bending was an option, although not in the budget. So I went with close enough. Even so, the varying focal point of the stave meeting point adds a little visual interest.

Each stave was a different length due to the inconsistent bows, so at the top of the staves I used a framed system to negate the lengths and allow for installation in 3 different sections of staves.

The long end was left short with an end piece and no overhand. This was partly due to the client possibly wanting to add a saloon type door later and for now easy access. However, the ends aren’t load bearing, nor add any real sort of strength to the reception desk. The staves were plenty strong enough.

-- Joseph, Piedmont SC,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30064 posts in 2542 days

#8 posted 08-31-2012 05:39 AM

Very nice looking.

Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ptofimpact's profile


378 posts in 2520 days

#9 posted 08-31-2012 01:36 PM

Very nice, great work, find it especially impressive, as I have made a few items from some old staves. This is most Unique.

-- Pete in NC

View sras's profile


4943 posts in 3333 days

#10 posted 08-31-2012 02:38 PM

Wow! That looks like the perfect design. Thanks for sharing.

Welcome to LJs!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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