Small Oak keg repair

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Forum topic by plantagenon posted 01-29-2012 03:54 PM 953 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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01-29-2012 03:54 PM

I have two 30 year old oak kegs – one is 4 litres and the other is 8 litres. Great for port and whiskey, but they haven’t been used for 20 years and when I filled them with cheap Sherry to expand the oak they leaked like a sieve. Now I keep topping them up iwth water to expand the oak again. The metal rims are in good condition but you can see the cracks in the dried oak. Is it Okay to put both in the kitchen sink, fill it with water and let them swell or will that damage them?

Any advice welcome-urgently.


3 replies so far

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2273 days

#1 posted 01-30-2012 03:02 PM

The oldtimers sank barrels in a pond to swell them same for old wagon wheels tool handles etc.. Takes a few days before they will hold water.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

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#2 posted 01-30-2012 05:17 PM

Hot water works too.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15280 posts in 2582 days

#3 posted 01-30-2012 06:00 PM

Plant – I had an oak barrel too that leaked from decades of non-use. Had water in it (leaking) for many weeks last summer, finally gave up. Knocked the top in and now it’s under one end of my bench for shavings, small cut-offs, etc.

When I did bust it open, the inside was lined almost completely with wax. Apparently it had been leaky for a very long time.

I like the ‘submerge it’ suggestion above, and would have tried it myself if I would have thought of it. Makes sense. After all, how can you ‘damage’ a leaky barrel? :-)

Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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