How to seal the charcoal on whiskey barrel staves

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Forum topic by jimhester posted 07-22-2013 08:09 PM 7397 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 3372 days

07-22-2013 08:09 PM

Hello all. I haven’t been here for awhile. My son is trying to make what he calls a Flight Tray out of whiskey barrel staves. It is basically a stave that’s arched up in the middle with half depth holes in the top to hold bourbon glasses. He would like to leave as much of the charcoal on the underside as possible for aesthetic effect.

Does anyone know what he could seal the charcoal with to keep it from rubbing off, and more importantly, falling off. He’s thinking maybo some spray polyurethane or shellac. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks. Jim

-- Jim

9 replies so far

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117417 posts in 3814 days

#1 posted 07-22-2013 08:45 PM

Wouldn’t you want to sand it off ?

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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721 posts in 3101 days

#2 posted 07-22-2013 09:31 PM

I have no ideal. But possibly epoxy . Not sure poly would be enough of a protectant.

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24 posts in 3372 days

#3 posted 07-22-2013 09:56 PM

Jim…...That’s what I would do, but he wants to leave as much of the chunks of charcoal as possible. He saw some like it at a festival somewhere.

Ron…..Yeah, epoxy sounds more like it. I don’t know much about finishing. Is there an epoxy that can be sprayed? If not, what kind would you use to brush on? Thanks. Jim

-- Jim

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Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3159 days

#4 posted 07-22-2013 10:23 PM

There is a finishing resin called “Z-Poxy” that i get at my local hobby shop. Used for model planes and boats as an epoxy finish. It is very thin and dries clear and hard. Brush it on. It will soak into the wood a lot.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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721 posts in 3101 days

#5 posted 07-22-2013 10:45 PM

Jim, really couldn’t say what kind of epoxy to use in this application for sure, as I have had little experience
with it. Don’t want to give bad advice.

But for this type of application, I would think a clear encapsulation resin for wood , would seem to be the ticket.

I would google it, as there are many different types of epoxies out there.

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726 posts in 3195 days

#6 posted 07-24-2013 07:18 PM

Maybe pour some wood hardener into it first?

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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24 posts in 3372 days

#7 posted 07-24-2013 10:33 PM

I’m not familiar with wood hardener. Could you tell me about it? thanks.

-- Jim

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17 posts in 2333 days

#8 posted 09-06-2013 12:59 AM

I’ve had pretty good luck with using a brush on lacquer. Its pretty thin and soaks in well with the char. You want to remove any of the really loose char. I pressure wash staves and it works pretty well. If you don’t want to go through all that for one stave. A wire brush works pretty well to remove the loose stuff. Plan on getting really dirty.
Once you removed the loose char, there still will be enough char left on the stave to let you know that it was once a stave. Then you apply the lacquer. Lots of coats, lots. The stave really soaks up the lacquer.

-- Joseph, Piedmont SC,

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411 posts in 2489 days

#9 posted 09-06-2013 11:41 AM

Below is some information from the label on my can of Minwax Wood Hardener that might be useful:

Minwax High Performance Wood Hardener is a quick-drying liquid, formulated to strengthen and reinforce decayed or rotten wood. The hardener penetrates deep into the wood and its special resin binds and reinforces the decayed wood fibers. The wood is sealed against further moisture penetration and hardens to a rock-solid base for filling.

Preparation: Completely removed decayed and very soft, crumbly wood until you reach reasonably sound wood. Wood should be dry, free from dust, grease, oil and loose paint particles.

At first I had the same thought as Nomad that Wood Hardener might be a solution. However after reading the label I have my doubts. I suggest using the tried and true method of trying it on a piece of scrap and go from there.

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