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If I were Making a Whisky Barrel....

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Forum topic by SirIrb posted 01-23-2015 03:50 PM 797 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


01-23-2015 03:50 PM

So as i sat there watching the fights the other night a Jack Daniels commercial kept playing (I am more of a Makers guy but thats beside the point).

In the commercial they show the staves driven into one side of the barrel head and a cable around it to pull it together. It all got me thinking “How would I make a barrel”. So I kept watching as the commercial kept coming on again and again. It seems that the barrel has alternating widths: maybe 2” then 3” then 2” again. But that doesnt account for how they get the pot belly in the barrel. I am sure there is an equation for this. And the angle on the edges of the staves is easy enough to figure out. But how do they make the belly in the barrel? is it a slight radii on the side profile of the staves? Any coopers out there?

It just hit me: Is the belly formed because the staves are driven in at an angle to the barrel head then pulled back?

Will I make one? I doubt it, but this is a challenge I just cant pass up trying to get to the bottom of.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.


8 replies so far

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

325 posts in 2549 days


#1 posted 01-23-2015 05:29 PM

I would put a band around the center with a temporary disk to hold everything in place. All of the staves would already have a rough shape. Start squeezing each end with a band clamp until a metal band can be placed. Pound the metal band closer to the center. This will squeeze the ends of the staves closer together so an even smaller band can be placed. The inner disk can be removed after a few outer bands are in place.

This is just my speculation. I have never actually made a barrel.

-- Steve

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dawsonbob

1921 posts in 1222 days


#2 posted 01-23-2015 05:46 PM

I always thought those things were steam or heat bent.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

419 posts in 1012 days


#3 posted 01-23-2015 05:50 PM

One more thing to keep in mind is the cooper will run the staves through a barrel saw. The edges of the stave end up tapered. If you look close to a barrel you’ll notice that a stave is wider in the middle than it is at the ends where the heading goes.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#4 posted 01-23-2015 05:52 PM

The more I think it over I believe the way they can make the belly is that the staves are in-bedded in the barrel head at an angle initially pointing out like a bloomed flower. The ends all meat edge to edge in the barrel head. The edges of the staves are cut on an angle (if there are 20 boards that make up all the staves then the angle is 20/360). then they put the cable to it and pull it together. That makes the most sense right now. And, as you know, I will have to try this sometime.

If it was just a simple Makers Mark commercial they showed I would only be wondering how they get that red wax on there without making a mess.

I am still open for all comments.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#5 posted 01-23-2015 05:53 PM



One more thing to keep in mind is the cooper will run the staves through a barrel saw. The edges of the stave end up tapered. If you look close to a barrel you ll notice that a stave is wider in the middle than it is at the ends where the heading goes.

- mramseyISU

Darn it, I thought someone would mention that.
Thanks,
[he goes off to search the web for a book on being a cooper]

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#6 posted 01-23-2015 06:06 PM

I’ve done some coopering making conga drums. It’s
real tricky.

The most straightforward way I’ve heard of is to pre-bend
the staves, rip the bevels on a 14” radial arm saw with
a linear bearing carriage to carry the stave, then assemble.

Staves can be pattern-cut on the table saw before bending.
With care this is okay for dry coopering or a conga drum
but probably not good for wet coopering.

Traditionally the staves were profiled freehand by the cooper
prior to bending. The cooper had a sense for the angles
and I’ll note that there is a subtle change in the bevel
at different points in the curve. The staves were bent
by hooping them together over a steam source and then
hooping the ends to draw them into the barrel shape.

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

1921 posts in 1222 days


#7 posted 01-23-2015 06:13 PM



If it was just a simple Makers Mark commercial they showed I would only be wondering how they get that red wax on there without making a mess.

I am still open for all comments.

- SirIrb

The wax is put on by dipping the upside down bottle into hot wax.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#8 posted 01-23-2015 06:19 PM

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015006133204;view=1up;seq=65

Page 55.

Thanks for the good comments.

Lets rip that red wax off and drain the thing, especially if its Makers 46.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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