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Leaking stave end

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AZMDTed

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I have a 23l Vadai that has a leak at the end of one of the staves. It's unusual, in that the stave is located about a third of way down the side from the bung hole, but it only leaks when I put in the last 1/2 cup of wine. The total leak is generally only about a teaspoonful which runs down the rest of the staves and collects against the barrel head at the bottom. It looks like it could either be a very tiny crack in that stave or capillary action from the grain. The leak itself is at the end of the stave, not where the stave comes out at the barrel head.

I can't find any good instructions on using wax to seal a leak like this, so please check my logic or give me other ideas. I'm thinking the way to fix this is to sand down the end of the stave with coarse sandpaper and then use a torch or iron to drip a few drops of beeswax or canning wax into that area followed by using the end of the iron or a heated metal probe or screw driver to press the wax into the wood.

Does that sound about right? Thanks.
 

AZMDTed

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Stickman,
Thanks for the link, that's a good video. I may get to that point and it looks simple enough. Basically just use a wedge road as a road block in the leaks path. That'd be just a bit trickier on mine since it's on the inside of the curve, but doable if wax doesn't work.

Thanks.
 

AZMDTed

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Just answering my own question for the record:

Sanding down the area then rubbing it with beeswax to build a coating, or clumps, which I then hit with the tip of an iron to melt into the wood worked perfectly. No need to poke or prod, just clean, wax, and melt.
 

FTC Wines

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Ted, glad to hear. You fixed the leak. I recieved my first barrel, Vadai, last week. It came with a little packet of bee's wax & instructions, thankfully I didn't need it. Roy
 

Johnd

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I had a leak like that coming out of the center of the end of a stave, sanding and coating didn't work for this one. Stood the barrel on end and wiggled a needle into the leak hole about 1/2" to open it up, drilled it with a tiny wood bit about 5/8" deep, and dripped melted wax into the hole, pushed in with needle til it was full and never had another issue.
 

Johny99

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Just answering my own question for the record:

Sanding down the area then rubbing it with beeswax to build a coating, or clumps, which I then hit with the tip of an iron to melt into the wood worked perfectly. No need to poke or prod, just clean, wax, and melt.
For small seeps, I rub a clove of garlic into it. Laugh if you want but it works. Poking in a toothpick or sliver of oak works sometimes for a pore hole. Beeswax, I heat the spot with my heat gum, then rub it in. Warming the oak seems to make it soak in.
 
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