Retiring a Barrell

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Boatboy24

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I have a barrel that has been used exclusively for kit wines for a number of years. I don't do too many red kits anymore and have plenty of barrel space for my grape wines. So I'm thinking about taking this barrel out of the rotation and turning it into an end table of sorts for the patio (OK, just a little something to set my drink on). I'd like to clean it up on the outside to get several years of stains off of it first. Then, clean up the inside and do something to prevent rot, mold, etc. Ultimately, I'd like to apply some polyurethane to seal it up. Any advice for this not so handy man?
 

CDrew

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The stains are the best part!

I would wash the inside out with an Oxyclean type product and drain it bung down for a couple of weeks. Let it completely dry inside and out. Sand the outside smooth and apply spar varnish to it if it's going to live outside. It should hold up for decades like that.
 

Boatboy24

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The stains are the best part!

I would wash the inside out with an Oxyclean type product and drain it bung down for a couple of weeks. Let it completely dry inside and out. Sand the outside smooth and apply spar varnish to it if it's going to live outside. It should hold up for decades like that.
Thanks. WRT the bung hole, I still have the original wood bung that came with the barrel. My thought was to just hammer that in once it was dry on the inside. I assume that'd be OK.

Trying to think through the process of getting the spar on with the hoops. Would you remove one or two at a time, apply the varnish, then replace the hoops?
 

Johnd

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Thanks. WRT the bung hole, I still have the original wood bung that came with the barrel. My thought was to just hammer that in once it was dry on the inside. I assume that'd be OK.

Trying to think through the process of getting the spar on with the hoops. Would you remove one or two at a time, apply the varnish, then replace the hoops?
Kmeta spray will do wonders on the stains if you don’t want them on there.

As for the hoops, just wrap them with painters tape (pretty much just freezer tape), use a tape wider than the hoop, trim the excess off with a box cutter or exacto type knife, and apply your stain / sealer. Peel the tape off the hoops when you’re done.
 

NorCal

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I haven’t done anything to prepare my retired barrels, they have done just fine indoors.

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Johnd

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I haven’t done anything to prepare my retired barrels, they have done just fine indoors.
I don’t think anything has to be done for them to survive indoors, but @Boatboy24 is putting his outside as a patio end table. In your environment, raw wood may do well outside, here it would need to be protected to maintain a decent look. I suspect in Jim’s climate, a little protection would be in order.
 

Boatboy24

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I don’t think anything has to be done for them to survive indoors, but @Boatboy24 is putting his outside as a patio end table. In your environment, raw wood may do well outside, here it would need to be protected to maintain a decent look. I suspect in Jim’s climate, a little protection would be in order.
Yep. While not at the levels you get, we certainly have plenty of heat and humidity around here in the summer.
 

Boatboy24

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LOL! But if he took it to me it wouldn't be a patio table it would be a recooped and toasted barrel.
Any interest in it, Fred? It's a 23 liter Vadai. I'd rather see it stay in business than become an undersized piece of furniture. I soaked it in a Citric/KMeta (strong on the KMeta) solution over the weekend and emptied it this morning.
 

mainshipfred

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Any interest in it, Fred? It's a 23 liter Vadai. I'd rather see it stay in business than become an undersized piece of furniture. I soaked it in a Citric/KMeta (strong on the KMeta) solution over the weekend and emptied it this morning.
I'd consider it practice for my barrels. If the recooping doesn't work then you can turn it into a piece of furniture. If it does we both win. You get a new barrel and I have a comfort level for doing mine.
 

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