Making Bourbon Barrels from White Oak
We make bourbon barrels, here's a peek at how it's done. Remember, no glue or fasteners used in barrels other than the hoops.
(The first brazier worked for a few barrels until we blew holes in driveway 🔥)
The staves are quarter sawn white oak tapered and beveled- rounded and coved. We use a laser guided table saw set up to bevel and taper staves. Four cuts for each stave. And then use a jig on the table saw for cutting the coves, a technique where you run the boards across the blade instead of through it.
And finally we have a custom bit to make the slight round over of the barrel staves.
Heat and water are used to steam bend the barrels into shape. The first hoops make what is called the rose. Then we heat and steam with a winch used to pull the wood into shape. A new double brazier with a double electric winch across the bending brazier is in the works.
Working hoops of tool steel are used to pound down and tighten the wood while it is hot.
One of the pics is of the new brazier coming together - propane burners will keep burning hardwoods hot enough to bend the barrels and then to char the barrels.