Bourbon Barrel Staves for body

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Brockuza, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Brockuza

    Brockuza TDPRI Member

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    Hi all

    Not sure if this is the right thread to post to, so if anyone thinks I should repost elsewhere, please let me know.

    Anyway. I have a chance to pick up some retired bourbon barrels from a local brewery, and I was thinking about using them for a body. I know the top/bottom of the barrels are relatively flat, but they don’t provide a lot of wood to work with, so my next option would be to use the staves. However, the curve of the staves is the real issue I’m dealing with. Would anyone have a suggestion on how to straighten the staves out? Would I get them damp and then clamp them to a flat surface? Or would I have to plane them down pretty thin to make that work (not opposed to this because I could use it as a top for a semi-hollow)?

    Thanks
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    From what I've seen, staves used to be steam bent. If these are made that way, then I guess it's possible to reverse the process through heat/steam and clamps. I probably would just go buy some oak myself but it's all about the journey :). If you planed them down flat, you could theoretically make some kind of a top to be glued to a base material. Since they would be fatter in the middle, you'd lose a lot of stave to end up with a uniform width I would think. Maybe an epoxy fill in the spaces like these guys do with tables these days could be another option.
     
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Yes you could try bending them but that's a tough slog. You'd still have to do a lot of planing. Depending on the size of the barrel and the degree of the curve I'd think about just planing them down to a thin top.

    I think somebody here made a bourbon or wine barrel guitar a few years back
     
  4. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    Just buy one of these.
     
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  5. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Many moons ago, I made some end tables out of retired bourbon barrels.

    As I recall, the "heads" or ends of the barrels were about 20" in diameter.

    I think I'd look at using the heads instead of the staves ;).






    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  6. Brockuza

    Brockuza TDPRI Member

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    Yeah you’re right, I think the tops will definitely be the best option. I’d hate to waste the staves, but the wife has some ideas for reclaimed wood decorations around the house, so maybe I can put those to good use there.

    I appreciate the quick replies!
     
  7. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Back when I made those tables (mid 1970's), I purchased the barrels from a lumber yard that had bought a bunch of them. The barrels sold for under $10 bucks each, but that was still a considerable amount of money.

    But on the other hand, they were about as pretty as a wooden barrel can be :).

    They were single use barrels and beautifully made; all nice clear oak and in pristine shape, not a speck of rust on the hoops, either.

    Now a days, from what I understand, there is a secondary market for the used barrels with vintners who put up there wine in them.

    I'll tell you one thing to be prepared for though, a big blast 101 proof aroma when you cut through the barrel ;).

    The barrels I used had their insides fire-charred, too.

    Sounds like a fun project :).





    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Look up BigDGuitars and Justin Johnson on youtube. The one builds and the other plays a couple of whiskey barrel Teles.

    I'd take the approach to cut the bent staves into thinner but flat pieces and glue them to get thickness and width, or just an oak cap and pine body.

    You can also look up Wallace guitars in Detroit for how they are building with old house lumber.

    .
     
  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Archtop
     
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  11. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Tele-Afflicted

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    More like Hoop top
     
  12. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx TDPRI Member

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    These guys are using wine barrels for their guitars, maybe you can hunt around their website for clues (or just ask them):

    http://www.paolettiguitars.com/our-story/

    Sent from my FRD-L09 using Tapatalk
     
  13. Splodgeness

    Splodgeness TDPRI Member

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    Just thinking laterally ( literally :) ) here..... Could you glue them up sort of sideways... like (((((( ?

    Might make for an interesting pattern on the guitar top?
     
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  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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  15. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    That’s a minor inconvenience compared to the Wild Turkey and Heaven Hill fires.

    God, I miss bourbon country at times.
     
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