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DIY Wine barrel fruit bowl

Posted on April 16 2018

DIY Wine barrel fruit bowl
We were at the market on the weekend when we discovered some beautiful bowls made from repurposed wine barrels. With a gentle curve to the wood, the barrels already have graceful lines and it’s like they have been secretly designed for this purpose.
Here is a video showing you how to make your very own bowl – and step by step instructions are underneath.
Needless to say, I love a challenge and when my father-in-law told me that he had an old wine barrel in pieces that he didn’t want anymore, I thought I would give it a go. He mentioned that the barrel had been left in the garden for some time and was in pretty rough condition.

He was right, but that was only half the story. Because the barrel had fallen into pieces, it was difficult to know exactly how it fitted together. It took some time to get a rough match, although it wasn’t perfect.

To join the slats, I used dowels and glue. A handy tip: get a dowelling kit which has the dowel spikes in it. You drill holes in one side of the join, insert the spikes, place the other piece against the sharp points and hit it with a hammer. Voila! You now have the marks for where the dowel holes should be drilled on the other side of the join.

Each piece was glued together using a good quality woodworking glue. According to the bottle Selley’s Exterior Aquadhere dries harder than hardwood and can be sanded back easily. It was also easy to clean up any excess with water later on. Once each piece was glued, it was all clamped together with sash clamps. As you can see, I got glue everywhere.

Once dried, it was time for sanding. And more sanding. And more sanding.

It was worth it though, because the wood underneath was in great condition as it was slowly revealed. To fill in the cracks, I mixed sawdust from the sanding (maybe it is sanding dust?) with glue to create a paste, which was painted into the gaps then sanded back for a more natural look.

 Because I had to sand it so much, I lost much of the rich wine-soaked color that characterises the inside of barrels. To darken it slightly, I simply painted it with wine. It's true: there are not many problems in the world that can't be solved by wine! 

The base was made using two slats joined together. As this needed to be well balanced, it was placed over an open container which was used as a tracing guide to make even cuts across the curved board. This makes the fruit bowl stable (very important when you are trying to balance lots of round objects on top). To join the base to the bowl, I sanded the base of the bowl flat and then used four dowels, plus a lot more glue.

And this is the finished result. It would probably have been easier to buy the bowl at the market, but this was a lot more fun to make!

The dresser in this photo is a recent DIY job too, which I will have to post soon. And the art is some of my new Australian prints,


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