My Barrel Stave Adirondack Chairs

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Project by winecountrywhimsy posted 04-07-2009 04:14 AM 29854 views 17 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are the first two chairs I made from wine barrel staves. The one on the right was my first and it has been tweaked a few times. The chair on the left is a little more refined. These are extra big with lots of room, but I could build them smaller very easily. They get pretty heavy with the solid oak. They are super strong and should last for a long time.

On the back you may notice pieces of the wine barrel hoops. I used these to add a decorative feature that resembles a wine barrel. They also cover the wood screws used for fastening and add to the strength.

I found that it is easy to custom design the chair height, seat slant, and slant of the back to fit the user. My wife likes her’s more upright, I like mine more reclined. I am working on design that will allow for adjustment of the back, probably just a few pins and hinges should work.

The first few pictures are the finished chairs; the last two are shown without the outdoor polyurethane finish. When I first made them, the wine stain on the inside part of the stave was more prevalent, but as they sat in the sun before I finished them, it faded a bit. I was looking for a browner look, but if I put finish on them right away, they would be very interesting with a ruby red color complimented by the natural oak.

I have seen similar chairs with significant sanding and a nice finish priced at $750. I like the more natural look with less sanding. The polyurethane really brings out the natural colors and stains from the wine. I hate sanding away all that character.

From the responses I have received from neighbors and friends, I will probably make more of these.

Update 5/6/09: I picked up a gallon of marine grade varnish, I think it will hold up better. I just finished my third chair using a shorter barrel, I will post after the finish is done.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Todd @ lumberjocks/winecountrywhimsy

-- Todd @ winecountrywhimsy Sonoma County, CA

17 comments so far

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4397 days

#1 posted 04-07-2009 04:33 AM

i think they look great. i really like the curved armrests and the front legs look curved also. very nice touch, and no steaming required! not sure about the wine country economy but i bet a few of the wineries out your way would pay a pretty penny for a pair. that they are made of recycled wine barrels and “green” are great selling points. you may could pitch the idea of making several for a winery using their individual barrels. you could probably also sell some on commission at the wineries. you have really hit on a wonderful idea and a really nice chair.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4439 days

#2 posted 04-07-2009 04:41 AM

I think they are great also.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Napaman's profile


5533 posts in 4989 days

#3 posted 04-07-2009 04:46 AM

these are great…

I would love to hear how you get the barrels and how much you pay…I am not interested in selling…but would like to make a couple chairs and tables…and candle holders etc…

can you send me a pm…

your neighbor…matt

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View rosewood's profile


234 posts in 4253 days

#4 posted 04-07-2009 05:18 AM


Its not only creative but innovative as well. thanks for posting.
it give me an idea.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4502 days

#5 posted 04-07-2009 08:38 AM

Clever use of just anything from wood.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 4788 days

#6 posted 04-07-2009 02:38 PM

Nice use of recycled wood and stained a nice merlot color.

If you are transporting these from one location to another and where pulled over by the police, would these be considered an open container and subject to arrest?

-- Ron Central, CA

View Cov's profile


51 posts in 4459 days

#7 posted 04-07-2009 05:20 PM

Pretty cool… I’m going to have to follow your lead and make a few of these. Good job!

-- Cov, Loomis, CA,

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4470 days

#8 posted 04-07-2009 06:17 PM

Awesome! I have two barrels in my shop, just waiting for me. Adirondacks are high on my list. I would love to read a blog about your construction techniques, design points, and how you tweaked the second chair. I saw a love seat and an end table made similarly in Napa the other day. I got my barrels for free from Livermore wine valley. Several of the staves have great medullary ray flake. I have made several votive candle holders as gifts. I have spoken with a few wineries about consignment, that way they get cool furniture for their tasting room, and they don’t have to shell out any money. Depending on the price of the barrels, it may be an option. I just gave my staves a light sanding, making sure to preserve the hoop marks, to bring out the grain pattern. My barrels had been sitting out in the sun for a long time. I like the idea of using the bung stave in the center of the back rest.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 4251 days

#9 posted 04-08-2009 01:07 AM

Very Creative…. and great job…

Happy and safe woodworking….


-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4489 days

#10 posted 04-08-2009 06:45 AM

Good use of a recycled wood.Nice project


View ChrisCook's profile


56 posts in 4589 days

#11 posted 04-09-2009 04:02 PM

I love it! Looks great!

-- Location: Lincoln, AL

View ZinfandelLady's profile


1 post in 4234 days

#12 posted 04-21-2009 09:11 PM

Wow, these look great!! You would have no trouble selling those, I would place the first order for 2. I have seen these chairs ranging anywhere from $200 to $1000. The problem seems to be that even if you can get them for $200 (Presidio Winery in Solvang) you have to disassemble and ship them which would probably be another $200. I would pay that for these tho’ fantastic. I will look to see if you decide to sell them.

View BigAlsWorkshop's profile


1 post in 4095 days

#13 posted 09-13-2009 06:59 AM

I love this idea. With christmas around the corner I have inlaws who are big into wine and pretty much anything related to wine. Where do you get your barrels? Which are the best to get? How much do they usually run? If I could get a pair of these made they would love it. Keep up the great work.

View maricamp's profile


66 posts in 3579 days

#14 posted 02-16-2012 10:16 PM

I love these, and hope to make a couple myself someday! But, right now even a table has me scratching my head! Thanks for sharing.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3417 days

#15 posted 02-16-2012 10:32 PM


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