Tennessee Whiskey Table

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Project by fissionchips posted 07-11-2015 08:00 PM 1913 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was gifted a charred whiskey barrel and this is the first project to come from it. There will be more opportunities as evidenced by the pile of staves.

The barrel top reads “Lem Motlow Products” so yes, it once contained a large volume of Jack Daniels. Drilling into the layers of oak released some potent flavour compounds. Stain lines are visible in the wood to about 2/3 of the depth, revealing how far the whiskey soaked through the barrel. As raw whiskey diffuses past the char layer it reaches the caramelized layer of white oak, where much of the flavour and colour we’re familiar with is picked up.

The base joinery is fairly simple, consisting of three 1” round mortises and six half-round tenons. The only fasteners used are on the top stretcher, which helps tame the original dowels joints of the barrel maker. The base is self-elevating in the middle, you can prove it to yourself with three sticks/pencils.

Charring wood creates quite a durable finish; a torch and a wire brush are the only tools required. I finished the top with a coat of wax that I burnished and heated to help it penetrate.

Thanks for looking!

2 comments so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


20644 posts in 2401 days

#1 posted 07-12-2015 02:29 AM

That’s a great table and great use of a barrel. The only thing I thought of doing with a barrel was cutting it in half and planting tomatoes.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View ralbuck's profile


6166 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 07-12-2015 03:41 AM

Nice and I bet you enjoyed the aromas as it was being made.

I use a charred finish on a lot of things. I spray a light -quick, coat of polyurethanes just to hold the char from following someone around and they look very nice!

I do very much like your project; and sometimes a bit of J.D. too!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

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