Whiskey Barrel Coffee Table

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Project by svenbecca posted 09-17-2020 01:39 AM 1739 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned to build this coffee table and the buyer sent the barrel (never agree to this). It was in terrible shape. I ended up replacing it with a much better one. It is all oak with the exception of the base. Even a decent barrel is a pain in the butt to get together solidly.

I screwed the bands to the barrel when it was complete, ground off the heads, and welded them to the bands for a cleaner look. The top is all oak joined with #20 biscuits and dowels. I opted for parallel hinges so his wife could store stuff in it and they could use it to eat on when they don’t feel like leaving the couch. All-in-all, it was a fun project that taught me some things. One was that I hope to never have to do again.

-- A carpenter takes an ugly, knotted, twisted piece of wood and makes something beautiful and pure from it. Jesus is a carpenter, I am a piece of wood.

15 comments so far

View mel52's profile


2320 posts in 1607 days

#1 posted 09-17-2020 02:40 AM

Whatever the trouble, it came out beautifully and you did an excellent job on it. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27273 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 09-17-2020 03:06 AM

That is a really attractive table! Nice work on it!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ivan's profile


17149 posts in 4210 days

#3 posted 09-17-2020 09:24 AM

Realy beautiful! ....not much to say…perfect!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View recycle1943's profile


6268 posts in 2965 days

#4 posted 09-17-2020 10:42 AM

very nice table, great job

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Bstrom's profile


360 posts in 516 days

#5 posted 09-17-2020 01:36 PM

A real original – you broke some new ground on this one. We assume the buyer was ecstatic? I would be…

-- Bstrom

View pottz's profile


22458 posts in 2327 days

#6 posted 09-17-2020 02:02 PM

beautiful table, i made one just like that for my son a few years back so i know what your talking about.the barrel was his and in bad shape also so i just cleaned it up a bit and went for the rustic look.thats one of the cleanest ones ive seen done,great job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View grovemadman's profile


963 posts in 5115 days

#7 posted 09-17-2020 02:26 PM

What a great use of a barrel! Definitely interesting and great work!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View drogsod's profile


134 posts in 1138 days

#8 posted 09-17-2020 03:28 PM

Great design and craftsmanship. Really nice work.

View BurlyBob's profile


9530 posts in 3608 days

#9 posted 09-17-2020 04:14 PM

I really like that. I wish I had room for something like that.

View splintergroup's profile


6391 posts in 2565 days

#10 posted 09-17-2020 07:14 PM

Nice blending of the top and barrel base!

What did you cover the interior with? I notice the charring in one picture and imagine you sealed it somehow.

I guess a bonus is you have another barrel half for a second table 8^)

View Eric's profile


2878 posts in 1216 days

#11 posted 09-17-2020 07:53 PM

Looks good, beautiful finish too

-- Eric, building the dream

View doubleDD's profile


10932 posts in 3386 days

#12 posted 09-17-2020 08:48 PM

Sweet coffee table. Great design and finish.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View swirt's profile


7141 posts in 4315 days

#13 posted 09-18-2020 01:46 AM

Looks great. Neat optical illusion too. The top looks raised like a pyramid, due to the grain orientation.

-- Galootish log blog,

View pottz's profile


22458 posts in 2327 days

#14 posted 09-18-2020 03:17 AM

Looks great. Neat optical illusion too. The top looks raised like a pyramid, due to the grain orientation.

- swirt

i thought the same thing.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2750 posts in 4496 days

#15 posted 09-21-2020 08:36 PM

I’ve made 2 of these in my life but I never spent that much time trying to perfect the barrel. That had to be a pain to smooth it so perfectly. Many of the slats are not flush with each other…....had to take hours of sanding.
Looks like the radius of your legs turned out nicely. Eliminating gaps there is sure a pain as well.
Sorry, not a fan of the top. Not sure where you are going with all the angled pieces coming together. Almost looks like a raised panel door. I prefer straight boards. To be fancy at most I would have added bread-board edges.
Again, just a personal preference. Have to make them to the specs/enjoyment of the buyer.
Very nicely done nonetheless.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

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