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  1. #1
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    Question How To Cut Whiskey Barrels In Half

    I need some help on how to cut a whiskey barrel in half,(actually 70 of them in fact) if anyone has had some experience in this, I need some suggestions as it needs to be neat and as simple as possible, as I would not like to tackle this job with just a jig saw. Any suggestions would be appreciated.. Thanks

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  3. #2
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    WHAT pigs ???? mate. This might be a woodworking forum but asking Q like that could get you banned/lynched/casterated etc etc what a flamin sacrilige. Hope you lick 'em out dry first
    I think youd need to make a jig to hold each end of the barrel so it can roll and then have a circular saw. But I really dont know.
    Try and get the Barassa Valley or MaClaren Vale visitor info centres PH No. and they could put you in the right direction. Theres a lot of the half wine barrels sold .
    regards Tony

    Life is not a journey to the grave
    with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body
    but rather to skid in broadside throughly used up totaly worn out and loudly proclaiming
    WOW WHAT A RIDE

  4. #3
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    Sparker,
    I cut one years ago with a hand saw. Drew a line round the equator and just sawed away. As you have a lot to do then a jigsaw would do. A circular saw sounds a bit reckless for this application. The risk of binding and kick back spring to mind. I found that after a while the staves shrink as the wood dries so I drilled and screwed the hoops to the wood to hold the whole thing together.

    Regards
    John

  5. #4
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    Saw a couple of blokes in Mackay the other day on the side of the road , with a semi-trailer load of wine barrels. They were selling them whole or cut in half.

    When someone wanted the half ones, they were just marking a line around the centre line with some chalk, and using a small chainsaw to cut them in half, one guy on the saw and the other rolling the barrel by holding onto one end, when it was cut through the other half would just fall away.

    A circular saw would do a bit neater job though.

  6. #5
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    Default Maybe?? This'll work???

    Make a rolling, rotating jig, Barrell holder, for a table saw.
    Its called a " Whatchamacallit "
    One person each side..maybe only one. Then only one can get injured

    Seriously....can't rmbr where I saw it
    Sort of like a ticket barrell that is spun at pub chook raffle and then a name is drawn out. Pic the barrell , pin clamped at each end by a vertical post of some sort of shape and connected underneath by a binding board with a slot cut in for the blade to do it's work.
    It basically becomes a cutting sled. But not meant to slide. Rotate only.
    BUT!!! You gotta be spot on that the jig holds the barrell dead square to the blade. A small spirit lev and a straight edge and formed square will do it. Maybe???

    You can see when a cut has been completed, the cuts may not meet and be well offline with each other. Too complicated???

    Facilitate the jig, when making it, with some clamping wings to get your F clamps onto it.

    Might the barrells be to big for the TS???

    Q???? Running a pwr saw by hand with the blade set at minimum depth!!! Will this inhibit violent kick bk?

    Kick bk,....Yep....it's gonna happen!

    Fine tooth blade and steady as she go's.
    Safety......your eyes, ears
    Safety.............fingers
    Safety.............your livleyhood.

    I reckon Nicky would come up with a jig in a flash. Look him up. He's just brilliant
    Don't pass them by! Be daring and caring!

    Dampen their misery....sit with them and talk a little.

    Buy them something to eat and a tram fare to a local mission.
    I'm so lucky that I've somewhere to live and have family support.

  7. #6
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    You are in Tasmania. You might be able to find a big enough bandsaw.

  8. #7
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    I would mark a line around the barrel and use a circular saw that has been set to cut just shy of the thickness of the timber so that you minimise kickback if any and then complete the cut with a hand saw and then sand edges to complete the job

  9. #8
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    Well I don't know how a whiskey barrel is for a start, but have you considered just breaking down the barrels and selling the wood? I saw some photos of furniture made from wine barrels in the US. As I recall they were made into chairs and even incorporated the wine stains into the design.

    If they are not big enough to be useful and you still want to cut them in half then perhaps a reciprocating saw (like a jigsaw on steroids) would be better suited. Here is a link to a GMC corded reciprocating saw. My brother has one and it works fine. There are other brands but for a one off job this saw works fine. There are cordless versions as well if that makes the job easier.

  10. #9
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    I've recently done a wine barrel; flex rule to run a line around the equator and then an electric jig saw with an appropriate and sharp blade. Took about 15-20 mins.

    (The barrel was about 40 years old and one end is still watertight; the other had a bung hole).
    Cheers, Ern

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    This is a perfect application for a Sabre Saw. (Think Jigsaw on steroids. OoRah!)

    I don't know that I'd bother with a CS, as for safety you'd need to tip the barrels onto their sides and them roll them for access all the way around. Even then, depending on the dia of the barrel, they'd be prone to catching the blade and kicking back.

    With a Sabre Saw you can leave 'em standing and just walk around, taking only a few minutes per barrel.

    FWIW, I can recommend both the AEG and Metabo Sabre Saws. Wish I still had mine... [sigh]
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  12. #11
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    Seeming you have 70 to do...
    Make up a jig for a circular saw, make a base plate that accommodates the curve of the barrels needs to be large(500mm square at least), on the two front corners of the base plate mount some wheels of 100mm+ in dia that allow the base plate just enough height (5mm or so at the saw blade area)to clear the barrels.

    Then make a big jig that holds the barrels and allows them to rotate, mount wheels 2 on each outer edge of the barrel and 1 or 2 each side of the cut area, this jig needs a hinged point to hold the saw jig at its back edge to allow the saw to be "plunged" into the barrel.
    You may need to limit any sideways movement of the barrels

    The saw holder is flipped open then the barrel is placed in the jig, saw depth is set to cut through the barrel... start saw plunge through then rotate the barrel, it would take all of 30~40 sec to cut!

    Hint, get some galv strap and put 2 loops around the middle of the barrel each side of the cut area screw/clout nail every stave.

    This will increase the safety and speed greatly.
    ....................................................................

  13. #12
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    Thanks to all who replied to my query, plenty of food for thought, a couple of ideas that had not occurred. I must remember to drain the dregs and use a couple of days prior to cutting the barrels.. Regards to all Tony

  14. #13
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    If there's any with the JD's sign... I want I want!
    ....................................................................

  15. #14
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    I used to work at a winery and cut literally thousands of them to sell to garden centres etc. make a jig to scribe centre .I had lenth of square tubing anout 10mm x 10mm , bent at 90 degrees at one end to hook over end of barrel. drill hole in other end of steel at exact centre line of barrel and stick a nail through and scribe around barrel. Then simply use a circular saw following the line. As stated before watch for kick back. keep it straigh and when you get to the last bit it should just fall apart. Also screw bands to wood to keep it together unless you are keeping water etc in it in which case it will stay tight as a ...drum
    Last edited by scooter; 30th Sep 2007 at 07:21 PM. Reason: keeping it nice

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