How to Disassemble a Used Wine Barrel for Other Crafts

This guide teaches you how to take apart a wine barrel.

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This project will show you how easy it is to take a wine barrel apart. You may then use the staves, top and bottom for other crafts!


New wine barrels run $600-$750+! Used barrels, however, run from $25-$40 direct from wineries. You may also look for whiskey or rum barrels if that's easier in your area.

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Tools I used. You might or might not use all these tools. Remember to wear eye protection! This project is easy with a little elbow grease.

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Wine barrel before getting started.

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The metal rings that hold the barrel together are normally nailed with two small and short nails per ring. The nails are on opposite sides from each other.

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Small nails. They will fly off when you pry them! They do not make any noise when they land on the ground. Catch them!

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Wedge your pry bar under the nail head. Pound the bar with the mallet and pry the nail out.

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If the nail is in deep: with the mallet, wedge the flat head screw driver under the metal ring to lift the nail head out a little bit. If you do this, be careful to minimize damage the the wood.

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Hit each metal ring to loosen. You might need to go around.

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You're almost done! This is easy. Do half the rings (the top side) then turn the barrel over and do the rest.

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Rings are off!

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The barrel with all rings off.

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If you pull off a few staves the whole barrel will "explode" and come apart!

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VoilĂ ! Staves vary in width and you'll get 24 to 28 from a barrel (on average). Now- get creative!

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