How to Make a Wine Barrel Table With a Built in Wine Bucket

About: I enjoy repurposing and restoring old furniture and making woodwork projects that are not seen every day. I make most of my projects using wood that is either, recycled,reclaimed and love to repurpose and re...

I was lucky to get a few wine barrels from a local winery so searched the internet for ideas for what I could make. There were so many versions of the wine barrel table, most of what I saw were rustic and manly. So decided I wanted to make one that would look good inside and outside the house. And wanted to add a wine bucket in the centre.

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Step 1:

I have added a few of my barrels in this tutorial for the purpose of showing you issues and solutions I came across along the way. I sanded the barrel starting with 120grit to remove all the rough surface and the wine stains. And gave a final sand using 240grit. I stained the barrel and added 2 coats of satin varnish. I replaced all the bands and added screws in all the stave’s to keep them in place and to give it a decorative look.

Step 2: Adding the Wine Bucket

I bought a 25l bucket (which must have a lip to prevent it from falling through the hole). I removed the handle. I found the centre of my wine barrel and cut a circle the size of the top wine bucket under the lip. I drilled a pilot hole and used a jig saw to cut this out.

Step 3: Table Top

The top of my wine barrels tables are usually made from old table tops which I recycle and reinforce using Plywood underneath to add some strength to the top. My average table top is 1.2m, and I try to build them with a thickness of 60mm. The top I have shown in this post was cut using a jig saw, but for some reason I ended up with a edge that was sloped , so it was unsuitable for my project. I don’t know why this happened and would love any feedback.

Step 4: Cutting the Table Top

So I came up with another plan and used my router attached to a piece of plywood. I found the center point of my piece of wood and screwed my plywood into the centre of my wood and routered the circles. This does take some time but have found this is the best way to end up with a good clean circle. The inside circle proved more difficult because the top of the barrel was not a perfect circle so did have to use the grinder with a sanding disc on it to get a good fit.

Step 5: Securing the Table Top

To secure the top to the barrel, I lined up the table top up with the barrel and drilled a hole through the barrel and into the inner circle of the table top and inserted large bolts to prevent the top from moving. I used the router to remove part of the underneath surface so that the lid balanced on the rim of the barrel and not the surface of the inside which was not level on any of my barrels.

Step 6: To Get a Good Fit on the Table Lid

I have made a few of these tables and found this was the best way. The picture on the top was a nice fit and the picture on the bottom had a slight wobble, because the inside of the barrel was warped. I chiselled out the centre of the lid so that I could add a pull latch. I sanded the surface ending with 320grit, stained it and added 3 coats of satin varnish. And to finish off I added I strip of aluminium cut to size to finish off the edge. Which just finished off the look.

Step 7: Liquid Glass Table Top

On one of my tables I used a veneer instead of solid wood because the pattern on the wood was nicer but found the surface was not very durable. So I decided to try coating the top with Norton Liquid glass which gave a stunning effect.

Step 8: Another Example of One of My Tables

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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This is awesome and beautiful! I would like to build one with a wider (maybe 48") top so we can use it for a breakfast table on our patio!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you, I have built one with a wider top and it was a lot nicer. A tip if you are going to make it bigger, i also had to make it thicker because the first one split on half when leaned on. so i added a thick piece of plywood under the wood top.