Thursday, April 9, 2015
Sorry if your barrels leak, it wasent me.... Wk 3
After bending the barrels and putting rings on the other side they were then taken to the lathe. This giant lathe would cut the edges of the barrel into a nice shape and put a notch into the top and bottom for the head to sit. This is was my job for the week, putting the heads on the barrels. each top to the barrel is measures precisely because they are all slightly different and a head is cut accordingly to the sizes they need. For example the top of the barrel will measure 29.52 and the head will have to be cut to 29.52. After this was done that is where I came in. I would take the barrels and sand the inside of the bung hole to create a nice surface for a rubber corks to sit without creating a leak. Then I would find the top that matched the barrel. Then I would take a kind of putty which I found out later is just a simple mixture of whole wheat flour, citric acid, and water, and place it in the grove around the barrel with a wooden pointed tool. If I messed this part up and I missed any spot of the grove the barrel would leak. Then I would pound one of the steel rings holding the barrel together up, separating the wood and creating enough of a gap for me to put the head in. Then while holding the head up with one hand I would have to pound the rings down to tighten the barrel back up while making sure the head sat precisely in that small 1/8th inch gap. Then after it was tight enough for it to sit there without falling I would take my piece of plastic and go around the ring hitting the plastic with the sledge hammer on the rings forcing them down and forcing the barrel tighter.
This was a very interesting part of barrel making and who knew that this would be so much work, and so much precision. I have been amazed the entire process so far and I cant wait to go back and learn the next step in the process.
P.S. I am sorry if your barrels leak...... I'm new.