Why Barrels Can Hold Water l Whole Barrels

When you consider purchasing a container you might well consider whether it will survive freezing conditions and crack. Our barrels are all OAK (Quercus spp). OAK is durable (takes a long time to rot in water and the ground). The structure of barrels depends on the wood expanding when wet resisted by the metal bands. These apposing forces keeps the staves tight against each other making the barrel water tight. The oak staves that make up the barrel are as near as possible 1/4 sawn. This means that the growth rings mostly run from the inside to the outside. When the wood is orientated this way it allows the maximum expansion when wet thereby. facilitating a good seal. Therefore keeping barrels wet is important to keep the barrel or half barrel for that matter in good condition.
Producing timber cut in this way is very expensive due to the time taken and timber waste. So these containers represent very good value as the cost to produce such a product for garden planters would be prohibitive. Mostly the whisky barrels are made from American oak and the wine barrels from European oak. The back panels at the houses of parliament are produced from 1/4 sawn English oak. 

© 2019 John Simmons