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How to Cut a Whiskey Barrel Lengthwise

Updated April 17, 2017

Most real whiskey barrels are made from American white oak wood. Aside from the obvious use of ageing whiskey to perfection, the barrels have a plethora of uses only limited by your imagination. They can be used to make tables, beautiful storage bins, wine racks, sinks, planters, wishing wells, and a host of other practical and decorative ideas. Once you know how to cut the barrel correctly, anything you can imagine with a whiskey barrel you can make.

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  1. Empty the barrel entirely of its contents and let it dry if liquid was in it previously. Rinse the barrel if any dirt or debris was left behind to make sure it is clean.

  2. Mark the barrel along the length where you want to make the cut using chalk. If you want to cut the barrel in half, make sure the marks are lined up so the barrel is split evenly.

  3. Put on safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any flying pieces of barrel or sharp pieces that may be sticking out.

  4. Insert the tip of the reciprocating saw into the top of the barrel at the marks you made and slowly drag the blade down toward the ground until you reach the middle of the barrel.

  5. Turn the barrel over onto its top and cut through the bottom along the mark until you meet the end of your first cut. Repeat on the other side of the barrel.

  6. Tip

    Contact a brewery to find cheap barrels for sale.


    Do not use barrels outdoors without protecting the wood from weather erosion and decay.

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Things You'll Need

  • Chalk
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Reciprocating saw

About the Author

Sarah Silverman

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.

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