Oak tables and chairs made from wine barrels.

Quartersawn white oak is heirloom-quality furniture material. We’re talking many hundreds of years here, if the furniture is not broken beyond repair. But now consider this: quartersawn white oak with the unique characteristics of wine barrel staves. The staves are curved, of course, but the barrels are also charred inside and stained with years of wine. It’s a look that I’d guess would be hard to duplicate by other means. Another interesting thing is that staves are a bit different from boards. Staves for making primitive-type bows are generally made by splitting the log — at least initially — instead of sawing it. I wonder if the same was true for the raw materials that went into Norwegian stave churches.

I’m not a wine person, though I do enjoy a glass from time to time. And I know there are wine people out there. If you like interesting furniture, and especially if you have a more-than-passing interest in wine, wouldn’t a barrel-stave table and chairs be a fascinating conversation piece, as well as long-lasting furniture? I guess that depends upon the design; whether it retains some of the barrelish character and coloring. Well, if you’d like to see one implementation of this idea, see Barnhouse Products, where Mark Lutz has been making this kind of furniture for several years. I’ve seen some of his pieces in nicely-decorated wine tasting rooms, and they fit rather well.

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