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10339Re: Oak Boxes

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  • Tarvus
    Feb 1, 2004
      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Murphy-Marsh, Leigh"
      <Leigh.Murphy-Marsh@w...> wrote:
      > True boxes have advantages but barrels expose more surface area to
      > liquid for the same amount of timber.
      > It should work but not being a carpenter there must be difficulties
      > keeping it sealed when the timber expands.

      I recently experimented with oak boxes and must report that Leigh is
      absolutely correct!

      I spend $90 on a beautiful 1" X 12" 12 foot long white oak plank. My
      neighbor is a cabinet maker and for the price of a couple of quarts
      convinced him to build me two cubes sized to hold approximately 5
      gallons each. He crafted some very precise tongue in groove joints
      and the cubical boxes fit together like a chinese jigsaw puzzle with
      no nails, screws or glue. They were designed to be held together by
      nylon web strapping tightened with rachets.

      I charred the inside of them with a torch and my problems began. The
      heat and drying from the charring warped the boards slightly. I was,
      with considerable difficulty, able to fit them together nonetheless,
      strap them tightly in 3 directions with the rachetable straps, and I
      soaked the boxes inside and out for 2 weeks to swell the wood and
      seal the joints.

      The boxes warped even more after soaking and leaked like a sieve! I
      now have a triple lifetime supply of charred scrap white oak! I will
      cut them into pieces and use the charred chips and chunks to oak
      spirits stored in other type containers.

      The concept was great, but the execution was a miserable failure.
      Live and learn!

      ps - anybody wanna buy some white oak???
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