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  1. Hello Greg, That's a very clever technique and the results are beautiful - crisp and precise. Nice work. I particularly like the idea of being able to produce a number of them in one work session. And with the wedges design, the stave taper is already built-in whether you're producing tall slim barrels or fat bulbous ones. Thank you for sharing. Hello Mark, Your math for the stave shape is spot-on and that is the way it should be done. The staves are in fact curved for the their entire length. But for me at least, it's a mater of execution. I simply can't cut to that precision with any repeatability. Using a taper, I can cheat with a straight edge to produce the staves. Now if I had a laser.... Thank you for your post. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and interest - and for the "likes". Please feel free to post how you make wood barrels - or steel barrels. Gary
  2. Mark, Chuck, GemmaJF, Bill and Greg - thanks for stopping by and the nice comments - I appreciate it. Thanks also to everyone for hitting the "like' button. Hello Greg, Your wedges and lathe method sounds very interesting and I bet it makes a great barrel. Please feel free to post any photos or other info you'd like to share here on this thread. I'd enjoy seeing them. Hello Chuck, Thanks for looking in and taking an interest in my barrel post. The shape of this barrel is simply a CAD tracing of a barrel image found on the internet that appealed to my eye. I decided to make the barrel top 18" across because I'm modeling in 1:18 scale. This allows me to use a standard 1" dowel for the core. With the top and bottom lids set at 18" the center diameter is also set based on the profile of the barrel. The stave widths I pulled out of thin air and decided 4"as an acceptable width. With the barrel center circumference already known, it was just a matter of determining how many staves were needed to wrap it - it took 19 of them. The stave tops and bottoms clearly have to be narrower for all of them to fit around the smaller circumference. Their widths were reduced until 19 fit around the barrel top circumference. The stave length was automatically determined once I decided on the barrels profile and width. The full scale barrel is just under 3' tall. Printing this drawing at 1:18 gives me a scale barrel using a 1" dowel, but I can print it to fit any size dowel I want. If I want a smaller barrel built with say a 3/4" dowel core I just reduce the print output by 25% giving me a 27" tall scale barrel - and so on. I hope this answers your question. Gary
  3. So here is how I make wood barrels in large scale. The follow represents a medium sized barrel about 2'10" tall in 1:18 scale - about 1-7/8" in actual height. I begin with a generic CAD drawing that I can print to the size barrel I want. I cut the dowel (1" diameter for this barrel) to the proper length and glue stripwood to the top and bottom as shown below. I'm adding lettering to the top and sides, so I did this prior to gluing the stripwood on. This lettering is done using an inkjet printer. If you haven't tried this simple method before, it works pretty well for crude graphics. You simply print out your letters or graphic using an inkjet printer. But instead of printing on paper - print onto a non absorbing film of some sort like transparency film or the shiny side of kitchen freezer paper. Once printed, the ink will be sitting wet on the surface of the film waiting for you to press something absorbent onto it - like a piece of smooth sanded basswood. It takes some trial and error to get the best results. The type of wood, how smoothly it has been sanded as well as the font style and size all come into play. The image has to be printed in mirror (flipped) to be correct after transfer. I used this transfer for the barrel top (head). And the barrel staves. It also makes cool rustic tavern signs. Using the CAD profile tool as a guide, I build up a center ring of strip wood wrapped around the dowel and two outer rings for the individual staves to glue to. I sand these rings to roughly match the profile. If a sharp edge is left on the center ring, it could crack the stave as it is bent into position. Balsa wood is too soft for the center ring and will compress when bending the staves over it. The individual staves are glued on. If they were cut with even a small degree of accuracy from the CAD drawing, no sanding is required. The last stave on will be a custom cut and fit. Next, I add bungs to the head and bilge. I did not sand the barrel - only scraped the stave seams with a blade edge. All that's left is adding color. It is stained Minwax Provincial and scrubbed with gray and black chalk. Care must be taken with the stain as it can totally and instantly destroy the transferred ink letters. Let capillary action stain around the lettering. The iron hoops are paper and colored with a black magic marker then dry brushed with Testors "Steel" enamel. A few swipes with a brush wet with paint thinner removes any brush strokes. The smaller barrel is built the same way. This is time consuming work and can eat up a couple of hours. It's a workable method down to 1/4" scale at least. There are quicker and easier ways of making barrels especially if you have a lathe (I don't), but the individual staves of this method add an extra degree of realism. Here's a link to a video shot in 1954 of Irish coopers making casks the old school way for Guinness beer. It's amazing what these men could do with an axe and a draw knife. Turn off the audio - very annoying. Guinness Coopers Hope you found this post of interest. Thanks for taking a look. Gary
  4. One of the nice things about modeling in large scale is the ability to provide greater detail. And details can add atmosphere. Old photos and drawings of dock scenes in the age of wooden ships show wood barrels and casks seemingly everywhere. This makes them a good candidate for adding atmosphere to your model display scene - on deck or on dock. Wood barrels and casks were made in many sizes, and contained everything from whale oil and cut nails to rum and flour. But large or small they all exhibit the classic curved profile - which, like an egg, uses geometry of the arch to resist being crushed. The following images are from an excellent book entitled A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port by Nicholas Whitman. The images belong to the photo collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Old Dartmouth Historical Society. Notice the variety of barrel sizes and shapes. New Bedford, Massachusetts. Circa 1870 Pumping whale oil from one cask to another. New Bedford, Circa 1910 This photo reveals the tremendous strength inherent in the wood barrel design. If the cask is say - 4 feet across by 5 tall, that calculates to about 470 gallons. Whale oil averages 7.7 lbs per gallon so that's about 3600 lbs. Amazing that it doesn't blow apart. New Bedford, Circa 1910 Cooper heading a cask. New Bedford, Circa 1910 Gary
  5. Nice job - beautiful display. Gary
  6. Nice job on your whaleboat. Very neat and clean. I like your choice of wood stain and hull color. Beautifully done. Gary
  7. Patrick, ChadB and Anja - Thank You. Gary
  8. Jesse, Chasseur, Christian and Ron-B - Thank You. Gary
  9. Jack12477, Nils, Marcus and Mike - Thank You. Gary