a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Barrel Bane

I may have mentioned in passing that I acquired a lovely piece of furniture for a small price, free, just one condition...I had to reassemble an antique barrel.

I regret not taking before pictures, 'cause I can't even remember how many pieces with which I began. Archie said here's this barrel, belonged to an old friend, gonna use it, blew off the porch, big wind, I picked up the pieces, reckon you can put 'em back?

At that insane moment, having just received a beautiful piece of furniture, I knew/thought I could conquer the world. I said sure!

Now who is this lady speaking, certainly not me, I am no barrel maker, have never made a barrel, never repaired nor reassembled a barrel and I am promising I will?
I am the sort of person, if I make a promise, I'll keep that promise come hell or high water, well, let me tell you this barrel was hell AND high water.

I laid all the staves out, noting stains and grains, and placed them, side to side, matching the stain pattern, like finding a piece for a jigsaw puzzle. Now the problem is how do I get them to stand so I can replace the head rings? After trying many things to prop the staves against, I settled on a destroyed pillow that was perfect.

I don't know about the rest of you but I only have two hands and this was tough to do. I would get them all lined up around the pillow, interlocking perfectly, with one side in the head ring and bong! it would all fall down. I even got it together once by leaving one stave out but then the bilge hoop was too large.
I was about to crack, go back on my word, break a promise!!! I have had it with this barrel.
I said okay, you can do this and always started over. TODAY I finished! I just felt like it would be the day. I placed the head hoop down and assembled staves around the pillow, bungee corded the barrel and was able to place the bilge ring on. Yahoo, I am rolling! I tapped the head ring slowly around with a rubber mallet, I tapped the bilge ring lower and lower around the bilge, hey, I am rocking!
Time to replace the other head ring, how am I gonna do this, had no ideal. This is a six ring barrel and I only have three. The staves were still splayed and not close enough to place the ring, afraid to tap the bilge ring any more, I was stumped.
Confidence level sliding lower, hubby comes to see how I am progressing with the barrel I have played with for weeks. He disappears and reappears with a large wire that I could not bend if my life depended on it, twists it with pliers and proceeds to pull the staves in tighter. He is my hero!!! With this tightening, staves pulled together, rings went where they were supposed. Everything was in place!!!!!
I have kept my promise! I stood true to my word! I have finished the barrel! I could not have done it without hubby.
Now maybe I can do some art on this table since the *#*#*# barrel is finally finished.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yay you! If I ever need an old barrel repaired......



Rudee said...

I wouldn't know where to start. From a conceptual point of view, it seems easy enough, but looks are always deceiving. I can see where the relative lack of appendages would be a major issue when putting it all together.

Nicely done. You really demonstrate sticktoitiveness.

The Green Stone Woman said...

You're a indefatigable woman and stubborn as hell and it paid off. Good for you, I knew you could do it in the end. That's how I know you. Yeah!

DesertHen said...

Hooray, Yahoo, Yipee......Great job Gail! Now go put your feet up and rest. I will be mailing you another barrel tomorrow to put back together...he, he, he

Pyatshaw said...

I love the "stick with it attitude".....never give up! That's my motto as well!..........and, SOMETIMES, men come in handy.

Grammy said...

That is wonderful. You are very talented. And have more patents than me.

Silliyak said...

Have a beer and play "Roll out the barrel, you had a barrel of fun..."

Gramma Ann said...

Bravo!!! Can you hear me clapping~~~~~

Oz Girl said...

Awesome job. Kudos to you, I know how good that must have felt to finish the job.

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