WHAT? A Pirate Barrel Made from a 2×4!


That’s right.  A vintage looking barrel made from one 8 foot 2×4 averaging $3.95.  Finding inexpensive ways of making props is a skill every designer should have.  We use them in Theme Parks, Retail and Events.

BThirteenCut the 2×4 into eight 12 inch lengths.


Cut 22 1/2 degree bevels one both sides of each piece using a table saw, then line them up with the bevels down.


Add Duct Tape to hold them together.


Flip them over…

BEightand apply a generous amount of glue between each joint, brushing it to the edges.


Roll the assembly up into a cylinder and pull the tape tight.


Add additional strips of Duct Tape, pulling each one tight, clamping the joints together.


Once the glue has dried (overnight is best) remove the tape and glue two end caps on the cylinder, finding the center point.


Then mount the whole assembly on the lathe.


Start at a low-speed and using a gouge, round the blank over.

BThreeIncrease the speed of rotation and shape the barrel using various turning chisels.  Move the tool rest and sand the barrel while still spinning on the lathe.

BTwoRemove the barrel from the lathe and cut the end caps off using a jigsaw or band saw.  Then using a chisel and sander, shape one end of the barrel with a bevel to accept the cap.


End cap is cut from a 1/2 inch piece of plywood (ok, not part of the 2×4). Then cut a hole for the cork and prime with grey automotive primer.

BForteenPaint using acrylic washes, allowing the grey of the primer to show through.  This gives the barrel an aged look.


Decorate, and there you have it!


About PhillipFreer
Draws, paints and builds stuff. Designs Theme Parks, places and family destinations.

One Response to WHAT? A Pirate Barrel Made from a 2×4!

  1. jonmlewis says:

    And there you have it. Great Post!

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