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Bouchard Cooperages: International brokers of fine quality oak wine barrels

Barrel Repair

How to repair "end grain" leaks.

1. End grain leaks, usually in the croze, can be plugged with a spile.
2. The first step is to use a hammer and a "scratch awl" (spile-shaped punch) to make a hole where you see the leak, to accommodate the spile.
3. Next, you snip off the end of the spile if it is too pointy (need it blunt) and insert it into the hole. Use a hammer to tap the spile into the hole you have made. It should fit snuggly, but don't over do it.
4. Then use a wood chisel to cut off the excess spile material. The blade of the chisel should be face up to make a clean cut. If necessary, smooth the exposed spile ends with sand paper to make a nice, clean finish. Done!


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