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Old 10-07-2010, 02:45 AM   #11
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How to make the box:
http://books.google.com/books?id=jPYDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=watertig ht+wooden+box&source=bl&ots=0BbeRvMPhd&sig=7jmwkGe uC5BAts_-t4lEUiCLdbY&hl=en&ei=nDCtTOSeDOWwnAeU9rzhDA&sa=X&o i=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CEoQ6AEwCA#v =onepage&q=watertight%20wooden%20box&f=false

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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How about this
http://www.millsonforestry.com/shop/images/0806065.jpg

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #13
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I like the log idea

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Old 10-07-2010, 01:02 PM   #14
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Reminds me of "back in the day" in the late 80's early 90's when I was involved in the Mythopoetic Men's Movement, and used to lead men's retreats, and participated in drum circles. I used to also make hand drums. I only did one like that, drilling and burning through a hunk of log. It was a lot of work.

That's where I first learned about and played the Cuban Cajon...it's a fun drum to play. You're slapping a wood box and a wooden drum head.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:02 PM   #15
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I think the log idea would be awesome... I would be afraid of it splitting...

ALTHOUGH... I guess if you're going to be storing liquid in it, it would swell like a barrel and wouldn't split.

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Old 10-07-2010, 01:06 PM   #16
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I think the log idea would be awesome... I would be afraid of it splitting...

ALTHOUGH... I guess if you're going to be storing liquid in it, it would swell like a barrel and wouldn't split.
Yeah there's some tricks to doing it so you don't split the wood, though picking the right log is important. If anyone wants to contemplate doing it I would google "making wooded Djembes" or "Making Log drums" and take the cues from the folks who do it. There's a ton of DIY instrument building forums and websites online, some have been on for 10-15 years so there's a lot of info out there. I used to participate on some of the forums back when they were listserves.

Edit Actually one of the old listserves I was on, Djembe-L has a faq on making a djember from a log, and one of the posts that I recall on "seasoning" the log is on there http://djembelfaq.drums.org/v9c.htm The David Anhalt post from Thursday, October 15, 1998 has some good info.

Man 12 years ago I was making and playing them, sheesh.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #17
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I was thinking that you were gonna make a conical like the way coopers build barrels, soak the wood, bend the wood, and hammer on some rings to hold it together. (I'm not a cooper, so I don't really know how they do it.)

It would look just like a barrel, but with the bottom coming to a point.

Just my thoughts...

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Old 10-07-2010, 03:26 PM   #18
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Dude, there's a thread where someone's thinking of making a simple cube wooden "aging container" (ie a non barrel shaped barre) and this popped into my head. ANd the more I think of it, it may work for you as well.

One shape to consider would be the cuban Cajone box drum shape.





I'm not sure of the term, but obviously you would have to come up with a water tight "joint" between each edge/corner of the box. Maybe dovetail or whatever these are called from wooden Japanese sake cups?



Boxes would make for a much more efficient fermenter space. Easy to fit into a freezer for sure, but what about the fermentation characteristics the dead zones in the corners would make. I know some of the older breweries that used to use large square open top fermenters have now moved into conicals. Some have kept the old way for their beers flavor done in the square. I guess if it made good beer you would continue to use it, I mean why not right? I like the box idea instead of a barrel for aging, but not for wood fermentation. Also, something to keep in mind is warping of the sides on something large. You would have o have thick walls to keep it square while using it. I feel they would have to be much thicker wood than even a barrel uses. Great idea though for aging a beer on wood. You could even make a cedar one for aging beers on that.
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... was gonna say... if you're doing sours, why would you want it "sanitized" anyway? I would think a hardcore rinse to get resin and oils out of it would be enough... no?
Yeah, if it was for a "house" strain of yeast that you were going to continue to use, which is where I was thinking anyways, then you would probably be good with scalding water right after you emptied it. Then fill it the same day with new beer and pitch your new "old" yeast again. If you used the Star-San, and some remained in the wood, it "woodn't" (badum-ching) be a problem since the yeast will actually eat it as food.

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Hopefully we have gotten to the point that this sounds like a good idea, and the only thing left to discuss is execution.

After reading the box thread, and getting my head wrapped around the fact that a 1'x1'x1' box gives 7.8 gallons I'm really starting to think this is pretty workable.

My new suggestion would be something like a 1'x1'x2' box. In the lower 1' of the box put in diagonal pieces of wood for your conical section (Instead of a cone it would be more of a pentagonal prism with the pointy end down). As with my earlier suggestion, I like the idea of the conical portion being placed inside some other structure that you know is not going to fail just in case the conical doesn't quite work out.

On a related note, what sort of wood would you use to make this? Just solid pieces of oak from the lumberyard, or something else?
I like the diagnal suggestion for the square box; however, if I did square and wanted a sloped bottom, I would just make the bottom piece conical inside on a wood lathe. Then again, wood is so porous a conical might not act like a conical (I knew it wouldn't work for sliding yeast to a central location). "I" would make the barrel shaped conical from known untreated American/French white oak boards from wherever I could find them. I would tounge and groove the edges so they interlocked. The boards would be cut with the shape of the conical bottom in them prior to connection. I would then finish the interior on a wood lathe to get it smooth and finished. Then I would finish the outside however I wanted. Oh, and the whole thing would be held together with larger versions of worm screw-style pipe clamps. Or, another more rustic idea was using bullhide soaked in water and wrapped tight. Once dry it should squeeze the barrel shape into a tight fit. My concern with this was once the barrel was wet that it would un-tighten, but if the leather was tacked into place beforehand this might not be a worry. I simply do not know about those logistics.
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I think the log idea would be awesome... I would be afraid of it splitting...

ALTHOUGH... I guess if you're going to be storing liquid in it, it would swell like a barrel and wouldn't split.
I started out thinking about a whole log lathed into a conical, but it would simply be too hard to find a perfect piece of wood for this until you finished cutting it on the lathe. That's a lot of work and I think it would split once wet/dry/wet/dry IMHO. The next quote below this is kinda how I want to make mine. Barrels are made by using wood slats with the wood grains going in opposite directions from each other to provide strength and prevent warping. This is why my earlier suggestion for thicker walls on a box would have to be done. The wood will warp all on its own, so even if I were making a box it would have alternating wood grain incorporated into it. I would make mine more like a true barrel by fitting the wood perfectly and under compression prior to swelling.
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I was thinking that you were gonna make a conical like the way coopers build barrels, soak the wood, bend the wood, and hammer on some rings to hold it together. (I'm not a cooper, so I don't really know how they do it.)

It would look just like a barrel, but with the bottom coming to a point.

Just my thoughts...
Somewhat true, but they don't soak the wood though. The wood is cut in the shallow crescent shape and the wood-on-wood sides of the crescent pieces are planed perfectly smooth with a slight angle. Then, a building ring is placed on the bottom and they start building the sides of the barrel. Once through, they add the ends of the barrel and slide on perfectly fitting "red hot" barrels rings. They douse the rings with water once on to shrink them closing the barrel up tight. Then they drill the bung in the side and sell them. If a toast is needed inside the barrel, they do this over a smaller fire but inside the barrel before they add the ends, but while the barrel is in its barrel shape.

The problem with making a conical shape too skinny into the barrel design, would be no strength. The barrel was a superior transporting vessel due to how it was perfectly balanced in its construction. It basically fights against itself but isn't allowed to go anywhere due to the rings. Hard to believe they invented it so far back isn't it? Ahh, those Celts.... Not saying a conical couldn't be built, it just wouldn't be as tough as a barrel. My design would have a thicker wood bottom and allow for the barrel shape on the outside more-so than just using the same thickness, at least on the outside. The inside would be lathed perfectly to allow a bulkhead fitting to hold any valve you wanted to attach.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #19
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I am not sure you would really gain the conical benefits... would yeast and trub actually fall down the cone and collect in the bottom? Me thinks would is too porous and gravity might not be strong enough.

Fun idea though. If you do go ahead, I recommend a more aggressive angle for the cone.

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Old 10-07-2010, 04:02 PM   #20
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Yeah, if it was for a "house" strain of yeast that you were going to continue to use, which is where I was thinking anyways, then you would probably be good with scalding water right after you emptied it. Then fill it the same day with new beer and pitch your new "old" yeast again. If you used the Star-San, and some remained in the wood, it "woodn't" (badum-ching) be a problem since the yeast will actually eat it as food.
I wouldn't even bother with scalding water... a good rinse is all you need I think. We did a 59 gallon Russian River Consecretion clone last year in an oak merlot barrel and pitched all sorts a bugs into it (it's a reeeeeeally nice beer btw). This year, after we bottled the Consecretion, we took the barrel outside, rinsed it really well with a hose, and then racked a turbid mash lambic right into it.... pitching a bunch of lambic blend bugs on top.

Once the buggies get into the wood, I don't think anything is getting them out... so... why bother trying? Yeah, you want it "clean" but if you already have a beer in it, "clean"... to me... simply means most of the trub out of it.

star-san is a losing battle IMO. I think you would be trying to remove an "infection" that was there on purpose, that you're not going to get out, only to "infect it" again.

yeah, different strains but be an issue but how different a "bugs" anyway? Lambic blend vs Roselear? Again, I don't think you're gonna get all of the bugs out no matter what so I would just go with it.

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it "woodn't" (badum-ching) be a problem
Nice... I saw what you did there. That's solid work
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