An old wine barrel makes a charming and unique planter for both flowers and vegetables. With its rustic wood finish, it adds a touch of old fashioned elegance to your garden. If you have the space to move it around, installing casters on it allows you to make the wine barrel mobile. This is ideal if you need to move vegetables in and out of the sunlight or if you simply want to alter your outdoor arrangement. Casters are fairly easy to install, although they will need bracing in order to be kept in place. This how-to will walk you through the process.
Step 1: Get the Right Size Casters
You will need 4 casters in total. 2 should have locking mechanisms so the barrel can be held in place. All 4 should be able to rotate completely. The casters will have to be large enough to handle the size and weight of the wine barrel. They do not need to be the size of shopping cart casters, but they should be equipped to handle a load of a couple hundred pounds at least while not raising the height of the barrel too high off the ground.
Step 2: Make the Braces
To brace the bottom of the wine barrel to support the casters, you will use crossed lengths of solid 1x3 inch lumber. Solid wood is better than plywood. You will form a lap joint between them. On the bottom of the barrel, measure the diameter between the rim. The 4 edges on the lap joined braces will be curved to fit inside the rim. Cut 2 lengths of lumber to the exact measurement of the diameter. Clamp them to a work surface side by side with their edges flush.
Step 3: Make the Cuts for the Lap Joint
Find the halfway point on both boards and mark it, drawing a line across both pieces with a T-square. Measure the width of one piece. It should be 3 inches. Measure 1½ inches to either side of the halfway line and make a mark for each. Draw 2 more straight lines across the face of both boards. Measure the thickness of the boards. It should be 1 inch. Set the circular saw blade to a depth of ½ inch.
Make a cut over both boards through the middle line. Cut along the other 2 lines on the side of the line towards the middle cut. Make several more cuts between the lines about ¼ inch apart. You should be left with about a dozen parallel lines ½ inch deep in the exact center of the boards. Hold the chisel flat at the edge of the boards at the depth of the cut. Use the hammer and chisel to tap out the tabs or kerfs made by the cuts. In this way the center of the boards will be removed to a depth of ½ inch.
Step 4: Join the Braces
Check your lap joint to make sure the pieces come together flush. They should form a cross with 4 equal sides. With the pieces joined, make 2 pilot holes through the wood with the power drill. Apply wood glue over the removed sections, join the pieces again and insert 2 ¾ inch screws, one in each pilot hole.
Step 5: Round the Edges
Trace the approximate arc of the barrel rim onto the edges of the brace. Clamp the brace to a work surface and use the jigsaw to cut the edges into the right shape.
Step 6: Make Pilot Holes for the Casters
Hold the casters onto the brace where they will be fastened and trace around the plate as well as in the screw holes. Drill pilot holes in the brace for the caster screws on all 4 sides.
Step 7: Attach the Brace
With the wine barrel upside down, put the brace in position inside the rim. In 3 places on each arm of the brace drill pilot holes (not where the casters will go). Because it’s used for planting, the bottom of the wine barrel needs drain holes anyway. Don’t worry about drilling into it. Hold the brace in position as you set 12 1½-inch wood screws, securing the brace.
Step 8: Attach the Casters
Hold the casters in place as you insert the fastening hardware. Set all 4 screws for each caster, making sure they are tightly inserted.
Turn the wine barrel right side up and test out your design. With everything in place, you have a well-functioning, mobile wine barrel.