Wine barrel brackets was an idea developed by Anthony Harton. Anthony is retired after 40 years in sales and is now going nuts, hating retirement.
He and his friend Bob Dierker had joined a barrel club about six years ago at Pearmund Cellars in Northern Virginia. To help with the start-up costs, Chris Pearmund sold 60 gallon barrels to offset the cost of new barrels. When you bought the barrel, a plaque with your name on it was screw affixed to the barrel.
The barrels were filled with their wine. These barrels were held for 5 or six years depending on the wine and were then given to their owners when the barrel was retired. In addition the barrel owner received a case of wine each of those five years. A good deal for everybody. After looking at my barrel on my deck for about a month in the spring, Harton's wife asked what am I going to do with it?
Harton happened to be straightening out some things down at the stables and his attention came upon an old horse wagon that was left there by the previous owners.
The buggy was in poor shape and the wheels were falling apart. One of the front wheels had most of the spokes and hub missing or loose, so he helped it along. Now he had a 38" diameter steel tire, as it is called. He took the steel tire and fastened two bungee cords in a cross shape onto the tire and centered the thing on top of the barrel. “Cool, now what?” He got a friend (Dave Wright) with a torch and some black wrought iron and fabricated it into a sort of hoop brace that went around the barrel with 4 rods attached to it and going up the sides to form little arms to set the steel tire upon.
The hoop brace was too bulky and big and labor intensive, so He went to a fabricator and came up with a much better idea. They came up with a new design and now had a bracket that supported a 38" tire with a piece of 1/4 safety glass table top in it. Perfect. But, wait a minute, there is a 44" back wheel down at the stables.
New idea: the 38" table top on the barrel is great for sitting on bar stools sideways or standing and using it as a cocktail table, or to display thingson it. But what if people want to sit comfortably at the table and have their knees under the table? No Can Do... the middle of the barrels sticks out further than the barrel ends.
Next question...How to do this? Another friend (Les Thomas) suggested a slide with holes and a slot with wing nuts so it will move in and out. “VOILA” now the new bracket will handle a 38" table top up to a 44" or 48" glass or wood table top with or without the steel buggy tire. (although the buggy tire gives it a really cool look).
Now there is lots of room for your legs under the top so you can sit as comfortably at the barrel table as you could at any round table, inside of the house or outside.
As a result steel slider brackets were designed to clamp over the barrel ridge on the top and hold against the sides. A neighbor, Chris Gerow, was a great help with the CAD drawings to get things rolling. Since a lot of people don't have tools or want to assemble things, these slider brackets are perfect and the way to go, no muss or fuss. A set consists of four brackets. Some people have suggested cutting down to three brackets, but safety and security are foremost, so it stays at four. The brackets are 10 gauge steel and are powder coated. These brackets easily support over 100 lbs.each.
So, now on to marketing, photographing, web building (helped by another neighbor Sam Rotolo and Pete Henderson) and finally manufacturing. We are off to the races.
Well kids, there you have it. These brackets will fit on full size barrels for bar or patio tables, on half barrels for coffee tables or trough barrels (for against the wall) tables in the home or wine cellar or tasting rooms.
The feeling is that the market will be the tasting rooms at the wineries for either displays or tables since they fit in so perfectly in that atmosphere, and for the consumers that have always wanted to add a barrel table to their wine cellar. You can also put a roller dollie under the barrels to move them around easily for cleaning.