I was gifted a small barrel, maybe a half gallon (guessing) in volume, pictured below.
I let it sit for too long, I guess, and now there are gaps between all the staves. I read somewhere that you just have to soak it to get the slats to swell, so I tried that -- but the hole didn't seal up, and it still leaks. I've since let it dry out again.
Is there anything I can do to restore it and get it to seal again? I'm not that concerned with aesthetics, so I've considered trying to squeeze epoxy or wood glue into the gaps.
Failing that, I guess I could take all the hoops off, plane or sand the edges of each stave so they fit snugly, and put it back together. I have no idea how or where to find or make replacement hoops, though, as I assume the existing ones would be too small once I remove material from the staves.
So my question is:
- Can it be repaired or restored without disassembling in a way where it'll still be suitable for aging some whiskey in it?
- If I need to disassemble it to restore it, what materials or tools will I need, and what's a good place to get them?