I’m ready to fill my barrel for the first time but need a place to put it when it’s full, which means I need a barrel stand. I want to maintain some mobility in case I need to scoot it out of the way to access other things in my basement. I have some Harbor Freight furniture dollies that I use for moving fermentors around the garage and it seemed like the perfect base to start with.
Step 1 – Disassembly
First I wanted to remove the carpet. It seemed prime for harbouring mold and getting gross if any beer happens to spill on it. The dolly proved easy to disassemble, with the most annoying part being carpet removal.
Remove the wheels and begin to pry the wood apart. This was held together with some small nails that appeared to be useful only for manufacturing to keep it together before the wheels were installed.
These are the tiny nails holding the wood together that serve no other purpose. I cut these down with some snips, it seemed easier than trying to hammer them out.
The carpet was annoying to remove since I wanted all the staples to come out as well.
With the carpet removed, I took the wood apart. It quickly became apparent that the low quality manufacturing meant that the wood would only go back together the way it was taken apart. The wood must be assembled with the tiny nails and then the holes for the wheels drilled somewhat haphazardly.
Step 2 – Barrel Stand Reassembly
I cut some blocks from a piece of spare 2×3 I had in the garage that would raise the barrel above the level of the dolly’s platform. I wanted to make sure that the bottom of the barrel wouldn’t hang too low and hit the surface of the barrel stand instead of resting on the blocks, so I decided to reverse the way the dolly was assembled.
Because I wanted to reverse the assembly of the wood I needed to drill holes to allow the bolts to sit flush with the surface. I fired up my trusty drill press (i.e. cheap HF drill) with a Forstner bit.
Install the bolts in the newly sunk holes and then secure the riser blocks with a couple of screws. I pre-drilled pilot holes for the riser blocks as the wood seemed like it might crack. The picture above is a fitment mockup, you’ll notice the left hand piece of wood isn’t yet drilled.
After getting the riser blocks in place, I put the barrel on to see how it sat. I wasn’t surprised to see that it was sitting right on the corners of the blocks. I decided it wasn’t ideal to have the weight of a 15 gallon barrel sitting on 4 points of wood, so they needed to be cut down.
Looking back, there might have been an easier approach to getting the barrel to rest along the length of the riser blocks instead of on the corners. If the riser blocks were set diagonally it would better distribute the weight on the 4 corners.
At the time I came up with the idea to cut the riser blocks on a diagonal slant to allow them to make contact with the barrel with a flat surface. I think this is overall a better way to go., but it took more cutting and trial and error to find the right angle. I used my reciprocating multi-tool to make the cuts and then bench planed the surfaces to be more consistently flat.
Here is a before and after of the furniture dolly and barrel stand. If you didn’t understand what I meant before about reversing the wood assembly, you can see it in this picture. The shorter wood that used to be covered in carpet is now underneath the long sections, instead of on top.
Here is the finished barrel stand. It was only a couple of hours of work start to finish and I think it’ll be worth it for barrel mobility in the long run. I was able to do this project with stuff I had in the garage already. Outside of tool costs, this can be made for less than $20.