Wine Barrel Clocks

(Tom Freeman,, April 2012)


There’s no better or more practical way to add a big authentic piece of wine country décor into a home or business than with a wine barrel clock.  Being large and round, wine barrel heads are the perfect raw material for making truly unique, large wooden wall clocks.

For those who love wine, wineries and the whole wine country experience, there’s an almost irresistible urge to bring some of that ambiance back into their home wine bar or cellar, or wherever they enjoy drinking wine with friends and family.  And for wine-oriented businesses like wineries, tasting rooms, wine stores and restaurants, nothing makes a bigger statement to the wine enthusiast than a wine barrel head clock with their logo beautifully carved on the face.

Wine barrel clocks are available from a number of sources, including the “do-it- yourselfer”, in a very wide variety of looks and styles.  They range from very basic and rustic (perhaps just the unfinished flat head of the barrel with a simple stenciled clock face), to stunning hand painted 3d relief carvings of wine and grape themed artwork on a full eighth or “tenth” barrel end, to gorgeous carvings of a wine business logo – all with a variety of clock face styles. 

Here’s a couple examples from both ends of the spectrum

Examples of Wine Barrel Clocks

For the do-it-yourselfer, not much is needed in the way of experience or supplies to make a simple barrel head clock similar to the rustic one above.  Start by removing the flat barrel head end from a half wine barrel (readily available as planters from garden centers in most areas).  Make sure the oak is dry (ideally around 12% moisture content) in order to eliminate warping, then disassemble the head staves (they are held together only by pins, dowels or tongue-in-groove joints).  Glue them together side by side and/or glue and screw them to a stable flat backing (e.g. plywood).   Use your imagination for the clock dial – numbers can be painted, stenciled, glued on, carved on, etc.

Obtain a suitable clock movement and hands (such as the battery operated high torque movements available from a variety of sources such as  Make sure that the movement is matched to the length of hands you want to use, as it requires more power to operate the larger hands, and that the length of the movement shaft is long enough to protrude all the way through the head.  Drill the appropriate sized hole in the center of the clock face for the movement shaft, secure with hardware provided and attach the hands. 

Finishes can range from the very rustic with little or no finishing, to elaborately hand painted carvings with the finest furniture grade finishes.  Many people like the high quality finishes, but with some aging and distressing that suggest old age and authenticity.

For those looking for a refined, even heirloom quality wine barrel head clock, our company specializes in custom designs of stunning beauty and quality.  You can design your own online or have us design one from your artwork.  Shown below are several examples to give you an idea of the possibilities.

Wine Barrel Clocks - examples

Wine Clocks examples

Tom Freeman is founder and owner of, where he has integrated a lifelong career in software engineering with his passions for woodworking and wine.  Contact him at or visit