Wine Barrel Ottoman

Soooo comfy...
This ottoman is easy to build and makes a very nice addition to your other wine barrel furniture. The estimated time to build is 2 hours, it requires 6-9 staves, and you'll be using the same tools and leftover hardware from the chair build.

Prepare the wood

For the basic version of this build you'll need 6 staves: 2 medium staves to serve as the legs and 4 small staves for the top (see end for the more build with more staves). You'll want to sand them fairly clean, then cut them to length, then finish them (using the same sanding methods and finish as the chair). Here are the cuts I used, also shown above, all of these dimensions can be modified to make your ottoman be the size you want:
  1. Cut 10.5" from one end of the 2 leg staves. These are the rear legs.
  2. Cut 8.5" from the other end of the leg staves. These are the front legs.
  3. Measure the total width of your top staves by lining them up together and measuring down the middle, then cut that amount off of the remaining uncut length of the leg staves. (For the pictured ottoman this came to about 10" for me.) These are the leg toppers.
  4. Find the middles of the top staves, and measure 7" off of either side and cut there. (So the pieces are 14" long.)
Once the cuts are complete and everything is finished and dry, we can begin assembly. You'll want the same 1 5/8" wood screws that you used with the chair, and a pocket screw jig.

Assemble the legs

 Clamp the rear leg to the leg top as shown, with the wood side of the leg facing out and the wine side of the topper facing up. The topper will not be symmetric, and since the rear leg's top is wider than the front leg's, put it on the wider side of the topper. Drill two pilot holes about 1/4" from the edges and screw in two screws. Depending on the size of your clamp you may need to move it between the two screws. You'll want to screw the screws in tightly, so the leg doesn't move much.

Clamp the front leg to the other side, and screw it in as above. Then repeat these two steps with the other leg assembly.

Add two pocket screws to each leg. This will greatly increase stability to the point where you don't need a cross-brace between the legs. If you don't want to use pocket screws or want extra stability, you'll need to use another stave to create a brace.

Assemble the top

Align one of the top pieces with the rear of the leg assemblies and clamp it in place. Double-check that everything is aligned and then put only one screw into each leg assembly.

Put the other top staves on loosely, then align and clamp the front one. Screw in one screw on each side. If there's extra space between the remaining staves, even them out, then clamp them down and screw them in.

Add a second set of screws to all of the top staves, and you're done!

Potential modifications

There are a few ways you could modify this design:
  1. As mentioned during the leg assembly, you could add cross-braces for the legs for extra stability, in addition to or in place of the pocket screws. Given how little weight this will need to bear, I decided that this was unnecessary.
  2. Square the legs. Some other wine barrel ottomans you'll see online (these, for instance) the legs are squared, not splayed as mine are. If you want that look you'll want to cut a front stave the same length as the top ones, and use it to connect the leg assemblies before putting on the top staves, making sure everything is square. I decided this was overly complicated, because to get everything square you'd likely need to scribe the front piece to conform to the legs (or perform a bunch of jiggery-pokery during assembly), and it doesn't make the piece any more functional or attractive.