6- Bungs and Miscellaneous Chores

Bung Cutting

White Oak dowels with a 1” diameter are used. A “tapered tenon cutter” shapes the taper.

Bung Rounding

This step is aesthetic and can be skipped. It can also be done with any sanding device you like.

I just really like jigs.

Bung Waxing

The bungs should be waxed to reduce evaporative loss, but the interior end of the bung should have no wax, so that it can swell in the bunghole.

I no longer wax my spigots, but there is no harm in doing so and it may reduce the barrel’s loss rate a tiny bit.

Barrel Marking - brands

Trust me, you will want information about the characteristics of the barrel recorded on the barrel itself, one way or the other. This is the method I used for a long time. I have moved on to a laser engraver for better results and less time spent on each barrel.

Any pyrography will work, or a metal tag affixed to the head (the next step shows this), or nail polish on the can. I would not trust paper or Sharpie to be durable enough.


I enjoy the look of a metal label. This video shows brass shim stock and brass tacks. I also have used stainless shim stock and stainless tacks. There are many other ways to mark the contents and date of the barrel. Use your imagination.

Barrel Head Removal

STOP. Before you do this, you should know that barrel heads can pop off with tremendous force and speed. You can reduce the risk a great deal by filling the barrel with water. Lay a very heavy, folded over cloth, like a giant drop cloth, over the head before applying the air pressure to the spigot.

Leak Repair

Very small leaks may be remedied by re-melting beeswax.