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Old 12/30/10, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 45
Question how to fix up old butter churns?

I recently inherited two butter churns--one, the plunger style, and the other, a barrel style. The plunger one is in pretty good shape--the metal bands around the outside have ridden up a little, but otherwise it looks ok, just dirty. The barrel style has one barrel ring completely off (so the boards are coming apart) but I still have it, the other ring is still in place and the guts look fine.

Question 1: How on earth do I clean these things so I can actually use them? And is there such a thing as "food grade" wood glue? Question 2: I am no cooper--how do I fix/replace those metal rings?

If anyone can help me it will be someone on this board, I know it. Thanks in advance for any and all ideas
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Old 12/31/10, 01:34 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
I'm sorry that I really can't help you with the churn restoration but did want to let you know your post is being read and considered by others.

May I ask if you really have enough cream to properly fill one to the point of efficient churning?

Do they hold sentimental attachment, hence the reason for wanting to use them?

Expect otherwise a glass churn would be much easier to clean, etc.
My family---bEI
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Old 12/31/10, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE tennessee
Posts: 1,737
The old style wooden buckets and churns weren't glued.The secret is keeping them wet or damp enough to not dry out.If the metal hoop on your barrel churn wasn't pinned in place,maybe it should be when you put it back.I had a barrel churn that leaked badly but after some soaking everything tightened back up.I personally would put the hoop back on the barrel and use it for decoration.The other churn probably needs the hoops driven back in place and use lots of boiling water and sunshine for cleaning.If you can post a pic there may be something else we can think of to get the churns back in shape to use.
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Old 12/31/10, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Levittown, Bucks, Pennsylvania
Posts: 586
One of the first 5 Foxfire books had a section on making wooden churns using wooden bands bent around the bucket w/ a whittled lock.
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Old 12/31/10, 05:52 PM
Fae Fae is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 2,230
I can't help you any with fixing the ones you have but, if it were me, I would fix them up for display and buy a ceramic or glass churn. I have an old glass churn(lehman's sells them but they are expensive) that belonged to an aunt. It sits on a shelf for decoration and use if necessary and I use a quart jar to make my butter because I could not use as much as the churn would make. Of course, I don't have a cow either.
I also bought a ceramic one made by a local person but I don't use it either.
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Old 12/31/10, 07:10 PM
||Downhome||'s Avatar
Born in the wrong Century
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,431
Originally Posted by Wis Bang 2 View Post
One of the first 5 Foxfire books had a section on making wooden churns using wooden bands bent around the bucket w/ a whittled lock.
I was going to suggest just such... its book 3.
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Old 01/02/11, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 45
Thanks so much everyone--I will begin my hunt for a glass churn I can use and add "restore and display old butter churns" to my list of new years resolutions!
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