I have a 20 x 10 sun shade. 3 sides will anchor to the house. The other corner I was hoping to anchor from a 8' 6" post put in a fully intact whiskey barrel. Just cut the top and place the post in side. Im hoping to be able to reuse the barrel in the future for whatever task. Although I understand some concrete will be necessary, could I fill just a foot or two with concrete and fill the rest with some sort of removable material around the post - something like gravel to weight it down? If so, what is the minimum material of each?

  • 2
    Stuff like sun shades need to have supports be well anchored into the ground, like a house. You get a bit of wind and that post/barrel will start flying/whipping around. At least use three or four guy wires anchored to ground to hold the post down.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 10:31
  • It's a lot of weight we're talking about here, so I'm inclined to think it will work. I have a few concerns. 1) what are you putting the barrel on? Deck? Concrete slab? 2) Your intended design means this will hold water like a bucket. This is a fine living area for all sorts of nasty bugs and bacteria. 3) if you live in a freezing area, the water that accumulates in the barrel will freeze and expand and cause weakening of the barrel maybe to a point of failure over time. Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 13:31
  • Why not just put the post in the ground and secure with concrete? Aesthetic reasons? Otherwise, I would agree with @crip659 and throw some guy wires on it and make sure its solid.
    – matt.
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 13:32
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    Well, the usual mistake with sail shades is grossly underestimating the power of the wind. It seems to me your whiskey barrel would only resist a couple hundred pounds of force before it topples over. That's nothing to a sail. Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 19:40
  • Yiu shoujd drink all the hic vhizkee first then decide if you even want a sail shade.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


I would think your plan would work with the addition of addressing the main concern of the barrel becoming a battering object in high winds.

The solution would be to make the attachment to the barrel something that would detach when a determined force is met. ( In higher winds the sail will disconnect from the barrel)

This can be done with magnetic catches, something mechanical, or even a cord that will break before it could move the barrel.

Each has it's pros and cons:

                Pros                             Cons

Magnets         easy to connect                  can be weight flying around

Mechanical      can be easy to connect           can wear out & needs replacement

Cord or rope    light, no flinging weight        difficult to reattach

A solution to the cons for the magnets and mechanical clasps could be another lanyard attached to the sail end of the attachment. That lanyard could be hidden along the barrel and tied to an anchor deep in the ground. This would prevent the sail from whipping around in a high wind and still be unattached to the barrel. The aesthetics and style of having a sail attached to a barrel would still be retained.

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    The problem is that even a small amount of wind hitting 200 sq feet of sun shade fabric will create a very large force. I'd guess that any of the suggestions here would detach themselves in a light breeze or be strong enough that they'll hold in anything short of gale force winds, effectively making these methods useless. There's probably a good reason that everyone anchors them to posts in concrete in the ground.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 11:00

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