Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga
Interesting, I had no idea stave expanded so much. I think regular applications of linseed oil or Watco could preserve the wood by displacing water and eliminating moisture-related swelling. On the other hand, I wonder what effect those oils have on the glue.
No affect on glue bonds. Once those bonds are made, nothing's getting in there. Accurate machining is the key to a good stave construction.
Stave doesn't swell any more than any other non ply wood shell (steam bent, segmented, hollow log).