I recently made a smoker out of a retired wine barrel, and it works great. I've had a couple of successful smokes (pork butt and beef brisket), and I'm very happy with it.
However, I noticed that the staves in the lid section are starting to loosen. It's pretty dry in there at the moment - I've left it open to air out over the last few days. So right now I'm boiling some water in there to moisten the wood.
If anyone else has encountered this, I would love to know your thoughts on causes and cures.