It’s no great secret that a big chunk of the fun of being a wine connoisseur lies in the visual aspect of the bottles themselves. Yeah, we could stuff them all in boxes like so many 8-track tapes, but where’s the joy in that? No… Some sort of wine rack is called for to help keep the corks moist, but most wine racks then hide the beautiful labels. But what to buy, or much better, make? I wanted something that met several criteria:
- The rack had to be both simple and quick to make
- It had to be portable
- I was thinking of giving these as presents, so inexpensive was definitely on the radar
- The varying sizes of bottles would be a consideration
- Extensibility is a good thing
- Everyone likes “cool”
After poking at the web, and reminiscing on centerboards, dagger-boards and lee-boards (all with cutout handles), I came up with the following design…
How to Make Your Own Wine Board?
Well, the photo above tells at least 90% of the story, especially to an experienced woodworker, but here’s a checklist for my approach and the components you’ll need.
- A 2’ (or more) by 13” wide slab. (Note: You can use ancient ¾” pine like I did, or you can use new stuff like plywood, hardwood, or even diamond plate…)
- Thin reinforcing ply when required (as in this case…)
- Appropriate glue
- Bungees as taught slings. (Note: You might choose leather, rope, chain, etc. for the slings. I like bungees because they hold the bottles securely for transport…)
- Circular saw (or whatever…)
- Jig saw
- Framing square
- Cardboard for templates
- Scissors/razor knife
- Standard assortment of drill bits
- 1” hole saw
- Sander with 100 and 220 grit paper
- Small plane
- Screwdriver assortment just because
- Brush or rag for finish
Building Your Own Wine Rack
Here are the basic steps I used to make my “wine board” complete with bungee straps…
Because I chose to use an antique checked board, I needed to reinforce the top of the board with an inserted laminate.
The handle cannot fail regardless.
With care, precise work can be accomplished, even with a Skil saw and an old timber such as this.
Glue is a wonderful thing. Use weight or clamps until the glue is cured.
Your call on the handle design… I wanted mine to have a top indent so that I could hang the board on the wall. If you plan on hanging a larger version, make sure the build and hanging device will be able to support the weight.
I roughed my bottle outlines on cardboard and then guessed from there.
Bottle test… What’s the worst that can happen?
Adjust bungees as needed.
Use care with the jig saw and rasps on features such as the handles
And that’s about it… Sand mercilessly and then finish to taste. Keep in mind that you have an almost limitless number of options for the final appearance of your wine rack. A few ideas include; Paint/stain/oil, Photo transfer, Chip carving, Pyrography, Inlay, Veneer, Intarsia, Scrimshaw, Glass/gems, Bone, Shell, or any mix of these.
I wonder what your wine rack would look like with two handles, food-grade finish, and cheese/sausage/knife strapped on board? That way it could serve is a traveling wine and cheese board. Beyond that, I suppose I can really change the appearance with a series of them hanging from a stout hook at the top of a wall. This can just serve as the framework for more elaborate designs.