Vertical Wine Rack





Introduction: Vertical Wine Rack

About: I started a wood shop during the Summer of 2009, and have been teaching myself techniques and skills through the project's I've built, both for myself and for others. As a mechanical engineer, I love workin...

This was a house warming present for a group of friends' first apartment.

I found the plans here:

and altered them slightly for my own means.  

Total cost is around $20.

Step 1: Measure It Out

For the wood, in order to hold the weight of wine bottles, I used a 3/4"x3"x8' solid oak board (Home Depot,about $9)

I copied and blew up the dimensions template, printed it out, and traced it onto the board to make the first piece that would act as the template for the rest of them.  You could also just measure it out by hand on the board as well.

Step 2: Drill the Holes and Cut Them Out

I find that it would be easier to drill the 1-1/2" holes first, and then cut the wine holder parts with a saw.

In total, I measured and cut out 12 of these holders and cut them out with my jigsaw, sanding each down to a 120 grit finish (doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, just sans splinters with no sharp edges).

Step 3: Measure Out the Placements and Pilot Drill

After cutting out the holders, I used the rest of the board as the base.  Giving about an 1" of clearance at the top of the board, I drew a  45 degree zig-zag going down the board to account for all the holders, and an extra 2"-3" of clearance at the bottom.

I used 1-1/4" wood screws to attach the holders to the board, so I drilled 3/16" pilot holes (1/8" works too), spaced symmetrically 1-1/2" apart on each line of the zig-zag.  To be on the safe side, I counter-bored the holes on the back of the board (1/4" bit, 1/4" deep), so that there wouldn't be any chance of the wood cracking.

I then clamped each holder individually on top of one of the lines, with a dab of wood glue in the middle, and drilled the pilot holes through the back of the board about 1/2" into the holder.  After the pilot holes, I screwed the wood screws into the two holes. 

I then did the same thing to the rest of the holders, starting from one end to the other.

Step 4: Route the Hanging Holes

This step can actually be done before the holders are attached to the board, but the order doesn't matter too much.

The way to make the hanging holes, is first drilling a hole slightly bigger than the hanging bolt/screw head, about half way through the board.  Then use a specific router bit that cuts an upside-down T slot that allows a screw head to fit into the slot.

I made two of these spaced about 2 feet apart (symmetrically again).

If you have any better ways to make these hanging holes, please share.

Step 5: Everything Put Together

This is what it should look like after all the holders are attached.  I mounted it on some screws in my basement to see what it would look like.

The bottle spacing looks a little tight, but the angle offset looks pretty good.  I even pushed down on each bottle, and the wood showed no signs of give.

Step 6:

Now, you could leave the board as is, the wood looks nice and all, but against a white wall,, the higher the contrast the better, so I decided to paint it black (stone's reference anyone?).

First I primed it with generic primer (two coats) and then painted it (two coats again). (all from Home Depot, each can around $4)

Note: painting this by hand would be a pain, so I was advised to use primer and paint from aerosol cans, which leave a more even level of paint/primer without all the brush marks.

Step 7: Mounted and Hung

I used screws with plastic anchors to go into the plaster wall where I couldn't find any studs.

For installing plastic anchors into the wall, drill a hole slightly smaller than the anchors base diameter, hammer the anchor into the wall, and screw the screw into the anchor up till the anchor hole's depth.

For this project, I definitely recommend oak, anything weaker bears the chance of cracking or breaking, and you don't want wine bottles falling all over the place.  This wine rack has been hanging for about 10 months, and it hasn't broken yet.

A last optional step is to apply an enamel to make the wine rack shiny (some paints even come with the enamel in them).  

Use the link in the intro to fill in any other blanks/questions.



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awesome work...maybe we can modify alternately each piece, one short and the nest one much longer so we can fit the bottles without hitting the necks of the opposite bottle...way cool work!

Nice design... though given that you used oak, I'd have suggested either staining it or ebonizing it with iron solution rather than painting it. Oak's a nice wood; paint hides the pretty.

3 replies

I agree on the staining, but the color choice belonged to its new owners. I've never tried ebonizing before, what sort of color can come out of it? As it notes, oak may contain enough tannic acid to avoid needing the vinegar or bark-tea presoak.

Here's another one I built, with four less nests, but it's stained and turned out quite beautifully, if I do say so myself.


This is a wicked design!! I love the idea, but I'd say if the rack is full and the bottles were all full, it'd get pretty heavy. Maybe a couple of anchor bolts pinning it to the wall at least.

1 reply

I've loaded it with five or six full bottles at one point, and it showed no signs of sagging or wear on the plastic anchors, but yeah, twelve would be pushing it. Thanks!

Really like the design, and it saves a lot of space. I have two concerns however. For one, storing wine at that angle for a length of time increases chance that the sediment may slide to the cork and build up there. Doesn't harm the wine, but come serving time you may get that sediment in the glass. The bigger concern is that if the cork were to 'fail' for some reason, i.e. it wasn't put on right or who knows what else, it will spill everywhere. However that is rather unlikely, but it would be one hell of a mess.

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Yeah, those are the given risks, but I think the benefits, in terms of simplicity and use of wall space for storage outweigh them. Hopefully, the bottles don't stay on the rack for too long, which can greatly reduce both these risks ;)

A hole saw could be used to cut the holes for the wine bottles, they're not too expensive. Also, a spade bit, but I'm not sure if you can get them 1 1/2" diameter, and you'd have to be very careful to drill perfectly vertical. A very nice 'ible, and a nice, sleek design. Added to my 'projects' folder. :-)

Excellent project! Beautiful result, and a most enjoyable writeup! There are a few typos here and there (e.g., missing apostrophes) but nothing particularly egregious. It looks like you uploaded all of your pictures in one shot at the beginning. You probably want to remove all but the first from the Intro step (they'll stay in the other steps).

2 replies

Thanks for the tips! I'm still new to the whole writing instructables thing.

You're most welcome! You've been here 3-1/2 years, and your first two instructables both came out this week, and both featured! Looks like there's something to be said for following that learning curve :-)