Introduction: Cable Reel Wine Rack + Speaker

This instructable is entered in the plywood competition, if you like it, please vote for it and i will be very grateful :) thanks in advance

First off, I am aware that i didnt invent this idea, it has been done many times before, and i am also aware there are some like this already on instructables.

They are what inspired me to do mine and so i take no credit for the idea of this project.

Secondly, I apologise for the lack of pictures illustrating each step of the project, as i did it back in october and have since changed phones, the only images i can muster are the ones i had put on facebook.

I will do my best to describe the steps in a way in which a picture isnt necessary, and do some 'johnny age 5' sketches if it helps.

Step 1: Step 1 - Tools and Materials

Materials i used (not all are required)

  1. Cable reel
  2. Braided cord (not essential but i wanted to cover the centre piece)
  3. Sand paper
  4. Wood stain (i opted for light oak as i had some lying around in my man cave)
  5. Wood varnish (polyurethane varnish, again because i already had some)
  6. Speakers (not essential but i wanted to make it a bit unique, and had some old usb powered speakers left i used to use with my laptop)
  7. Ice bucket (i couldnt find an ice bucket the size i needed but i found a small galvanised bucket that was part of a chilli growing set for £3 so i got my bucket and planted some chillies :) happy days)
  8. PVA glue (only needed if you intend to wrap the centre core with braid like i did)
  9. Sponge (for use with wood stain)

Tools i used (not all required)

  1. Jigsaw
  2. Drill
  3. Hole saw accessories for the drill (not needed, you can cut the holes with the jigsaw but if you have a hole saw, you might aswell use it)
  4. Pyrography pen (not required but mine was to be a gift for an anniversary so i thought i would try out my new toy and make the gift a bit more personalised)
  5. Screwdriver (if you are planning on fixing speakers to the core like i have)

Step 2: Step 2 - Aquire a Cable Reel

I was lucky as i was working on a building site that was in the final stages, and found 4 cable reels in the skip as i was dumping some rubbish, so i took them all home.

I selected the one i was going to use for this project as it was big enough to fit 6 glasses around the top, and small enough to not weigh a tonne.

Step 3: Step 3 - Do a Rough Design

Draw a rough sketch of what you want the finished project to look like.

(excuse the awful picture quality, that is why i changed my phone recently)

Step 4: Step 4 - Mark Out the Cuts, and Start Cutting.

I used a bottle cap that had a bigger circumfrence to the neck of the wine glass to mark out 6 circles.

(for ease of measuring ect i just did them in line with the 6 existing metal rings on the top of the cable reel.

I changed my mind on having straight cuts from the holes to the edge as i thought there would be more chance of the glasses falling out when carrying it. So i instead put a slight curve on the cut (as shown in the pictures)

I also needed to mark out a large hole in the centre of the cable reel that would allow me to put in an ice bucket.

for this i drew around the top of the bucket, and then drew a fresh line approximately 1cm on the inside of that one (so the bucket would sit in the hole and not fall straight through)

The Last of the markings would be the holes to fit the speakers in, again i was lucky as one of my holesaw bits was the exact dimensions i needed to fit the speaker in.


(gloves, glasses, all that good stuff yeah?.....)

I used the hole saw to cut all the small holes, and the jigsaw to cut out the big hole for the ice bucket, and the little guides for the wine glasses.

At this stage i also attached the speakers to the centre core of the cable reel, and stuffed the cables inside for now.

Step 5: Step 5 - Sanding

Sand down the edges of all the cuts, and if your cable reel is as scuffed and battered as mine was, you might want to sand down the full thing.

I started off with 40 grit sand paper to remove all the worst bits, and worked my way up to 80, 120, 150, and 240. (probably all not required but i had them lying around so i used them)

Not much else to say on this step, its fairly obvious, get scrubbing :)

Step 6: Step 6 - Staining

Remember to give the tin a good shaking before you pour any out if you are using a tin that has been sat in your shed for years like mine had.

I poured about 200ml of stain into an old plastic food bowl, and used a washing up sponge to apply a light coating of the stain all over the cable reel.

As i was applying it i used a second dry sponge to remove any relatively wet patches so i could achieve an even coverage.

Once finished i left it to dry for a few hours and decided to stick another coat on as it looked like it needed to go darker to match furniture at the house of the couple i was making it for.

Step 7: Step 7 - Pyrography (optional)

Maybe this step should have been before wood staining, im not sure. the reason i did it at this stage is i kept changing my mind as to whether i was going to do it at all, as i wasn't sure i would finish it on time. but in the end i just went for it.

As this was a gift for an anniversary i wanted to make it a bit more custom, and meaningful... Nah, i just wanted to test out a pyrography pen i recieved as a present :)

I had never used one before, nor did i even know which tip to use, so i just risked it and went with the tip that looked the closest to a pencil tip.

I lightly sketched on some grapes and grape vines, leaves, a bit of something to make it look more unique.

Then using my Pyrography pen i just burned over the outline, and then tested my shading skills on the grapes and the leaves. (not the best pyrography you'l have ever seen, but not bad for my first attempt)

If you are interested in pyrography there are already some pretty detailed and helpful instructables on here.

Step 8: Step 8 - Varnish

Remember not to varnish the centre piece as this will be getting covered in braid/rope

Im no expert when it comes to varnishing wood and what each varnish will achieve for you, but i did have some exterior wood varnish that i thought would do the job as if anything it will make it less likely to be ruined by a little spillage.

Again i used a sponge for this, as i wanted to be able to get an even spread without leaving loads of brush strokes to sand out. (not sure if a sponge is the best tool for this job, but it worked for me)

Once applied, i left it to dry for a day, then give it a very light sanding with 240 grit paper and barely any pressure at all, just to remove any drips and runs.

then i applied another light coat and left to dry again for another day.

(this process could have been repeated multiple times as many other instructables have demonstrated but i simply didnt have much time left as the anniversary was fast approaching.

Step 9: Step 9 - Wrapping the Centre Core

I wanted to wrap the centre to cover the speakers and also make it look less like a cable reel i had found in a skip. And to be fair, for the sake of the £5 i paid for the braid, i have to say it was worth it.

There are probably better ways of fixing this on neatly, but as i had some EVO-stick exterior wood glue (fast setting) i litterally just brushed it around the whole of the centre core and wrapped the braid around as tight as i could to each other so you couldnt see through the gaps in them.

Step 10: Step 10 - Recieve Brownie Points From the In-laws :)

In case you are wondering how the speakers work, i bought them a 50,000 mah portable ipod/tablet charger, (to power the usb speakers and also charge your phone if needed) and the aux lead into your phone to play music.

Next time i will dismantle a bluetooth speaker with a built in battery as its a bit annoying having the wires.

Thankyou very much for looking at my first instructable,

Again i apologise for the lack of pictures, i will be sure to take more on whatever the next project is :)

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Before and After Contest 2016

Plywood Contest

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