Introduction: California Wine Rack

About: I make projects, they have names. Some are obscure and some straightforward. Form or Function; I go either way. Battery powered or edible, I love making things.

I needed a wine rack. Most of the ones on the market that I liked were too expensive. This idea was inspired by Scoochmaroo's String Art Map of California. My needs were to hold a case of wine, 12 bottles. I'll stock between 6-12 at any given time. So this was made for that purpose.

The borders that we call home have a special place in many peoples hearts. Try and find a Texan without one belonging that doesn't display the outline of that state. Please don't simply recreate this instructable, use the methodology to make something unique for you and the place you hold dear. Maybe you love French or Italian wines the most--Make that. South American wines are great too, create one so you can hold the bottles in the geographic region they were grown in.

Maybe you love bourbon! Do Kentucky and put a shelf in it to store your favorite brand. The possibilities are many; don't just DIY, Make It Your Own.

I love California, and their wines. So naturally my wood is oak--the type of wood wine is aged in--and this is the shape that I love.

Step 1: Design and Print Your Shape

I used free online software, Block Poster, to take a basic image of California and print it out on my inkjet printer in 8.5"x11" sheets. It required some taping together and lots of detailed cutting. The poster app will let you specify the size. I used 2'x4' wood, you could go larger or smaller.

Step 2: Trace and Cut

Because the cutting depth of my jigsaw is not capable of cutting the depth of wood used, I did this in two parts--a 2" bottom layer of MDF and a 1" top layer of red oak. These were cut separately;the MDF cuts like butter and the oak cuts like a brick. Next time I would use an 1/8" oak plywood on top of the MDF. The top veneer is all that'll be seen, save the hassle & money and just use a thin layer of pretty wood on top.

Step 3: Finishing the Oak

I started by sanding. Wanting an amazing natural texture, I then used a pre-stain wood conditioner and sanded some more. Because I mostly will store red wines, I chose a stain call cabernet. It seemed fitting for the application and the red would look good in the space I had chosen for this piece.

I applied several coats of stain with cheesecloth and followed the directions on the label.

Step 4: Attach the MDF to the Oak

I used 2-part epoxy and then went around the edges with a proper sized screw W/ washer from the back of the piece. These layers will never come apart.

Step 5: Jig for Hole Drilling

This was the most challenging part of this build. How do I drill holes the perfect size, consistent and correct angle and in a uniform manner? A drill press would be able to get some of the holes but not all. The reviews for drilling guides aren't very favorable. So I made my own for this specific purpose.

The shape was designed in TinkerCAD, printed on my Solidoodle and the inside was lined with pipe for durability. It worked really well for the first few cuts. After that, the plastic tore itself apart from torque. I continued to still use it though.

Step 6: Drill Bits??

The size I wanted for the neck of a wine bottle is 1.25". There are many types of drill bits. I tried a few different kinds out on scrap wood that had been cut off from the rest of the piece. The clear winner was a forstner bit. The auger bit was the worst, spade was ok at starting the hole but couldn't tear through the oak fast enough. I also tested my jig to make sure I had guessed the angle right, I did.

Step 7: Laying Out the Holes

I picked a center line and began evenly spacing out square cut-outs that matched my jig. I taped them down and drilled out the twelve holes.

Step 8: Cleaning the Holes & Painting the Sides

After drilling you have bright white holes in the deep red wood. A more skilled and experienced craftsman would have just stained and sanded after all the fabrication was done. I really enjoy finishing wood and it doesn't bother me doing it several times.

The MDF looked bad on the sides. I decided to paint it black using what I had on hand. Black acrylic gesso followed by a coat of black acrylic.

Step 9: Mounting and Math

The wood itself weighs about 50lbs. 12 bottles of wine is another 50lbs. Hanging something that is 100lbs isn't that concerning. What worried me about this project is the moment arm and the corresponding increase in weight as the bottles get further from the wall.

I didn't want to do the math to find the true load that I must support. I called it 300lbs and installed the proper hardware to handle it.

Step 10: Add Wine and Enjoy

I hope you have enjoyed this instructable. There would be many ways to make this wine rack. This was my way. It has been installed for 2 months now and is performing great and always a delight to see. It lives in my kitchen and has received compliments from anyone who sees it.

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest

Full Spectrum Laser Contest

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest