Cantilevered Glass Holder




Board games rock, but they come with problems. They often need a lot of table area and have many small pieces of paper or cardboard. This means that there is little room on the table to place a glass of wine, and if it is placed on the table then there is a risk of spillage ruining an expensive game.

The solution to this problem is a little bracket which slides onto the table-edge and holds a standard wine glass securely and conveniently. Simply by building this gizmo you _will_ win more games (as your opponents will be drinking wine).

This project took a grand total of forty-seven minutes from start to finish, including applying the varnish. Although the varnish took some time to dry afterwards, the piece works fine without a nice finish so the varnish is an optional extra.


Scrap thin plywood
Scrap wood of the same thickness as the tabletop
Drill and bit
2" (50mm) Holesaw
2 gutter bolts plus washers
varnish/stain (optional)

Step 1: Cut the Glass Holder

I was fortunate that I had some varnished ply offcuts from a previous cabinet project which had already been fitted with 2" (50mm) holes to fit loudspeakers as part of a test rig for a later radio project.

If your scrap bin is not so furnished, then take a piece of 1/4" ply (6mm) and cut a strip about 18" long by 3 1/2" wide (450mmx80mm).

Cut the large hole so that it finishes about one inch (25mm) from the end of the strip, then cut a slot leading into the circle about 3/4" (20mm) wide. Then cut small triangles from the corners of the ends to give a smoother look.

Cut the strip to about a foot long (300mm) and then cut the corners from the other end as well.

The final photograph shows the glass sitting quite nicely in the piece of ply.

Step 2: Add the Thickness Spacer

By happy chance, I had some scrap ply which was exactly half the thickness of the table top, and it was already a very thin strip. One way or another, layer up and cut down your scraps until you have a thin piece (say 1/2" (12mm) wide) as long as your plywood strip is wide and as thick as your table top.

I offered the strip up to the plywood holding the glass to work out how much room the bowl of the glass needed, and then marked that on the ply.

I took the thickness spacers, stacked them up and drilled through both at the same time.

Then I held them onto the plywood in the correct place and drilled through that.

The first photograph above shows the plywood plus the spacer held together with the bolts (just pushed through as a test-fit).

Step 3: Make the Upper Bracket

Making the upper bracket required me to cut the other hole from my piece, but if you cut the strip as discussed previously, then just take the 6" (150mm) left over from the strip you cut.

Offer the thickness spacer to the upper bracket, drill the clearance holes and fit the bolts.

Just spin on the nuts by hand and give a test of everything by sliding the bracket onto the table (my workmate is a bit thinner than the table, but that's fine for the test).

Step 4: Final Bolt Fitting and Assembly

With the bolts just finger-tight, use a hacksaw blade to mark the excess length.

Then mount the bolts in a temporary holder and saw them to the correct length.

With everything put together, fasten the bolts firmly.

Step 5: Finishing

I took the rough edges off things with some fairly coarse sandpaper and then applied a coat of stain and varnish using a brush. The large areas of the plywood had previously been given multiple coats with quite a fine finish, so the purpose here was really to just stain the edges of the ply and the sides of the spacer pieces to roughly the right colour.

The finish isn't great, but considering the whole thing took 47 minutes, it's good enough. Please note:- I took a photograph of my watch with the finished piece in the background, but sadly I forgot to take a picture of the watch and the materials at the start, so you'll just have to take my work on that.

Step 6: Mistakes and Improvements

I used this for the first time last night and got a hugely positive reaction from my fellow gamers. Everyone had a comment or suggestion.

First the sins:-
I misaligned the upper bracket compared to the lower holder. This is not apparent in use, but is rather obvious if the bracket is sitting on its own. It doesn't affect the function, but I should have noticed when I was making the piece.
The finish isn't great as it only got one coat with fairly coarse sanding.

And future improvements:-
There were suggestions that I put a small bowl/dice-box on the upper bracket (I thought that was a great idea).
Removing the corners from the on-table end of the upper bracket would give a nicer look.
Using brass bolts would have looked better, but I didn't have any. (I would recommend using through bolts on this joint rather than relying on glue as all of the stress in going into tension through the thickness spacer.)

In terms of praise-per-unit-effort, this project blows away everything else I have ever made. I am going to make some more, either for my use or as sets for gifts. If you've read this far, and like the idea, then please vote :-)



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    8 Discussions


    10 days ago

    The on-table end could also have a design on the top part, as long as it kept the structural integrity of the piece. Nice job. You got my vote!

    3 replies
    Alex in NZjeanniel1

    Reply 10 days ago

    Thank you very much for your comment. I had not thought of decorating the top part! If you were planning on using it for a specific board game, then you could even jigsaw a relevant shape onto each holder. Now to find an image of Professor Plum...

    Alex in NZjeanniel1

    Reply 9 days ago

    Nah. All my mates are ugly. I'm not putting them on the holder.
    Joking aside, that's a good idea. Using a jigsaw to cut an outline of their name and/or painting the letters would be another way to do it.


    16 days ago

    Fantastic! I play a lot of games too. For the most part, my crowd drinks beer, and so my first thoughts were how to make one that could hold beer bottles, cans, or wine. I think if the top piece went all the way and had a hole the right size for a bottle or can, it would also fit a wine glass. The bottom piece would have the slot, but not a big whole. This would allow the glass stem to fit, but would provide a base for resting the bottom of the bottles and cans. I might try it.

    Also, I think that having some kind of rubber or otherwise high-friction surface on the inside of the cantilevers would be nice to help reduce the chance of them sliding out.

    1 reply
    Alex in NZcube-convict

    Reply 16 days ago

    Having something like you describe to handle can as well as wine glasses would be a neat improvement. If you build it, please post it here.

    Regarding a high-friction surface, if you look in the second photograph in the introduction, (the one with everything laid out) you'll see a white rectangle to the left of the small pieces of scrap. I bought an eraser to use as an anti-slip anchor, but ended up not using (or needing) it. The important thing is to have the spacing piece _exactly_ the same thickness as your table top, and having a reasonable length of bracket extending underneath the table.

    Good luck with your making (and your games).

    Alex in NZchristian.harmse.7

    Reply 17 days ago

    Thank you! I am definitely going to make more with slightly higher quality, but I was amazed at how much value I got from this one.