Intro: Rail Road Spike Wine Rack
I was walking through my local salvage yard and came upon a bucket full of rail road spikes. I knew there was a use for them in some sort of reclaimed project but I didn't have one in mind at the time. After purchasing 16 spikes I went home and looked around the shop for ideas. I had a bunch of short pieces of wood I found from a pallet while walking my dog and then I had the idea: a wall mounted wine rack. The wood would serve as the backer and the spikes would be the bottle holders. So the project began.
Here are the videos that I made of the process. Go easy, I made these early in my YouTube video making career.
Step 1: Start With the Panel
Choose the boards that look the best. You can keep the boards with defects and knots as long as they don't pose a structural issue in the wood. If you do choose knots in your piece, place them within the panel.
Step 2: Remove the Metal
Chances are if you are using pallet wood or any other type of reclaimed material you will encounter nails, staples, screws, bullets, etc...just be sure to remove them as to not ruin your tool blades. I like to use some sort of wood or metal bar to pry off as a fulcrum as to not further dent the wood when pulling nails or staples. I use vice grips to back out screws.
Step 3: Clean Up the Surface
I use a nylon bristle brush to clean the surface dust and dirt so it doesn't get messy during the finish process.
Step 4: Joint the Edges
The edges that are being glued together need to be clean of dirt and flat for the glue to work. To do that, I fold the board together so the adjoining edges are face up. Then I place the two boards in a vice and plane the surfaces until the wood is clean. This ensures the joint is flat and the edges parallel when the boards are laying flat for the glue up.
Step 5: Glue the Panel
I chose to use Old Brown Glue as it is easy clean up. Any wood glue will work here though. Just squeeze a bead down the length of the joint on one board, rub the joint together to smear the glue and remove air, and apply light clamping pressure. The rubbing is really good enough but I like to add clamps just to be certain there is a good bond.
Step 6: Wipe on the Finish
For reclaimed projects I like to use Polyacrylic finishes. These are water based and don't make the wood look too shiny. The point of rustic wood is to look weathered. Water finishes achieve that and are easy to apply. Just brush it on and let it dry.
Step 7: Prepare the Rail Road Spikes
Choose how many bottles you want to display and then use two spikes per bottle (number of bottles x 2 = number of spikes). Measure the length of the spike to the appropriate size for the bottles you plan to hold. Then cut the spikes with an angle grinder and a metal cutoff disc, chop saw, or band saw. Check the cut to make sure it is flat and as square to the faces of the spike as possible.
Step 8: Mark, Drill, Tap, and Test
Use a center punch to mark a location for the hole to be drilled in the center of the rail road spike.
Slowly drill the hole about 1/2" - 5/8" deep adding oil to aid in the cutting.
Use a taper tap to start the thread cutting in the spike and finish with a bottom tap. I used a 1/4"-20 tap for mine so the hole was fit to be appropriate for that set of taps. Here is the drill bit, tap handle, and tap set I used.
When the threads are cut then test the fit with the bold you are using.
Step 9: Mark and Drill Holes for the Spikes
Use a square to mark the locations for the spikes in the panel.
Drill a very small pilot hole to show where the counter sinks will be on the back side.
Flip the panel over and bore a shallow hole with a forstner bit to allow the bolt and washer to sit just below the surface of the back.
Drill a through hole slightly bigger than the bolt so when it is tightened to the spike it will pull the spike into the panel.
Drive the bolt through the hole.
Step 10: Place the Spikes
Thread the spikes onto the bolts. Use a reference surface, such as a table top, to keep the spikes flat when tightening the bolts with a driver. Be sure the tall lip of the spike head is facing up to keep the bottles from potentially rolling off.
Step 11: Test the Rack
For the hardware to hang the rack I used two picture hanger with loops to hang on to screws in the wall studs. You can do that or just screw it directly into the wall studs.
Place your wine bottles and enjoy the new rustic look in your kitchen, man cave, or bar.
Thanks for viewing.
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