Introduction: Wine & Liquor Storage Out of a Firewood Rack!
If you enjoy adult beverages, variety is truly the spice of life. But storing so many different wines and spirits can be challenging…and look a bit messy. I’ve had a nook in my kitchen cabinets for ages that has been crying out for a wine rack, but I never found one that I liked.
However, my dream of storing wine and liquor in something stylish yet functional became a reality with the this truly unique storage shelf—made out of the most unexpected of things: a firewood rack.
Best of all, we added wheels and a handle for the rare occasion that we want to bring it out of the kitchen. Dream way exceeded. ;)
Miter saw or Hand Saw
Circular saw or Hand Saw
Threaded metal rod
Aluminum angle rod
Ball caster wheels
Decorative corner pieces
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Step 1: Watch the Video
It’s not every day that someone says “hey - let’s combine a firewood rack and a wine rack to make some shelves,” so let’s just say that there was a lot to figure out on this one. In this video, we walk you through all the steps and show you a few things to not do…as well as which tools made the job a breeze.
Step 2: Find a Firewood Rack and Wine Rack You Like
The key to keeping the pain out of this project is starting with the right base materials. From trial and error, we can tell you the following:
- Look for a firewood holder with some pizazz. This will form the frame for the shelves, so make sure it sets the tone for the aesthetic you want to achieve.
- Look for a rack with really good bones—and preferably one that is square in its shape. Ultimately, one of the shelves (either the top or bottom) will need to be attached to the rack, so keep that in mind.
Step 3: Make Needed Adjustments to Firewood Rack
The firewood rack we used had two sets of connector bars—one at the bottom and another at the top. With the height of the liquor bottles and size of the wine rack, we knew we’d need to lower the bottom bars and raise the top ones.
1. Use a power drill with titanium bits to drill out the holes for the bottom set of bars. This will leave extra holes in the rack, but we show you how we covered those in the last section on "details."
2. Use a metal file to clean up any sharp edges.
Note: We held off on making the new holes for the bars that we would attach the wine rack to, as we wanted the bottom shelf in place and new wine rack assembled before we determined the placement of the upper bars.
We also wanted to make the rack a tiny bit wider on the bottom, as the curves of the firewood rack frame made us lose some usable depth. If you need to do this:
1. Cut two lengths of threaded rod to replace the original cross bars in the firewood rack on the bottom. An oscillating multi tool made quick work of getting through those rods.
2. Attach the bars using acorn nuts on the front.
Note: You should do this now so you can continually check the height and width of other items throughout the build.
Optional: Drill holes in feet of firewood rack for wheels.
Step 4: Make Needed Adjustments to Wine Rack
While we loved the overall shape of the wine rack we chose to work with, we wanted to change out the diamond (i.e. square) wood dowels for round ones to keep with the curvy aesthetic of the firewood rack.
1. Disassemble the wine rack gently, being sure to not bend or scare the parts you want to reuse.
2. Cut new dowels to your desired size. We used round dowels for the bottom two rows and quarter rounds for the top so we wouldn’t have to attach the top shelf to round dowels.
Note: we chose to stick with the original depth of the rack, as that worked best for holding the wine bottles.
3. Make crosscuts on one end of the dowels, ensuring that you have exact 90 degree angles.
Note: We built a special jig and used an oscillating multi tool for this part. See 3:50 in the video for how we made that.
4. Sand dowels gently, including inside the crosscuts (there will be a lot of saw dust stuck inside of them).
5. Stain the dowels in the color of your choosing.
Note: Placing a brad nail in the cross cuts makes it easy to turn them and keep the stain off your fingers.
6. If your stain doesn’t include poly, add a layer of poly on top to protect the wood from pulling the wine bottles in and out.
7. If desired, paint the metal frame. Remember to use a primer if spray painting metal.
8. Re-assemble the wine rack.
Note: in ours, we left off the two corner slots on the bottom row so we wouldn’t interfere with the curls on top of the firewood rack.
Step 5: Cut, Sand, and Stain Wood for Shelves
A power saw makes quick work of cutting the shelves, but you can hand saw it (or potentially have the wood cut at your local hardware store—the Home Depots and Lowes’ near us offer this service.)
1. Measure the width of the wine rack and the fireplace holder. The wider of the two will give you the size that your top shelf should be.
Note: The width of your bottom shelf is a personal design decision.
2. Use a miter saw to cut the wood to size.
3. Cut the depth of the bottom shelf with a circular saw to make it fit inside the rack (this one will be less deep than the top shelf by design).
4. Sand with increasing grits of sandpaper. We started with 100 and moved up to 220. A random orbital sander makes this part go faster for the tops and bottoms. We hand sanded the edges.
5. Stain the shelves in the color of your choosing.
6. If your stain doesn’t include poly, add a layer of poly on top to protect the wood.
Step 6: Attach Top Shelf to Wine Rack
As the top of our wine rack was bare metal at this point, a few more steps were needed to attach the shelf to it.
1. Place the wine rack in the center of the underside of the shelf.
2. Use a power drill to drive screws through the wine rack’s top rails.
Note: We used an aluminum angle to form the connecting plate on the back side of the wine rack.
3. Pre-drill the quarter round pieces and hand screw into place.
4. Screw quarter rounds into the bottom of the top shelf.
Step 7: Make and Attach a Handle (optional)
1. Cut a dowel to the length you want your handle to be.
2. Sand and stain dowel, matching the stain you used on the other wood pieces.
3. Attach corner brackets on one side of the shelf (or both - your call).
4. Press the dowel into the brackets to mark the slots you need to cut.
5. Use the oscillating multi tool to cut small slits in the dowel.
6. Attach handle with E6000 and let cure overnight.
Step 8: Adjust Top Bars on Firewood Rack
This is the point in the build where we determined how high we needed to move the top bars in the firewood rack.
1. Place the bottom shelf, unattached, into the rack.
2. Hold the wine rack in place and use your tallest typical liquor bottle to determine how much clearance you need.
3. Mark where the top bars need to move on the wine rack.
4. Disassemble firewood rack and drill new holes for the top bars.
5. Drill holes in the top bars for attaching the wine rack in a few steps.
6. Reassemble firewood rack.
Step 9: Attach Bottom Shelf to Firewood Rack
You’ll want to do this now to ensure that your wine rack will allow enough room for the liquor bottles.
1. Attach the bottom shelf directly to the rods/bars on the bottom of the firewood rack.
Note: as there were no brackets that fit our threaded dowels, we made our own out of spare metal that we bent to the correct shape and pre-drilled.
2. Screw brackets over the bars and into the wood.
Step 10: Attach Wine Rack to Firewood Rack
Now it all comes together!
1. Place the wine rack on the top bars.
2. Drive a screw through the top bars and into the dowels. We used two screws on each side.
3. Ensure the rack is secure before proceeding.
Step 11: Add Wheels
This is optional, but we really wanted the shelves to be mobile.
1. Trim the stems on the ball casters using the oscillating multi tool.
2. Insert wheels and tighten bolts completely.
Step 12: Don’t Forget the Details!
The details on this will be the difference between an awkward mashup and a polished result. We added the following details, which really made a difference:
- Decorative corners on the wood
- Gold metallic accents (in copper wire, gold wheels, gold screws and spray painted acorn bolts)
- Changed out the square dowels to round to keep with the curves.
- Matched stain to living space
Step 13: Enjoy!
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