In this tutorial I’ll be making three redwood wine box displays. Two will be 12” x 12” x 3”, the other will be 10” x 10” x 2 1/4”. These are the two most common sizes I make, the 12” square box will hold ~125 wine corks, where as the 10” version will hold ~80. It doesn’t look like that many will fit in there, but I promise you they will.
Before we begin, I want to mention that these tutorials will be available on my photography site with larger images. Please follow this link if you are interested: Large Tutorial on Smugmug
I begin by selecting my stock from some Home Depot redwood. The boards are usually 8” long and 5/8” thick. The widths vary from 2 1/4” to 6” with a 1/8” round over on the edges. Most of the time I leave the round over on the 10” boxes, on the larger stock I trim them off.
Once I cut my stock to length and rip to the desired width I setup my tablesaw to make 45 degrees bevel cuts. I add a fence to my miter saw and find a clamp and stock block. You can see my stock to the right of my fence just waiting to be cut.
Before I begin cutting, I mark my boards with a red pencil to indicate the top of each piece. I then make my cuts playing the top down to the left of the blade a cut a small piece off the end. I then flip the board over, top up, slide it against the stop block and make the final cut. I sit the piece I just cut off to the side then I flip the board back over, top down, and trim off just enough to get rid of the previous bevel cut. After that I flip the board back over, slide it against the stop block again the make the cut. Repeat until you have four sides.
Here you can see all four sides. At this time I usually number the boards in the order they where cut, and place an arrow indicating which edge will be the front. I also mark which board I want to be the top.
I almost always use either board #2 or #3 so the grain warps around the edges of the top.
I take the boards that will become the top and mark the center of each. I then clamp them to the bench with a sacrificial board beneath them and use a 1 1/4” spade bit to drill a hole in the center of the board. This will be were the corks go in. I’m sure a drill press and better bits would make this much easier.
The next step is to rout the inside of the hole to make make it look smoother. I do this at the router table with 1/2” round over bit and the fence removed. I lower the piece on the bit and rout in a clockwise direction until I have rounded over the entire hole. This can be dangerous process if you’ve never done it before, so be careful and have a firm grip on the the piece as you lower it. Thankfully a 1 1/4” hole with 1/2” round over bit you can lower the board on without the bit touching the wood.
Now it’s time to cut the dado for the glass and rout a rabbit for the back. I cut a 1/8” dado on the table saw by setting the blade to make a 3/16” cut 1/4” from the fence. I make sure the top of the piece is up and the arrow pointing towards the front edge is also pointing towards the fence.
If you’re like me and use a thin kerf blade, you may need to adjust your fence just slightly in order to get a 1/8” dado. Practice on a scrap first.
After the dado is cut in the bottom of each piece. I head to the router table to cut a rabbit 5/8” deep by 1/4” tall. I use a rabbiting bit for this, but I’ve also done it in with the tablesaw.
The final step is to measure the dado so you know what size glass to get. The easiest way I have found is to place a thin ruler in the dado, place the 1” mark at the bottom left most edge of the dado, then take a reading from the other side and subtract 1”. Don’t forget to subtract that inch!
A note on that glass. I prefer glass because it’s easier to clean up after the finishing. I used plastic on the my first one and it was a disaster. I’m also fortunate enough to know a place that is friendly, fast, and dirt cheap to get my glass from. My last order was for 14 pieces of glass ranging from 9” square to 11” square and it cost me less that $30 and was ready in a couple days.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to make your own. Next time I’ll cover cutting the plywood back and assembly.
Comments and feedback our always welcome! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thanks.