My lady deserves better.
At least that’s what I told myself when I rationalized what was taking me so long to tackle something as straightforward as a wine-glass rack. First it was, “I want more practice dovetailing,” then it was “I need to come up with a cooler design,” and then…oh well you know the lemming march of excuses.
We had outgrown our little prefab rack. Eight glasses just don’t cut it in this wine-drinking household.
And the vibration from our furnace had a bad habit of rattling glasses clean off the metal rails to shatter on the buffet beneath. That’s what the makeshift cork “stopper” was for in the pic below.
Two glasses gave their lives before we started to look around at rack designs. Last winter (it’s fall now) we saw one in a wine store. It showed promise. That rack led to a half-sized mockup, which I dubbed—Prototype No. 1. Isn’t that cheapo pine attractive?
Sigh I wasn’t satisfied. It looked rickety and frankly was about as pleasing to the eye as coagulated ice cream on a picnic table.
But, since we’re not talking about inventing the light bulb, and since I’m no Einstein, it was time to move off the dime and get something affixed to the wall. No doubt, Gail was thinking that I just wasn’t interested, “It’s only a wine rack, why can’t you just finish it?” I can hear her saying in the secret recesses of her mind.
It was time to put pencil to paper and flesh out the dimensions.
What should the basic wine-glass rack dimensions be?
To that point, my lady had shared one measurement—the length to match the honey-stained buffet it will rest above. That’s’ 64”.
Something that long needed to be strong. We have a lot of glasses, around 30. So my design had to be sturdy enough to prevent the sweet serenade of breaking glass at 1:00 a.m. The strength consideration alone caused me to abandon Prototype No. 1.
By the way, calling out the demise of Prototype No. 1 is referred to in the movies as “foreshadowing”…a hint that Prototype No. 2 is coming into the picture. It would help me answer other questions. Such as, how deep should the shelf be? I didn’t want to guess and end up with retaining slats that were perfect for holding 3 ½ glasses. Either go three-deep or four darn it.
Other questions loomed.
How should the glass retaining slats be shaped? Slanted at 45 degrees or straight across in rabbet fashion?
How deep should the rabbets be to allow glasses to be smoothly seated? How far apart should the slat edges be from each other? Too far apart and a glass might work itself out. Too close together and some glasses wouldn’t fit. You can see the Goldilocks conundrum that kept me up till all hours watching Gretta Van Sustern reruns.
And then, how could I affix the slats to the top shelf (another “need to have” so that we could stack useful things like tequila bottles and decanters)? Sure I could bolt those puppies on but they wouldn’t be pretty. And if I used 1.25” screws, would that be enough to secure the pieces when they were loaded with the family crystal?
Finally, there were a couple of other items to work out. How should all the parts be joined? And second, what design details could I add to enhance the visual interest of the rack?
The answers to these questions—and more—are the subject of the next post.
-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."