Wine Presentation Box

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Project by EPJartisan posted 10-14-2010 05:47 PM 5003 views 31 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got a commission from my horrible website (at least it got me some business, lol) for a wine bottle presentation box as a thank you gift to the client’s boss. I warned him that I am more of a sculptor and get lost in projects. He gave me free reign and no price limit, no time limit, so when time opened up I engaged this project and gave an estimate and rough drawings.

I am obsessed with trees and their interesting factoids. Hickory is a great stable wood, but one with an attitude. I made the box and all wood components out of remnants of hickory flooring. Being a wine freak myself, I have been dreaming of making lamps out of broken wine bottles and layered wood…. so this was a great opportunity to try out both. The 2 hardest things about hickory is it moves around a lot until stable with it’s new thickness and shape, so a lot of waiting between cuts…. and the grain is horrible for tear-out… of course I use the most figured boards, so I expected it. The last picture is my double sided chalk board I made for planning out projects.. 4ft x 6ft… Hard board on a pine frame… chalk board spray painted… it spins 360 on bearings.. and the back side is a dry erase board.

Simple box joints and picture frame with four 1/8” layers of hickory that was more than a pain to get that thin without tear-out. The tree branches and root are reminiscent of hickory trees. I broke over a hundred wine bottles of green colors, chipped, ground, and foiled to look like Hickory leaves. I decided to make the interior dimensions equal, so the bottle dividers can be turned to use as a display shelf for nick-nacks. (I love multifunction design) So I picked out the best sap/heart wood for the backing. Using the heartwood to seem like clouds.

The client could not believe his eyes, he was happily shocked at my price. He gave me two bottles of excellent wine as a thank you. I have not heard yet, but his wife wanted to keep the box for herself.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

27 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3297 days

#1 posted 10-14-2010 06:02 PM

glad your client liked it…..hickory is a pretty wood…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3167 days

#2 posted 10-14-2010 06:09 PM

Beautiful job.

This client should give you half of … the raise that … he’s inevitably going to get, for giving this to his boss ;-)

So … hickory will move that quickly … right as you’re working with it ??? Never knew that.

-- -- Neil

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3119 days

#3 posted 10-14-2010 06:22 PM

The movement was really noticeable the thinner the boards got, every board I cut thinner warped instantly. I researched a not only working hickory, but went to several of my favorite resources on-line and in-library. Hickory has a lot of closed cell structures in the early grain that hold moisture for a very long time. and as I cut the wood, it heats up and warps a bit. I have a theory that all nut trees do this, which is why the parenchyma cells are so large and yet they prefer soils that drain well. Anyway.. I let the boards sit for a hour or so between cuts. I could watch them bend one way.. then bend the other.. then back again.. then stabilize so I could flatten it and cut it thinner again.

The final 3/16 dividers took two days, but they are stable and flat, and finished like a dream. in a nut shell had I been working with maple or cherry it would have taken me 1/3 the time to finish this piece.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3167 days

#4 posted 10-14-2010 06:26 PM

Fascinating. Thanks for that.

Last week, I was browsing an old issue of FWW. They were explaining just how difficult the wood of fruit trees is to work with. Sounded like some of the same issues.

While it surely seems like one of the earlier steps in learning woodworking SHOULD be to learn about grain, movement, species, etc., ... I seem to be putting it off for as long as I can. I’ll surely learn the hard way :-)

-- -- Neil

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#5 posted 10-14-2010 06:33 PM

That is a beautiful box and I can see why your client was pleased. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2826 days

#6 posted 10-14-2010 06:47 PM

  • big fan of the mulitifunction design *

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3521 days

#7 posted 10-14-2010 06:55 PM

Really cool!! Love the multifunction design too! Great all around job, very artistic, unique and beautifully done. Super!!!!!!!!!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 10-14-2010 07:12 PM

What a wonderful box.
The pictures are great.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4086 days

#9 posted 10-14-2010 08:04 PM

Stunning box! The design, attention to detail and layering of the wood is terrific. Great idea about using it as a display case also. Love seeing pieces like this. Thanks for the post!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2832 days

#10 posted 10-14-2010 08:10 PM

The foiled glass takes this project above and beyond. Excellent and beautiful craftsmanship. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3085 days

#11 posted 10-14-2010 08:24 PM

that is really awesome! I’m glad they liked it – i love the layering of wood to get that 3D effect

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Art2010's profile


12 posts in 2779 days

#12 posted 10-14-2010 08:42 PM

Beautiful design and exceptional craftmanship. Be careful…They’ll be looking for a custom wine rack next.

-- No dear, I didn't buy a new tool. It was a gift.

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3029 days

#13 posted 10-14-2010 10:39 PM

Uh,...WOW! Really NICE!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3792 days

#14 posted 10-14-2010 11:15 PM

Slicker than snot on a doorknob! Schweeeeet!


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3083 days

#15 posted 10-15-2010 01:35 AM

Beautiful, and it is a chance to take a walk in the forest before a wonderful bottle of wine.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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