Zin Zen Wine Bar

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Project by bfd posted 12-24-2007 05:36 AM 4399 views 43 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is one of the most challenging pieces I have done to date. It combines two of my passions, wine and woodworking. I did this to sell with no particular client in mind. Hand-cut mortise and tenon joints and dovetails on drawer. The case is maple with a walnut back panel, legs and doors. Top is qtr cut ash veneer.


I think that this project would be a good submission for the Winter 2010 yin yang contest. I decided to use three different woods for this project; Walnut, Maple and Ash. The three species were chosen for not only for their visual interest but also as a metaphor for the varietals of wine. As wine comes in so many varietals I felt it apropos to use more than one species of wood. No one species of wood alone could do this piece justice. After all, selecting only one wood to work with is akin to selecting only one wine to drink. A literal interpretation of the wood colors (dark & light) could also be made to red and white wines. Less literal but also a yin/yang juxtaposition is the marriage of old and modern techniques/material. I used hardwood ply with solid wood. Traditional hand-cut dovetails and hand-cut mortise and tenons with modern hardware. As with woodworking there is great debate in the wine world over old world vs. new world, Traditional vs. modern, French vs. California etc in the end it is all good and one cannot exist with out the other…yin yang.

24 comments so far

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 12-24-2007 05:41 AM

Love it. Specially the top and the through mortises, they really stand out with a bit of panache’.
Great job on the dovetails!

-- Still learning everything

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3870 days

#2 posted 12-24-2007 11:53 AM

Very elegant. Did you turn the stopper, too?

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3978 days

#3 posted 12-24-2007 04:00 PM

wine and woodworking, not at the same time but two very enjoyable things to combine. Very nice.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View jpk's profile


4 posts in 3868 days

#4 posted 12-24-2007 05:26 PM

Looks very nice. It looks like you also have ample room for wine paraphernalia too.
Is the wine holding lattice made of plywood?

-- -Justin, New Hope, MN

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3803 days

#5 posted 12-24-2007 06:50 PM

I wish I could take credit for the wine stopper too but it was a gift turned from wenge. The center section was made of solid maple.

View Kaleo's profile


201 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 12-25-2007 12:52 AM

I really like this piece. I love the simplicity of the design, very elegant and beautiful. Very nice work

-- Kaleo ,

View Krisztian's profile


89 posts in 3895 days

#7 posted 12-25-2007 04:55 AM

Cool design,nice hand cut joints.

-- Krisztian VA My website:

View EternalDesign's profile


237 posts in 3991 days

#8 posted 12-27-2007 09:19 PM

looks great man. how does it feel with the sides cantilevered that far out from the legs? Very nice design.

-- Brian, Eternal Furniture & Design

View jpw1995's profile


376 posts in 4294 days

#9 posted 12-27-2007 09:27 PM

And it looks like there’s plenty of room on the left side for a box of wine! Wonderful piece.

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3803 days

#10 posted 12-28-2007 04:56 AM


Thanks. Surprisingly it is very stable even with the sides of the case cantilevered out almost 18”.

View tomfidgen's profile


38 posts in 3735 days

#11 posted 03-01-2008 02:15 AM


-- tom fidgen,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#12 posted 03-22-2008 01:43 PM


I am sorry that I missed this one when it was first posted but glad that it came back up on my list. Your wood combination works well on this project. The joinery is excellent and I like the separation of the top from the case. It adds a unique detail to the piece.

What type of finish did you put on it?

By the way I like the manner in which you showcased this piece for photography purposes as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3803 days

#13 posted 03-22-2008 05:09 PM

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the kind words. For the finish I used Varathane water-based clear satin polyurathane. I try to be as environmentally friendly with the finishes I use so, I like to use water based finishes. Working with the light ash and maple it is also is a very clear finish which doesn’t add any amber cast to the wood. I prefinished all the pieces prior to assembly.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4073 days

#14 posted 05-11-2008 06:41 PM

wow…i have now seen all your work…and I think this one is my favorite…as a resident of NAPA for the last 8 years i have been wanting to build a wine rack…but this makes me think much bigger…very cool…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3803 days

#15 posted 05-12-2008 03:51 PM

Thanks Napaman,

This project to date is my favorite as well. Although I did it to sell I am not that quick to part with it.

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