The Wine Rack #4: First steps: Board prep and cutout templates

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Blog entry by Todd Clare posted 05-07-2010 05:10 PM 3720 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Design finalized... off to the lumber store Part 4 of The Wine Rack series Part 5: Blanks for each piece are cut »

I had a lot of work, home stuff, and travel to distract me from the project recently, but after discovering my neighbor in the house behind was a woodworker and also a lumberjock, I was inspired to do some work last night.

I figured out my cutting plan, and cut the board to the rough chunks that I’ll rip into individual pieces hopefully tonight or during the weekend. If my measurements are correct, I should be able to eliminate the sapwood with some creative layout of the parts.

I also hit the boards with the orbital sander—I wanted 1/2” stock, and bought the board S3S, but of course there were still mill marks and rough spots from the milling. Did a 60/80/120 progression and they came out nice and smooth. I didn’t measure if they really ended up 1/2” or (likely) a little more, but the only place that really matters is where the through tenons extend proud of the legs, and I have some extra length built into the layout and will dry fit and trim them once it’s all said and done.

I DID discover that my vacuum hose does NOT fit into the adapter of my sander—the hose end is tapered down to fit into the extensions of the vacuum, and it ends up the same size as the sander interface it’s supposed to attach to. I’m suspecting there’s some kind of hose adapter, but need to check that. So the workshop is covered in dust, and the overhead air cleaner was nice and full this morning. Ahhhh for a real dust collector :)

Second part of the effort was figuring out the cutouts that will support the bottles. I thought of (and got input for) a variety of techniques, including holes saws, forstner bits, hand cutting, etc. I think for the small (bottle neck) racks I can use a 1 1/4” forstner, but the back holes (3 1/2”) were the issue I was trying to solve. Ended up laying out an MDF template that I’ll use with a flush trim router bit. As you can see from the cutoff, I used my circle cutting jig on the bandsaw and cut more than a semicircle, then trimmed off the excess on the tablesaw.

Should be able to put that on the stock, trace the line, rough cut on the bandsaw, and then smooth it up on the router table. Repeat x9.

Next step: rough cutting the boards into the individual parts, and creation of a similar flush-trim template for the curved sides rails.

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

5 comments so far

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3047 days

#1 posted 05-07-2010 06:25 PM

Glad to see you have gotten this project under the knife… err, blade! I am anxious to see your progress along the way and, of course, the finished project.

Let me know if I can help in any way. Even if it’s just bringing over some bottles of wine to test-fit! ;)

I think your choice to go with 3.5-inch wide slots in the back is a wise one. That will accomodate most any normal-sized bottle of wine, including sparkling wine/Champagne bottles. There are a few awkwardly-sized ones out there, but this should cover about 99+% of all the 750ml-sized wine bottles out there. I guess the ones that don’t fit will just have to be consumed right away.

Not sure if you have digital calipers or not, but if you need to borrow mine, feel free. I just picked it up about a month ago, and probably couldn’t live without it now. I use it constantly as it makes life a LOT easier, not to mention, everything more accurate.

I like your template idea above. Rather than going and buying another tool, you’re using what you’ve got. (Although it would be a good excuse to go and buy another tool). I guess it depends on if you’re planning on building any other wine racks of a similar nature?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Todd Clare's profile

Todd Clare

67 posts in 2981 days

#2 posted 05-07-2010 08:58 PM

I got some digital calipers, a dial indicator, and a Wixey digital angle gauge and they have changed my life :) (and the accuracy of my tools) Love them.

Yep, besides measuring what we normally drink (pinot noir, malbec) which are a little beefier, I ended up here which was a really helpful reference. I took the template around last night to what we have in the house and everything fit except one bottle of prosecco, but it’s a really weird bottle and not something we usually have A neighbor with digitial calipers who works in a wine shop is a close second tho ;)

Do you happen to have a 1 1/2” forstner? That is one thing I don’t have (I’ve got up to 1”) that I could use for the neck rack cutouts?? If not, I guess I can go buy one :)

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3047 days

#3 posted 05-07-2010 09:20 PM


I do have a 1-1/2” forstner bit.

I also have sizes close to that, if you want to go a touch smaller or larger, depending on where you want the neck of the bottle to sit, based upon how deep you’re going to make the final dimensions of the rack. I have the following forstner bits around that size: 1-1/4”, 1-3/8”, 1-1/2”, 1-5/8”, 1-3/4”.

You can borrow all of them if you want to play around with the different sizes. Just let me know.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3360 days

#4 posted 05-07-2010 10:08 PM

I was wondering where you went. Glad your finally underway, I see you went with template and router over my suggestion of smashing in with club. Interesting…

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3047 days

#5 posted 05-07-2010 10:18 PM

Scott, when I first read your suggestion, I was laughing my head off!

Then I thought to myself: “If that doesn’t work, maybe Todd just needs a bigger hammer!”

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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