The Wine Rack #7: Going around in semicircles

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Blog entry by Todd Clare posted 05-17-2010 04:51 PM 1161 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Rule addenda: Measure twice, cut once... and read your handwriting Part 7 of The Wine Rack series Part 8: A little progress, and 56' of distraction »

Made some more progress on the wine rack this weekend.

My goal was to complete the small racks that hold the necks of the bottles. Each required 5 semicircular holes at 1 1/2” diameter each.

I was smart enough to realize that the centers of the large rack holes would be the same as the small ones, so I lined them all up against a board clamped to my bench (to keep them aligned) and marked the center lines.

Lesson learned: I really need a drill press table. Up to now I’ve gotten by clamping things to the table, with scraps of wood to prevent tearout or table/bit impact, but this got to be painful. A key element of the short racks was that I cut them too “tall” so that the center of the forstner bit would hit solid wood. Then, once I plowed out all the holes, I’d rip them to proper height where the table saw just skimmed off the center line that the bit was registered to.

I set up this mess of clamps and wood to make it go:

That’s a hunk of 2/4 in the back, clamped solidly to the table. This kept the center of the bit the appropriate distance from the bottom of the rack (the bottom facing the back of the drill press) so all the centers fall on the same line and can be ripped away.

Plywood underneath to prevent chipout and to bury the bit when it proves through the stock.

A hunk of pine from a previous project is in front, which I ended up clamping front to back-of-the-2×4. I noticed on a test the bit was causing tearout on the top of the rack (toward the camera) when it exited the wood. Fortunately it was shallower than the area to-be-ripped-off, but it was close, so I added this guy to support the fibers and it did a good job.

The cutout process went well, although I do suspect there’s some runout on my drill press. I need to replace the chuck anyway (it binds sometimes) and check the runout at some point, but nonetheless, I was excited that the process worked. I did notice that the surface of the cutout sections were pretty rough, but was not looking forward to hand sanding 10 of them…

If I only had a spindle sander…

Well, I DO have a lathe that just happened to have a 4×4 hunk of pine I was practicing some beads on still mounted to it. And I do have some thin strips of sandpaper…

I put the lathe on its slowest speed and gave it a try, and it worked surprisingly well. A table or some reference for the stock would have been nice (I can see a jig coming), but even relatively freehand the results turned out really well. Will still need a little hand sanding, but this handled the majority of the work:

You can see the unsanded one in front and the sanded version in the back.

So all in all, a successful outing. The parts cut well and just need some edges eased after I play with the dry fit once the others are done. You can also see the next step: cutting the large rack semicircles out. That will be a roughing on the bandsaw and a flush trim on the router using the template I made. I’m going to add a little fence to the template that grabs the top of the racks, both to make placement better as well as to give the flush trim bit something to ride out on and support the stock to prevent tearout. It’ll also allow me to slap some clamps on to keep everything aligned while routing.

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

6 comments so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3550 days

#1 posted 05-17-2010 08:36 PM


I’ve been making wine racks for decades. I center drill the holes in a double-wide piece of wood, then rip it into two mirrored pieces.

-- 温故知新

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2787 days

#2 posted 05-17-2010 09:58 PM

I think Todd wanted the holes to be deeper than half. Nice use of the club, using it as a sander on the lathe. I want a spindle sander so bad I can taste it. yum 150.

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

View Todd Clare's profile

Todd Clare

67 posts in 2408 days

#3 posted 05-17-2010 10:27 PM

Yep, Hobo, I considered that too. I’m actually right at half, but the engineer part of my brain wanted to to REALLY be half and not half minus 1/16 for the kerf. I was also interested in building the template-flush-trim skill I’ve seen but never tried. If I build another, I’m definitely doing the double-width-rip.

I thought you’d like that subtle use of the club, Porosky ;) Just for you. Actually the blank was originally all the larger diameter and I specifically turned it down to as-seen to fit the recesses I was sanding. When I was done, I thought “well what do you know, I made a club”

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2787 days

#4 posted 05-17-2010 11:15 PM

Hey Todd nice engineer OCD on the 1/16th (psychopath) I thought there surely had to be a logical reason. lol

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

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2949 days

#5 posted 05-18-2010 02:35 AM

I too like the “club” idea!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 05-18-2010 04:37 AM

Interesting aproach on the hole thing

-- Custom furniture

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