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This is one that's been on my to-do list for a while. I needed to get it done so I've gone for something simple and utilitarian. Pretty much all standard DIY-store timber sections, and minimal joinery. Here's my plan. It'll hold 32 bottles. Step-by-step photos will follow shortly!
 

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Step 1: get a mitre saw :)

I've never bought one before because I don't have much space to store one indoors, but this project requires around 100 cross cuts and I didn't really want to do them all by hand. Then I saw this model on-line. It's very compact and stores away easily. And boy was it cheap: £50! It's a non-sliding type, which keeps the size down and is probably the best chance for a reasonable degree of accuracy at this price. But the cutting capacity is very limited, 5"x2". It comes with a multi-purpose blade designed to cut everything from plastic to mild steel, which did a good-enough job on wood for this project, if I cut slowly. I think it'll be a pretty useful machine with a better blade.

Step 2: realise that a mitre saw this size is useless for cutting anything more than a foot long - you need extra support. So I made a portable mitre saw bench. It starts with a box beam made from 4 strips of plywood, joined with glue and biscuits. The in-feed and out-feed tables are L-sections of plywood, again biscuited and glued. They're screwed to the beam with riser blocks to put them at the right height. You can shim up or plane down the riser blocks to get everything perfectly in line. If I ever get a new saw, I can re-use the beam and table sections, just replace the riser blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here's the output from the mitre saw:

  • 10 posts, 18x70mm (1x3's), 875mm long
  • 64 rails, which happen to be 18x28mm, a slightly odd size but it was cheaper than 18x18 or 20x20. These are 230mm long so 10 come out of a 2.4m length. Our plywood still comes in "metric-ish" 2440mm = 8ft long sheets, but timber is usually 2.4m, which is an annoying difference sometimes.
  • 6 pieces of tongue and groove cladding, cut a millimetre or so shorter than the posts, so that the weight will be supported by the posts and not the cladding
  • Top and bottom trim pieces, each 450mm long
  • 4 pieces 18x70x100mm to make up the end frames.

The glued-up end frames are shown in the second picture. These are the only glued joints in the project, the rest is just screws or nails.
 

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I planed a little chamfer on 2 edges of each rail. Then drilled for screws. I drilled one end of each rail, then shifted the jig along and drilled the other ends in the new position, so I can alternate the positions of the screw holes and the screws won't hit each other when they're fixed on either side of a post.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The rails are screwed to the posts to make 5 frames.

This would be a good point to apply the finish to the parts, before final assembly. I wish I'd remembered to do that :rolleyes:

Then I've pocket-screwed the frames to the top and bottom front trim pieces. I fixed the two end frames first, then clamped a temporary brace across their backs to hold everything square while I fixed the 3 inner frames.
 

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Sweet and simple. Cool!!

But, aren't the bottles supposed to be on an angle, which wouldn't take much of an adjustment.

May try that for present for Daughter and SIL since their space is limited. Just maybe a cut down version. Need a translation into inches, though.

Thanx for the idea.
 

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Nice and simple rack. The wax finish is pretty nice. I like seeing the natural color of light woods.
 

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Nice work Andy . It goes through show you don't need thousands of dollars worth of tools to have a great outcome.

John I just googled it , and the mentioned you want to keep the cork wet , so stored on its side would be good unless you drank most of it already . Of course with a plastic cork it won't matter .
Fortified wines they wanted stored upright though , whatever that is
 

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Well done Andy.
 

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The ideal angle to store wine bottles with corks is so that the wine inside the bottle just laps against the bottom of the cork. This keeps the cork moist and swollen in the bottle neck, resulting in an air tight seal.
Store the bottle upright and there is a chance the cork will dry out and shrink enough to let air in and spoil the wine.
Laying the bottle flat could result in the wine seeping through the cork and then dripping out, so you could lose the whole bottle.
But that would only happen on a very loose cork, and over a very long time.

So the way to ensure the wine stays in top condition is to drink it as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sounds like a plan Bob :)

May try that for present for Daughter and SIL since their space is limited. Just maybe a cut down version. Need a translation into inches, though.
I can help you there John.

The posts are nominal 1"x3" boards, 18x70mm or about 3/4" x 2-3/4" after planing. The lower front trim is the same material.

For the rails you want something like 1"x1" stock, 3/4" square after planing. The stock I used was 3/4" by 1-1/8" finished size, just because it happened to be cheaper. The upper front trim is the same stock.

The rails are spaced at roughly 4" intervals vertically (that's the top of one rail to the top of the next), so the height of the posts is 4" times the number of bottles + the width of the base trim. For the 8 bottle height that comes to 34-3/4".
That's a little taller than I made mine - you can get away with squeezing the vertical spacing by 1/8", or maybe 1/4" depending on your rail width, if you need it to fit under a counter.

The maximum standard wine bottle diameter is about 3.5", so the space between the posts is 3.5" plus a little clearance. Say 3-9/16". Not too much clearance, or narrower bottles will fall between the rails! But some Champagne and sparkling wine does come in slightly wider bottles, so if you need to accommodate those then consider larger spacing and wider rails.
For a 4 bottle width you have 4 spaces and 5 posts, 3-9/16" x 4 + 3/4" x 5, a nice round 18". That's the length of the front trim pieces, and also the width of the plywood back.

The depth of the frames, front-to-back, wants to be something in the region of 10". It's not too critical. I made mine a little shallower, about 9-1/2", to economise on the cladding, just avoiding needing a fourth piece on each side.

The length of the rails can be less than the frame depth. 9-1/4" should comfortably give you 10 rails from an 8' length, allowing for saw kerfs.
 

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Thanx, Andy

That'll save a lot of time!!!
 

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Andy, You've created an excellent tutorial for us on making a wine rack. The miter saw certainly made all that sawing easier with the base you made. The outcome is beautiful!
Great Job! (and post)
 

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Nice work Andy . It goes through show you don't need thousands of dollars worth of tools to have a great outcome.

John I just googled it , and the mentioned you want to keep the cork wet , so stored on its side would be good unless you drank most of it already . Of course with a plastic cork it won't matter .
Fortified wines they wanted stored upright though , whatever that is
Rick, "stored upright" means the bottle is standing on it's bottom. The cork end is at the top.
 
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