Wine Rack

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Here is a 'just-in-time project' – just in time for Christmas! Tired of badly stored wine bottles?

How about showing off your own wine cellar? Not quite, but this charmingly honest, straightforward piece of design will make selecting wine for your guests over the yuletide period a positive pleasure. Our Anthony lays down a few ideas, as well as some bottles, to show you just how it's done.


An uncomplicated design, this has a top, sides and back with bottle supports and four legs at the corners. And that, in essence, is all it involves.


We have the advantage of a Domino machine which creates slots for loose tenons, however you can either cut mortise and tenons or use a dowel jig to fix all the components together. The exceptions are the back which is let into a groove, and the top which is biscuited on using size 10 biscuits.

Stock preparation

All the solid components – the bottle supports, legs, and top and bottom panels – were sawn oversize and planed and thicknessed to size, but left overlength. The end panels can be veneered board or made up from solid timber jointed together.

Sizing components

In theory you can now cut all components to finished lengths. However, to ensure a decent fit you need consistency, so a dimensioning fence on the saw or marking off a against a 'rod' (meaning a stick with the correct size on) will ensure you do get a reliable result. If you opt for tenons, add that amount to the bottle supports and bottom shelf as well.

Joint cutting

Accurately mark all Domino positions. In the case of the legs, transfer the marks across all four legs. Make a small template to do repetitious markings on the bottle support ends. Choose a suitable size Domino component (or tenon or dowel) and machine all joints.

Bottle supports

These have four semicircular cutouts per support, four large for the rear, and four small for the front ones. Using the jig created on page 41, pin it lightly on to the workpiece. It is a good idea to fit an end stop so it is accurately centred each time. Take a small router with a 6.4mm straight cutter and a 20mm guidebush and place on the jig. Machine several passes to depth until each semicircle drops away in turn. Make a second jig for the front supports and repeat the operation. Finally, make Domino slots in the ends, not machining too deep to avoid breakout.

Back legs

Using a groover on the router table form the two slots to receive the back panel.


Make each side a sub assembly, two legs and a side panel. Sand all round first, then glue, clean-up and leave to set. Biscuit slot the top edge once dry in readiness to accept the top.

Carcass assembly

Sand the bottle supports and then mark out and machine the Domino slots to take the bottle supports. Next glue and fit them and the bottom shelf into place, and clamp up using sash clamps or long F-clamps. Check for square, clean-up and leave to set. Note the bottom shelf has a rounded edge routed on to it beforehand.


Mark the biscuit positions very carefully so they align with those on the carcass and slot lining up freehand to the carcass position. Machine the slot for the carcass back using a small router, straight fence and 6.4mm cutter on the underside of

the top. Machine a suitable roundover on the front and ends to give a more pleasing profile.


Cut the back with the amount of tongue required to fit in all slots and slide into position. Pin it along the back of the bottom shelf to hold it in place.

Fit the top

Glue and fit the top in place with biscuits. If you don't have long clamps use heavy weights to keep it down until it has set.


An option on the A2 plans is to fit a drawer. This goes under the top of the wine rack to hold things like corkscrews, bottle stops,, coasters, etc. Use a T&G joint or for the highly skilled, dovetails. Add a plant on front and knobs to complete.


Use a suitable finish to taste, but the top would benefit from something that will resist wine stains, of course.