Homemade Wine Rack - Part 1: Design and Materials

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How to Build Wine Racks

Two Parts:

When you make your own wine racks, they can be designed to fit within a certain space or customized as a gift for friends and family. This tutorial breaks down a wall-mounted rack that also holds six glasses, and is an easy to intermediate woodworking project.


Cutting and Preparing the Rack

  1. Round up the wood needed to build the rack.While you can always adjust the dimensions to fit your rack, the following tutorial will hold six bottles and six wine glasses. You can use any solid, easily worked wood you like, depending on your style preferences. You will need:
    • You needone– 2×4 by 8-foot-long board
    • You needtwo1×4 by 8-foot-long boards
  2. Ensure that you have all of the necessary equipment and supplies.If you have a woodworking shop, you likely have almost everything already. Still, check the following list before starting:
    • Saw – (miter saw, circular saw, or hand saw)
    • Drill
    • Orbital sander (220 grit paper)
    • Jigsaw
    • Air nailer or hammer and nails
    • Wood clamp
    • 3/8-inch bit and 5/64-inch drill bit
    • Carpenters square
    • Tape measure
  3. Use your saw to cut your two 1x4 boards into shape.You can use a circular saw, hand saw, or miter saw. You want to end up with seven total boards, cutting as follows:
    • Cut five (5) boards to 30" long a piece.
    • One (1) board to 27" long
    • Two (2) boards at just 2" long.
  4. Cut the 2x4 down to three separate pieces.You'll have three separate pieces of 2x4, giving you a total of eleven cut pieces of wood when you're done. After making all of your cuts, briefly use the orbital sander to remove any rough edges. The 2x4 should be cut to:
    • Two (2) boards at 11" long.
    • One (1) board at 10¼" long.
  5. Use an old coffee can, or similarly round object, to trace a rounded edge on the end of the three 2x4s.You want a simple curve on one end of each board, on the long flat side. You'll be cutting a rounded triangle off of the top corner of each 2x4.
  6. Clamp the 2x4 to the workbench, then use a jigsaw to cut along your curved line.Move slowly to cut the curve as purposely as possible. When done, sand down the edges.
    • Each 2x4 will have one rounded edge and one squared edge. It looks a little like the front car of a train.
  7. Measure and mark one of the 30" boards with the following measurements.This is to hold your wine glasses. Just to be safe, center the glasses on the following marks to ensure that your specific glasses fit next to each other. You should make the following 12 marks.
    • Measuring from the left edge:
      • Mark the wood at 4 inch, 8 ¼ inch, and 12 ¾ inches.
    • Measuring from the right edge:
      • Mark the wood at 4 inch, 8 ¼ inch, and 12 ¾ inches
  8. Mark each one of your measurements 2" from the edge.Go to each 4" mark, then measure in from the edge 2". If it helps, use your straightedge to first draw a horizontal line at each measurement, then place the 2" mark on each measurement.
  9. Using a 3/8-inch bit, drill a hole at each 2" mark.Clamp the board to your workbench before drilling. These holes will be the tops of each notch for holding the wine glasses. Drill down as straight as possible.
  10. Draw a straight line along each side of the drill holes.You'll basically be making six "H" shapes on the board, but the drilled hole will form the horizontal bridge in the middle. Line up your straight edge along each side of the hole and draw two lines across the width of the board. You'll make 12 lines in total.
    • The 2" measurement should be above the drill hole, with extra room below.
  11. Use the jigsaw to cut up from the edge to your drill hole, following the lines you drew.Donotcome from the 2" line, come up from the bottom. If you cut a little wider than your lines, that is fine -- it is better to err on the side of wider than narrower. Your wine glasses will slide into this upside-down, as the bottom will hold up the glass. The stems need to fit into these notches.
    • Just cut straight up to the hole you drilled -- the notches of wood should fall right out.
    • When done, use the orbital sander again to smooth out the new cuts.

Assembling the Rack

  1. Place the 27" board between the two rounded 11" 2x4s.Stand the 2x4s up so that rounded edge points to the ceiling, then fit the 27" between them so that it lays flush between the boards. Then center the 10¼" on the plank in the middle.
    • The center is at 15" from either side of the long board.
  2. Adhere all three 2x4s to the 27" long base.You can use a variety of methods, all of which require wood glue. Use your square to ensure each joint is 90-degrees. Place a generous amount of glue on each joint, clamp them together, and then adhere the wood using whatever method you prefer:
    • Nail gun, or hammer and nails. Use at least 2 nails per joint.
    • Screws and power drill. Be sure to pre-drill the holes to prevent the wood from splitting.
    • Pocket holes and a Kreg jig (1-1/2")
  3. Attach the three of the 30" 1x4s to form the back of the wine rack.The three curved sections should curveawayfrom the back so that the highest section of the 2x4's is the top and back of the finished rack. Turn the rack over, then liberally apply wood glue to the back of each 2x4 and the bottom panel. Place your three boards evenly on the back, then use a nail gun or hammer and nails to tack all three boards in place.
  4. Attach another of the 30" boards on the front of the rack, right at the bottom.Turn the rack over, then lay the 1x4 over the front of the rack so that it is flush to the bottom. This board keeps the wine from falling out of the rack.
    • Again, use wood glue, line up the board, then tack it in place with the nail gun.
  5. Glue the entire underside of the two tiny 2" boards.These will for them "feet" of the wineglass. Turn the rack so that you can see the bottom of it. Glue up one side of the small square boards and then place them on the bottom two corners, so that the rack has two "feet" on the bottom right and bottom left. After gluing, use a nail in each corner to bind the feet to the rack.
    • The "bottom" corners are the two closest to the back of the rack, where you have the three 30" boards.
  6. Attach the notched wine glass holder to the two feet.It will be flush with bottom of the wine rack. Simply line up the wine glass holder with the bottom of the rack, then glue and nail it to the feet, There should be 1" of space between the bottom of the rack and the top of the notched glass holder.
    • Test a couple of glasses in the holder before attaching anything to make sure they fit.
  7. Let everything dry, then sand and stain.Give the rack 2-3 hours to dry, just to be safe. Then run your orbital sander over everything to smooth it out and get rid of any excess wood glue. When done, you can finish it any way you like -- painting, finishing, staining, etc.
  8. Measure the distance between two studs in the wall you're installing the rack on.You'll need to drill some pilot holes into your rack, but you can't if you' don't know how far apart the studs are. Most are 16" apart -- but check your wall with a stud finder as well.
  9. Drill pilot holes in the center of your rack, placing them the same distance apart as your studs.To find the center, simply measure the middle of the middle board in the back -- it will be 1-¾" from either edge. For a normal wall, drill two holes 16" apart from each other along this middle board.
  10. Use 3-inch wood screws to attach the rack to the studs in the wall.Follow your pilot holes, and make sure you hit the studs. Your wine rack is done!

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Things You’ll Need

  • Saw – (miter saw, circular saw, or hand saw)
  • Drill
  • Orbital sander (220 grit paper)
  • Jigsaw
  • Air nailer or hammer and nails
  • Wood clamp
  • 3/8-inch bit and 5/64-inch drill bit
  • Carpenters square
  • Tape measure

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