Even an amateur wine and spirit enthusiast knows the importance of safeguarding their collection.
The first, and arguably most important, thing that they need to take note of is where and how to store their wine bottles.
Wine racks are the best solution to this problem. Not only are they stylish, but they’re specifically designed to keep your wines secure.
You could argue that one of the hurdles of building a wine collection is the costs involved, not only in regards to wine, but the wine racks as well.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution, a DIY wine racks plan.
- Knowing the Kind of Wine Rack You Need
- Choosing the Design
- Gathering the Tools and Materials
- Woodcutting and Assembly
- Painting or Varnishing
- Setting it All Up
- Storage Requirements of Different Liquors
Knowing the Kind of Wine Rack You Need
Before jumping headlong into your DIY wine racks plan, you’ll need to know which type to build. Wine racks come in all different shapes and sizes, but a few characteristics remain constant. The first thing you should consider is what type of liquor you’ll be storing.
It may come as a surprise to any newbies to the hobby, that different types of liquor need to be stored differently.
Hard liquors, for example, due to their high alcohol content, need to be stored upright. This is mostly to prevent the cap or cork from coming into contact with the liquid inside.
Long-term storage tends to either oxidize or eat through metal caps or corkage. Wines, on the other hand, can tolerate a bit of creativity in the design.
You’ll also need to think about how long the wines are going to be kept in storage. Wines that you plan to consume quickly can be placed on tables or countertops. This allows you to design a wine rack that keeps your bottles within easy reach, and allows you to show off your collection to friends.
Long-term storage, however, calls for somewhere away from direct sunlight and with a constant temperature.
The design of a wine rack for this kind of storage should reflect this. Once you know which wines you’ll be storing, and what their storage requirements are, you can proceed to the next step.
Choosing the Design
Before you start your DIY wine racks plan, decide where you’ll be putting it; this will dictate how big your wine rack will be, and how many bottles you can accommodate.
A good rule of thumb is to have about a three-and-a-half-inch opening for slanted wine rack designs. This will allow you to store even the older bottles which tend to be larger than modern vintages.
Upright racks should have the same kind of space to achieve the same effect.
Take a tape measure to the space you’ll be installing the wine rack in, then jot down the measurements. This will prevent any mistakes for the placement of the rack when you finish.
It also helps to check if the floor that you’ll be putting your rack on is level to avoid getting an unstable wine rack.
Of course, if you’re making a tabletop wine rack you can forego this step. Base your design either on the measurements you made, or the number of bottles you want to store.
Gathering the Tools and Materials
As for the kind of wood that you’ll be using, you’re pretty much free to choose what you want.
There really isn’t any reason to use expensive wood to build your rack other than for aesthetic appeal. You’re only limited by your budget, and the availability of wood that you want.
Any local home improvement store will have the wood you’ll need. If you have a timber store nearby, all the better.
If you get the chance to chat with a local carpenter about your DIY wine racks plan, then any advice they could give will be helpful.
It’s also advisable, though not required, that you get a nail gun. As you’ll be working with wood that will be on the slim side, repeated hammering tends to cause splits.
Nail guns will prevent that, and minimize any waste. If you’re confident that you can do it without splitting any of your lumber then feel free to use a regular hammer and nails.
Circular or table saws will also be useful unless you use using already pre-cut timber. You’ll need at least a handsaw for any adjustment to the wood that you’ll be doing.
Getting a tub of wood glue would also be a good idea, along with sandpaper for finishing.
You have the choice of either paint or varnish for when you’re finished.
Of course, you can keep the rack unpainted, but unless the wood has already been treated, unpainted wood will deteriorate much faster than wood that has been given a paint job or been treated with varnish.
Woodcutting and Assembly
Because a DIY wine racks plan is pretty much custom designed to fit your particular needs, following standard instructions are impractical. You really can’t apply instructions for a hanging wine rack to one that you place in a tabletop, or a standing wine rack for that matter.
Your design of choice will entirely dictate this step. There are a few common tips to follow when working with wood.
Mind the Wood Grain
Whether you’re sawing, sanding, or using a plane tool to remove excess wood, it’s a good idea to follow the grain.
These are the lines that show on the wood, and they flow from one direction to another. Going against the grain will make your work harder.
Sharpen Your Saws, Chisels, and Planes Before Use
Dull tools won’t only make working with wood harder; it will most probably damage the wood that you’re using.
Make sure that your tools have been sharpened before use.
Double Check Your Measurements
Before hammering in the first nail, or sawing the excess off a wood board, make sure that the measurements are actually correct; double, or even triple check if you must.
You can’t put an already-sawn board back together with just wood glue and prayers.
Keep Your Workspace Organized
It’s easy to lose small tools in an untidy workshop. Taking the time to tidy up will pay off in the long run.
Painting or Varnishing
After the wine rack is assembled, leave It alone for a while to allow the wood glue to dry. Once done, use sandpaper over the entire rack. This allows either the paint or varnish to properly adhere to the wood. Sanding also helps to bring out the wood grain which is then further enhanced by varnishing.
If you’re painting wood, it’s advisable to use a primer before using the main paint immediately. Priming wood lets the color of your main paint stand out better compared to using the main color directly.
If you’re using light colors, you can prime your wine rack with white paint, and you can use black if you’re using darker colors. Paint the primer onto your project, then let it dry. Once your primer has dried, use your main paint.
Setting it All Up
Once you’ve finished your DIY wine racks plan, all you need to do now is set it up. If you’ve properly measured your wood before you started woodworking you really shouldn’t have any problems, other than having to adjust a few things.
Wood can warp depending on the weather. It’s a good idea to look for potential problems while your rack is empty rather than when it’s already filled with bottles.
Put your rack where you want it to go, then give it a good shake to test the stability.
See if you’ve built it to level, and take note of any problems. If you’ve built a rack that’s meant to go on the table or the countertop, check if everything has been solidly built.
Storage Requirements of Different Liquors
Depending on how long you’re planning to keep them, wines should be kept at, or below room temperature. The most common term would be to keep them in a cool, dry environment.
Because their alcohol content isn’t as high as hard liquor, there’s little chance of them eating through corkage or metal caps. Keep them away from direct sunlight, unless you plan to consume them in a short amount of time.
Unopened hard liquor keeps indefinitely, and also needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. Temperature changes wreak havoc on the taste of hard liquor, so keep this in mind if you plan on storing them for any length of time.
They also generally need to be stored upright, especially if they have high alcohol content. Improperly stored hard liquor will eat through corks and metal caps eventually.
Getting What You Need
A DIY wine racks plan is a great way to start for an amateur wine enthusiast looking to build their collection.
Custom building your own wine rack not only lets you decide where it will be located, it also helps keep your expenses under control.
Different types of collectors have different requirements, and custom building your own storage ensures that you’re getting exactly what you need.
Whether it’s a way to display your wines to friends and family, or a place to keep your liquor safe until that special moment.