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Thread: Wine racks

  1. #1
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    Wine racks

    I've been asked to make a large (>1000 bottles) built-in wine rack. As far as I can see, it's basically building a set of ladder-like (~80") verticals and cross-connecting them. My question is how to accurately locate the horizontal 'rungs' into the verticals, whether there's a way to notch the verticals to accept rungs, and not rely on just screws and glue to hold the 'rungs' in place. All suggestions and ideas would be very welcome.
    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Josko Catipovic; 11-12-2020 at 3:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm not following. Post a sketch of your design?

  3. #3
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    Ninety cases of wine is a lot of weight! The height of the rack and section width will determine the vertical weight. Physically interlocking the cross pieces with the verticals seems essential as screws will gradually let go, add to wracking and cost a lot.
    The design of the verticals and interlocking cross members is the fun part of the job! I see a router in your future.
    Design it in sections and secure vertically to a wall.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Ninety cases of wine is a lot of weight! ...
    Yikes, I found weights per bottle varying from about 2.5 to over 4 lbs. 1000 bottles could easily weigh well over a ton. (And of course, such a rack will be huge)

    Maybe the rack needs to be self-supporting and sit on a foundation. I have no experience to qualify this - perhaps this would be a good time to hire a structural engineer. I paid one to design a long beam to hold up a roof - he was referred by an architect firm and was surprisingly affordable.

    JKJ

  5. #5
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    If the racks can be back to back then they can be built as one piece, a huge benefit for structural stability. Wineryís have very tall racks with huge step ladders that slide along. A study of where itís going is essential.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  6. #6
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    Your verticals are likely going to be 2x stock, which can individually can carry a lot of weight. I've read up to a 1000 lbs of load. If you route dados into those, that will reduce the carrying capacity. You will have to tie the verticals together with horizontal ties to keep the verticals from bowing outward

    To assure the dadoes in the verticals are all uniformly spaced from vertical to vertical, clamp the verticals together and route the dados across the set at the same time. To assure uniform spacing up/down the vertical. Create a couple spacer blocks using the dado just cut to align the guide for the next cut.

    You likely can save some real estate by building some V bins that hold multiple bottles into the design. You see these all the time at the wine stores. Of course that assumes your client buys by the case or half case. I bet that's a safe bet given the size of the collection.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 11-15-2020 at 1:28 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  7. #7
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    V bins in retail stores but square bins are common also: 3x3 bottles. Seems some variety is required for the everyday wine versus vintage.
    The verticals are the key structural element, even white cedar cross pieces locked in will stop the verticals getting out of line. Cedar will cut down on some weight and last a long time. Vertical choice is considerable, ash would work well, lovely long grain and strong.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies, folks. They are much appreciated. The attached picture shows the ladder-like structures that form the backbone of this rack. Uprights are 6/4x2" white oak, and since each one holds up a single stack of bottles, I expect they'll hold, iff they are tied together with sufficient horizontals. It's in a basement, right on the concrete slab, so load-bearing is less of an issue.
    After much hemming and hawing, I managed to jig up one 'ladder' on a sheet of 3/4" plywood, and things seem to be working. Idea is to make up a number of ladders, includsing several types of display configurations, and then tie them together with notched horizontals on site.
    wine rack.jpg
    Last edited by Josko Catipovic; 11-16-2020 at 1:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Well Josko, I donít like that design in the picture! The ladders are too much work, all those verticals sure add strength but take up a lot of space. The row of angled up bottles is a no no for wine corks. The bottle supports are probably glue and nails on the verticals and how much of that wood actually touches the bottle? The rest of the wood is really wasted.
    Fewer verticals, more useful horizontals and a totally different design would be on my list.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  10. #10
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    I built a small wine cellar in my home. I built the racks and everything else too. I used 18G narrow crown staples to attache the horizontal cleats to the verticals. I used alder for everything but the cabinet and counter top, which is African Mahogany. I built this about 10 years ago and the room is temp and humidity controled. The Alder has held up great. Racks are 24" deep. Lot's of pieces, but it didn't take that long. I just set up assembly jigs and make it go faster. Some bins are sized for mags, some display, but most are for standard 750's. Here's a few pics. If you have specific questions, just let me know.














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