Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Open Source Wine Rack

I don't get to drink a lot of wine in my own house.

I'm poor.

That doesn't mean I don't like to drink wine. Far from it. I love wine.
Initially, I hit upon the perfect wine drinker's racket: Family
My father and my sister are both wine drinkers. More to the point, they're getting better and better at being connoisseurs. They're getting really good at picking wines.

So, do the math:
I like wine - I'm poor + (Sister + Father like wine * (Good at Wine)) = Profit!

Well, ok, not profit. Drunkards never profit (or so I'm told). But I'm certainly better off than I am without.

My parents are splitting up and they're having to sell their house. I won't get in to the massive insane bummer that this is (It's huge).
However, the silver lining is that we had to empty the basement.
Which is where the wine was kept.

As a result I received a couple of boxes of wine, and no where to keep them. I looked for a wine rack:

Ninety dollars???? Are you insane? I'm poor! I just need to keep my wine off the floor (You can cry over spilt wine).

I went to Home Depot and bought $15 worth of wood. No tools.

It actually took me longer to do the calculations than to actually make the wine rack. I needed a wine rack that could hold small bottles securely, but still manage to hold the big bottles of ripple that we occasionally get. The bottle diameters range from 2.75" to 3.75".

I bought several 3/8th inch wooden dowels, and a bunch of 2"x2"x8' non-treated (dry) wood. After some quick math and experimentation, I found that I needed to cut the wood as follows:

Dowels 3.75"
2"x2"s 12"

On all four vertexes of the 2x2 I drilled 3/8th inch holes one inch from the ends (a total of 8 holes). I marked the 3/8th inch drill bit one half inch away from the tip (the real tip) with a Sharpie marker, and drilled the vertexes until the mark just disappeared.

Two parts. That's it.

Some caveats: A table saw really helps. Cutting the wood took no time.
A drill press really helps. My drill press is pretty crappy. It has a fair amount of shimmy to it, making it difficult to drill precise holes. It still really helped.

I made a jig to drill the wood. Drilling the vertex of a 2x2 is a difficult proposition. Cutting a short section of 2x2 from vertex to vertex gave me two pieces of wood. Putting those two pieces on to a thin piece of plywood, next to each other, and gluing them, gave me a sturdy method for holding the wood as I drilled into the edge.

However, the slightly variable hole axis was planned into the build. I knew my drill press wasn't up to drilling the exact same hole, over and over. With the holes drilled to the exact same size as the dowels, there would ordinarily be some looseness to the fit of the dowels in the holes. But with the holes being at a slightly different angle in each of the 2x2's, the dowels locked right into place when the rack was put together.

I did glue the wine rack together. It might have held together without doing this, but there are some pretty nice bottles of wine on the rack. At least one collectible bottle, and one bottle with a lead sealed cork (yeah, lead sealed). I really didn't want to risk a break with these bottles, as I really feel that they belong to my family.

Build time was quick. The current wine rack holds 24 bottles of wine. It cost $15 to make, and is easily expandable. I'm probably going to double to quadruple the size of it. The materials are cheap, and I could easily stain it to match my eventual house.

I wrote about this because of the low part count (two), and the fact that anyone could do this, if they just considered the math behind the build. Well, I did the math for you (follow the directions above, and you can have the same wine rack).