How to Build a Wine Rack

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You can find any manner of wine storage options — from wall-mounted to free-standing — at retail stores or online shops, but if you have dreams of building your own custom wine rack that doubles as a decor accent and really shows off the bottles, you'll have to take matters into your own hands. You can complete this in a weekend with basic woodworking skills and knowledge of how to use various saws.

Make your own DIY wall-mounted rack to display wine bottles.
Make your own DIY wall-mounted rack to display wine bottles. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Gather the Supplies

  • Walnut wood planks (dimensions will vary based on your design)
  • 1/4-inch hollow brass pipes, 1/32-inch wall thickness, 52 inches long, 3
  • Pipe cutter
  • Table saw
  • Awl
  • Ruler
  • Drill press
  • 1/4-inch Forstener bit
  • Miter saw
  • Back saw
  • Japanese pull saw
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Screws
  • Clamps
  • Two-part epoxy
  • 2 wall anchors
  • Mallet
  • Level
Make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies on hand.
Make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies on hand. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Cut the Wood to Size

Use a table or circular saw to cut slabs of walnut wood to size based on the design of your wine rack. This design features two 21-by-4 1/2-by-1-inch wooden sides and one 18-by-4-by-1-inch wooden shelf surface at the top, braced by an extra 15-by-2-by-3/8-inch wooden support. Cut the pieces and lay them off to the side. As an alternative, you could make the two side supports longer to accommodate an extra row of brass pipes, thereby offering storage for a fourth wine bottle.

Cut wood to size with a saw.
Cut wood to size with a saw. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Mark the Brass Pipes

Lay the three brass pipes alongside one another and lay a ruler or measuring tape beside them. Make marks on the pipes every 16 inches using a marker. You'll need six pipes, each cut to 16 inches.

Mark brass pipes using a ruler and marker.
Mark brass pipes using a ruler and marker. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Cut the Brass Pipes

Use a handheld pipe cutter to cut each of the pipes to size using the marks as your guide. Discard the excess pipes when the cuts are complete.

Cut brass pipes to 16 inches long each.
Cut brass pipes to 16 inches long each. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Mark Holes for the Pipes

Use a ruler and pencil to mark holes on the inside surfaces of the two wooden side supports where the pipes will go. You'll need to mark six holes, with each pair spaced 2 inches apart and with 6 inches of space between each pair. For this design, the pipes were placed 1/2 inch in from the front of the rack and 2 inches in from the back of the rack. This made it so that the wine bottles, when in place on the rack, would sit out from the wall. Repeat the marks exactly on the opposite piece of wood (six matching marks) and indent each mark using an awl.

Mark holes on the wood side supports for the pipes.
Mark holes on the wood side supports for the pipes. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Drill the Holes for the Pipes

Lay the wood on the platform of a drill press. Set the depth of the drill press to go exactly 1/2 inch into the wood, and outfit the press with a 1/4-inch Forstener bit. Line the press up with the first marked hole and drill it out. Repeat the steps across all of the marked holes on each of the two wooden side supports. If you don't have a drill press, a handheld electric drill outfitted with a 1/4-inch bit will work instead. Mark 1/2 inch with a piece of painter's tape so you know how deep you've drilled.

Drill holes for pipes into the two side supports.
Drill holes for pipes into the two side supports. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Mark a Section for the Brace

Use a ruler and pencil to mark out the 15-by-1-by-3/8-inch section on the back center section of the shelf—this is the part that will be sawed out to accommodate the flush-mounted brace. Use a straightedge to connect the marks and create a clear section for cutting.

Measure and mark the section to be sawed out for the brace to sit in.
Measure and mark the section to be sawed out for the brace to sit in. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Cut Short Sections for the Brace

Use a back saw to cut the short 1/2-inch sections on either end of the shelf where the brace will ultimately be screwed into.

Cut short sections on the shelf to accommodate the brace.
Cut short sections on the shelf to accommodate the brace. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Cut the Long Section for the Brace

Using proper safety gear, turn on a table saw and ease the center of the marked wooden top shelf onto the running blade. Push the shelf forward slightly so that it slices into the long section marked for the brace. Because of the wide length of the table saw blade itself (usually about 1 foot in length), the majority of the cut will be made in this one step. Leave about a 1 1/2-inch section uncut between the long cut and the short cuts made by the back saw in the previous step. Lift the shelf up and away from the running table saw blade. Turn off the table saw.

Cut the long section on the shelf to accommodate the brace.
Cut the long section on the shelf to accommodate the brace. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Finish Cutting the Section for the Brace

The precision finishing cuts will need to happen by hand in this step because you don't have the control necessary when cutting with the table saw blade. Slip a handheld Japanese pull saw into the line cut by the table saw and finish cutting out the section for the brace. Repeat the step on both ends, and discard the wood that comes off.

Finish the cut to accommodate the brace.
Finish the cut to accommodate the brace. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Cut Out the Corners

Adjust an electric miter saw to a 45-degree angle. Position a side support with the holes for the pipes face down, and cut off the bottommost corner. You only want to cut the outermost bottom corner. Repeat with the next side support.

Cut out the bottom outside corners of the two shelf supports as a decorative detail.
Cut out the bottom outside corners of the two shelf supports as a decorative detail. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Mark the Holes for the Brace

Use a ruler and pencil to mark three holes 6 inches apart, starting from the center of the brace, where it will be screwed into the shelf. Finish them by indenting the marks using an awl.

Mark holes for the brace to be used to attach the completed rack to the wall.
Mark holes for the brace to be used to attach the completed rack to the wall. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Drill the Holes for the Brace

Drill the three marked holes on the brace using a drill press.

Drill holes into the brace using a drill press.
Drill holes into the brace using a drill press. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Drill Holes on the Shelf

Use a handheld electric drill to drill holes into the shelf for the brace to be screwed into. To mark the holes, you can either use measuring tape or a ruler, or lay the brace on the shelf and mark the wood with a pencil that's been pushed through the holes you just cut with the drill press.

Drill holes on the shelf for the brace.
Drill holes on the shelf for the brace. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Screw on the Brace

Use a handheld drill outfitted with a Phillips head bit to put screws into the brace, thereby attaching it to the back of the shelf.

Screw the brace onto the back of the shelf.
Screw the brace onto the back of the shelf. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Clamp the Rack Together

Lay the three sections of wood (the two side supports and the topmost shelf with attached brace) on a flat surface facing up, and use clamps to hold everything in place.

Clamp the rack together on a work surface.
Clamp the rack together on a work surface. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Drill the Holes for the Shelf

With the rack clamped together, use a handheld drill to drill final holes through the top of the rack to connect the shelf to the side supports. Screw in hardware on one side of the rack, thereby connecting one of the wooden side supports. Temporarily unclamp one of the side supports without actually screwing it into place. Before screwing that down, you'll need to add the pipes, which happens in the next step.

Drill holes for the shelf to attach to the two side supports.
Drill holes for the shelf to attach to the two side supports. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Epoxy the Pipes

Add a dot of epoxy inside two holes in the still-clamped side support and insert two brass pipes. Repeat the steps on the two holes above that with two more pipes, and then complete the repeated steps on the final set of holes. When all of the pipes are in place on one side, loosely re-clamp the second side support into place so that you can move it around a little bit. You'll need the extra wiggle room to get the other end of the pipes into place. Add dots of epoxy to the two holes at the bottom of this second side support, and insert the brass pipes. Repeat the same steps all the way down the side support, epoxying and inserting the pipes until the rack is fully assembled. Screw the support into place from the top of the shelf.

Use epoxy to hold the pipes securely in place.
Use epoxy to hold the pipes securely in place. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Add Anchors to the Wall

Hold the completed wine rack up on the wall where you intend to hang it, and place a level on top. Adjust the rack until it's level and at the desired height. Then use a pencil to mark spots on the wall for the hardware through two drilled holes 12 inches apart. Set the rack aside, drill holes into the wall and use a mallet to hammer in wall anchors.

Make marks on the wall for wall anchors and hammer them into place.
Make marks on the wall for wall anchors and hammer them into place. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Screw the Rack in Place

Use a drill or screwdriver to attach the rack securely to the wall, and then load it up with three of your favorite bottles of wine. The top shelf can be used to display wine glasses and a vase of flowers.

Screw the rack into place and fill it with wine bottles and glasses.
Screw the rack into place and fill it with wine bottles and glasses. (Image: Carrie Waller)

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