Our house originally had a large sub-zero fridge in the kitchen, I only know because it was written on the drywall. The large empty space where a fridge should be when we bought the foreclosed home was too tall for any “regular” appliance. This meant we had a space to fill. We had several suggestions, the best being a TV. Instead I built a custom wine rack, because I don’t know how to build a TV.
This design came about because we’re not what you’d call, tall people. At our previous house we had a similar empty space above the microwave. There I built a cross hatched wine shelf thingy (similar to this one). There were two problems with this. 1) You couldn’t see the labels to know which bottle was which and C) we couldn’t reach them very easily to pull them out and see what we had.
This new design doesn’t make us any taller, but it doesn’t cause repeated trips up the step stool. Actually, I can reach 7 of the 8 if I really stretch.
I started with planks of Mahogany, based on my guess that this is what the cabinets are made from. I was wrong, still don’t know what the cabinets are made from. Mahogany stained maple? Maple is hard to stain…who knows.
The mahogany was jointed, glued up and sanded flat-ish. The belt sander did get away from me when removing glue. There’s a low spot that I still notice when the light hits it just right. Grrrrrr.
The wine holder thingies and the “Scotch Shelf” (patent pending) are cut from maple to match the trim of the cabinets.
The holes in the wine holder took some experimenting, having them big enough to fit the slightly thicker cap yet not cause the bottle to ‘sag’ was a trick. Especially since bottles have a variety of sizes. I even went back years later and widened a few of the holes to accommodate some larger bottles. You can see in the photo at the very top of the page how this results in the regular sized bottles sagging.
My take-away here is, if you’re going for consistent perfection, pick a type of wine you like and never buy anything else. Also, write to the wine maker and demand that they never change their bottles or corking/sealing process.
I played with stain and finish for a while on some scrap mahogany. I had to mix some stains in order to get close enough to the cabinet color for my eye. The maple just got the clear finish. Once all was dry, I used screws to hold everything in place from behind.
The real trick was climbing in behind the fridge and screwing it in place.
It’s been hanging out over the fridge since late 2011.
Annnnnnndd…..that’s a wrap people!