Over-fridge wine storage cabinet

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Project by Vrtigo1 posted 08-22-2011 07:34 PM 10435 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first commissioned project. My parents had an empty space above their refrigerator that was originally supposed to have a cabinet. Their house was built 10 years ago and that cabinet never materialized so they asked me if I could build something for them.

I had them look at design magazines and show me some pictures of stuff they liked.

The case and dividers are constructed from 3/4 birch ply. The face frame is cherry to match the rest of their kitchen. The edges of the dividers are also covered with 1/4 cherry strips which were flush trimmed with a router and then finished up with a chisel in the corners where there wasn’t sufficient clearance to get the router in.

Finish is General Finishes warm cherry stain covered with approx 6 coats of high performance water based poly. First time using both and I am really happy with the way it came out. I did the plywood in two sets, the first set I stained with a rag and the second I used a foam brush. The foam brush worked much better and resulted in a more even coat. The pieces finished with the foam brush are hard to tell that they’re not solid wood!

I measured everything and then build the piece at my house. I was really hoping my measurements were good and I wouldn’t end up spending a few months of saturdays to build something that wouldn’t fit. We installed it yesterday and it fit like a glove. Parents were very happy with it, and I am as well. The finish doesn’t match the existing cabinetry exactly, but as I said the kitchen is 10 years old, so the rest of the cabinets have darkened. The match is close enough that you’d have to know that you’re looking for a mismatch in order to see it, which is all I could have asked for.

3 comments so far

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3264 posts in 3794 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 09:58 PM

I really don’t know anything about keeping wine but I thought you were supposed to keep it cool. that is the reason wine was kept in cellars in the old days. This refrigerator will generate heat and it will come up under this cabinet. It will warm the wine a few degrees above room temp. If that hurts wine I would think about using this for wine. Just asking? The cabinet looks great though. Good job!

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434 posts in 4110 days

#2 posted 08-23-2011 02:34 AM

When I first asked for some help with this project people asked the same thing. Matter of fact I think it may have been you that asked. I mentioned it to my dad and we checked the area and didn’t feel any heat at all coming from the back of the fridge, likewise the existing cabinet above this one was cool to the touch as well. I understand the principle of how a refrigerator works and don’t know where the heat is going, but it doesn’t seem to be going up. Perhaps this fridge vents the heat out the bottom? I’m not sure.

At any rate, I told him that people had raised that question and after checking it out he said go ahead and do it because he didn’t want the empty space. If it becomes a problem, I guess they can use it for storing other stuff. I don’t know anything about wine – can’t stand it. From what I gather red wine is ideally stored somewhere around 55 degrees. They just leave it on the counter, so I guess it’s already not at the optimum temperature. I’ll have to follow up with them in a month or two and see if they’ve noticed any problems.

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3264 posts in 3794 days

#3 posted 08-23-2011 09:45 PM

I am certainly not a expert on wine. Far from it. It could be that this refrig pushes the hot air across the coils and out the front of the unit. I think many work that way. I have heard on TV I think that wine is stored cool and with the corks down so the liquid seals the bottle. I was in a home last week and they has removed doors above the refrig and installed a metal frame that held the bottles like the wood will be doing on your unit. The necks were down but it is probably several degrees warmer up near the ceiling than on the counter surface. I don’t know but if it works for them then it is just right. I do know that.

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