Wine Bottle Balancer

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Project by rsain posted 08-27-2011 10:34 PM 2946 views 12 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My elbows were sore from building Hickory cabinets for my wife. I’m getting close to finishing up but i’m worn out from sanding that awfully hard wood. So I decided to take a break today and surprise her with a little gift. My first wine bottle balancer. I did a pretty thorough search on LJs about angles and distances, etc.

The completed one is Bolivian Rosewood with NO finish. I sanded 80 – 320, then went to the Micromesh system and hand sanded through to 12000 (yes, that’s the correct number of 0s). Most of the pics are me trying to get a good shot of the reflection that shows up in person (wasn’t very successful). Not sure why I thought this would stop my elbows from hurting. :-)

- The stock is 10” long and 2 1/2” wide.
- I cut a 40deg bevel on the bottom
- The hole is 1 3/8” (didn’t have a 1 1/4 forstner in the shop) and is drilled 7” on center from the bottom – the hole size is a deviation from most plans but worked just fine.
- The holder works with full (Maryhill) and half full or empty (Bogle), typical and Syrah type bottles (all in the photos).

The last two photos are a proof of concept. I had a chunk of face frame left over that was 1 5/8 wide so I got to thinking about the engineering behind the holder. I realized that the back of the holder is in tension and the front is under compression. That means I could probably thin out the stock quite a bit on the front and get away with just a little bend so long as I’m using a fairly hard wood. Well, hickory is hard. So I went to the bandsaw and started cutting. What is left is what you see. Other than the width the dimensions are the same as above. At the narrowest point the wood is 1/8” wide. At the same point it is just under 1/4” thick. I left the back alone.

Aside from a little twisting when you put the bottle on this holder works just as good as the other and feels just as stable. I played around with some red dye for an effect that I’ll try later.

Now – time to do another one quick – got a wine party tonight. Will use some Redheart.

- ryan

7 comments so far

View sras's profile


5601 posts in 4018 days

#1 posted 08-28-2011 12:03 AM

Good looking balancer! Nice work on the minimalist experiment too. The first thing I noticed was the Maryhill label – looked familiar.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View rsain's profile


50 posts in 3377 days

#2 posted 08-28-2011 01:53 AM

I see from your profile that you are a fellow evergreen LJ. That Maryhill is one of our favorites for a table wine. Their higher end stuff is EXCELLENT.

The experiment worked – but will probably have to wait until x-mas to be utilized. Not much time for fun projects lately and really really should have been doing face frames today. Oh well. At least the little lady got a surprise!

- ryan

View Gary's profile


9416 posts in 4321 days

#3 posted 08-28-2011 02:47 AM

I like Micro Mesh too. I usually give it a few coats of wax. Really comes out great

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View mnpete's profile


226 posts in 3546 days

#4 posted 08-28-2011 07:57 AM

Very cool! I like the experimentation on how thin you can go. Very clever to realize and utilize the direction of forces applied to the wood.

-- Follow my woodworking adventures in The Second Wind Workshop,

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4243 days

#5 posted 08-28-2011 02:29 PM

If you have a thicker base the amount of neck in the holder can vary greatly without loosing balance.. I think your use of minimalistic design is a great variation on the normal..I am in the process of making around 50 of the normal ones… for a show I am attending in a few weeks…
One thing .. if you don’t mind…. IMHO …. proportionally the base part beneath the curves needs to be longer than the top part above the curves…..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Brandon's profile


4380 posts in 3840 days

#6 posted 08-28-2011 04:18 PM

Excellent! It’s a wine balancer that looks like a wine glass. Well done! Thanks also for the tip on the micromesh, I’ll have to give that a try.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View rsain's profile


50 posts in 3377 days

#7 posted 08-28-2011 08:14 PM

Thanks for the feedback all!

Degoose – I totally agree about the proportion thought. The reason I inverted it was to add more to the illusion that very little is holding the bottle up. I also found that the narrow base 1 5/8” worked like a charm (and that was on a very thin body). IMHO too wide just takes away some of the dramatics.

I’ve used micromesh a ton with turning, this was my first attempt at doing it on flat work. And given the natural oils in the rosewood I figured it would be a good candidate.

- ryan

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