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lattice wine rack plans

65502 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jbsafetyjb
Does anyone have any plans or general guidance on building wine cellar lattice racking?

My boss commissioned me to build the racking in his wine cellar and I want to do my diligence.

See below for what I'm referring to:
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I don't have any plans, but I built two racks that use the slide-in style like the main sections of the picture you linked. I can give you some of the dimensions, if that would help.

My racks are built with red cedar. It works very well in the cool, humid environment that is ideal for wine bottles, and it looks really nice. I left it unfinished. Very soft and easy to cut, but it makes a lot of powdery dust. The uprights were cut to size and then I ripped long strips 3/4" X 3/4" and cut them to length for the slides. I left the ends of my horizontal slide pieces cut at 90 degrees, but I helped a friend build a rack and he cut the front ends at 45 degrees and it looked pretty nice.

To assemble the rack I made a jig that was basically a piece of plywood with two parallel cleats screwed in place. Two of the uprights were then placed on the inside edges of the cleats and I fashioned some levers that swiveled against them to hold them in place. I had previously carefully laid out the locations for the horizontal slide pieces and made marks on the two cleats. All I had to do was apply some glue to the ends of the horizontal pieces, line them up with the marks, and shoot (or pound) a brad through them to hold them until the glue dried. With one face of the verticals fitted with the horizontal pieces, I simply flipped it over and installed pieces on the other face. To ensure that the alignment was good, I used a large block of wood placed against one face of the existing horizontal slider and butted the new piece against it. This is a bit difficult to describe, but I am trying my best.

Once you have all the pieces cut to size and have built the jig the assembly goes pretty quickly. You just need to figure out some way to make a frame to hold all of the uprights in place. Pretty straight-forward. You need to be certain that you have the vertical supports spaced properly so that the bottles do not fall through and note that the weight of the bottle resting on the slider supports is also pushing outward, trying to spread the gap. You should limit the number of bottles in a vertical row to about six without some added horizontal stiffening.

My first rack is about 4' high and 8' long and holds 200 bottles. The second rack I made is actually a table. It has this type of support for the bottles, with access from two sides. The top has two sheets of plate glass over a zillion corks I collected over several decades, all glued in place with the labels showing. The perfect place to uncork a bottle you have been aging for years.

I can take pictures, but the racks are currently buried under a ton of stuff from one of my other hobbies. I will do so if it will help you with your project.

I just remembered a funny anecdote from building my second rack. I was hoping to avoid the ton of dust in my shop from ripping all of the horizontal pieces to the proper dimension. I happened to go to the lumber yard on one of the most bitterly cold days of the year (and it gets pretty cold here in Michigan). I mentioned the ripping issue to the yard guy, and he was more than happy to do all of the milling for me in their heated shop. No charge sir, thanks for stopping in!
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Thanks so much Kazooman! Could you tell me the following dimensions for your racks?

1. Narrowest horizontal distance between wine supports - the space where the wine bottle would fall through - 2 to 2.5"?
2. Depth of rack - I saw one online that is 10.25"

I'd also love to see a pic of your jig if you still have it.

Thanks for all the intel, very helpful.
It is just about dinner time here in Kalamazoo, and I have to sign off. I WILL get you the dimensions and some pictures ASAP tomorrow. I just put a note to myself in my pocket, so this will get done! The jig is long gone, but I can cobble up something that would give you the general idea.

I did recall, after posting, that the dimensions for the horizontal pieces were based on the nominal dimension of the surfaced wood from the lumber yard. I just made them square. I would also note that in this case it might be better to get clear wood rather than #2 or some other grade. You cannot tolerate any knots in the horizontal supports, they will just split. Lots of waste.

Pics and dimensions to follow tomorrow!
I hope this posting isn't too big!

I took a few pictures and made a mock-up of the jig to try to explain things better. I got the dimensions for my rack by measuring a commercial redwood rack at a local store. The key dimensions are the depth of the rack and the spacing between the uprights and horizontal supports so that they fit standard wine bottles. My rack holds the usual cabernet type bottle, the larger diameter pinot noir bottles, and half bottles.

The rack was made from redwood stock that came 3/4" thick. The uprights are 3/4" by 2 5/8" by what ever length you need. The front to back outside dimension (the depth of the bin) is 11 5/8". The 2 5/8" width of each vertical support is not critical, I think I just ripped the stock in half lengthwise. The horizontal supports are 3/4" by 3/4" and 11" long. They are installed in pairs on opposite sides of the uprights. The spacing from the top of one support to the top of the next is 3 3/4". The back end of the supports are flush with the back edge of the rear support making them recessed 5/8" in the front.

Basically, you make a series of "ladders" with the supports on each side, and two for the ends with supports on one side only. These are simply assembled using horizontal pieces of wood for a frame and top. The critical dimension here is that the inside to inside spacing between the vertical supports is 4" (leaving a 2 1/2" gap between the inner edges of the horizontal supports).

Now for the jig. I took a couple of 2 X 4's, jointed the inside edges and then marked them with layout lines for the spacing of the horizontal supports. These were firmly mounted to a sheet of plywood with the desired 11 5/8" spacing. Another piece of 2 X 4 goes along one end. I installed a pair of simple cams at the right distance from the 2 X 4's to hold the vertical supports in place. Locate the cams between the support layout spots so you can turn the "ladder" over to attach the supports on the second side. Clamp the verticals in place with a "good" edge facing forward. Just put some glue on the ends of the horizontal supports and butt one end against the rear support 2 X 4 and aligned with the mark on the jig and drive a brad. Align the other end (eyeball should be good enough for this application) and nail it down. Continue with the rest of the supports for this side. Unclamp the unit and turn it over. You could just as well use another piece of wood or a table saw fence for this step. You just need to use a vertical surface to get the end of the new support butted even with the back and use a block of wood to align it perfectly parallel to the original. Just work your way up the rungs until the ladder is complete.

You will need to determine any additional spacing for a horizontal brace like the one shown in the first picture. You need to add extra space to avoid blocking a row of bins. The same goes for the top and bottom ends of the vertical supports. space the first and last rows of horizontal supports to allow for the framework without blocking bins.

None of the dimensions are "drop-dead" critical. The wood will move anyway in a humidified wine cellar. I know that gluing pieces with crossed grain is not always a great idea, but I have not had any issues with joints cracking or pieces splitting in the 20+ years I have used the racks. By the way, BOTH racks used to be full. I quit buying a long while ago and have been enjoying ever since. Looks like I need to get back in the buying mode! Also, I did not own a brad gun when I built my racks. Two hundred bottles time two supports for each bottle times two brads per support and add in the brads for the frame and you get over 1,000 brads. Get a gun!

The main rack:

Product Wood Gas Shelving Wine rack


Wood Shelving Bottle Winery Wine rack

The table style rack:

Wood Audio equipment Electronic instrument Gas Hardwood

Basic jig design:

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Gas

Installing the supports:

Wood Automotive design Floor Flooring Wood stain

Adding the second supports, the purpleheart is optional:

Rectangle Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain


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Man that's an awesome post. Thank you so much for the intel. So you used nails and glue vs screws and glue?
Happy to help. The jig mock-up with carpet tape holding the frame in place and a dot from a sharpie for the pivot on the cam clamps is a piece to behold. The real life jig was much more substantial and it was used to build many racks.

Yes, I used nails, not screws. The commercial rack was either nails or nothing if they had some way to hold the pieces while the glue set. I do not recall. The brads are just there to hold the pieces while the glue sets. There really isn't much strain on any one joint with the weight of a bottle spread over four glue surfaces. As I mentioned, not a single issue after more than 20+ years. I can't imagine building this with screws. I think you would go crazy! The redwood is very soft and you would need to be very careful with screws to not split the narrow pieces. If you want to double up on the holding power you could use 1/4" crown staples in place of the brads. The brad has the advantage of allowing you some adjustment of the positioning of the horizontal support before securing the second end. With a staple you would just need to be more cautious in your initial alignment.

Let me know if you take on this commission and if you need any more advice. For me The final dimensions were not an issue, so I could just build the frame to match whatever I got in length. If your customer has specific dimensions that the rack has to meet, you would need to do some careful planning to avoid problems.

My big problem is that my big rack will never make the turn on the stairs from the basement. It goes with the house when we sell, or I will have to get the Sawzall out.

I should add that there must be a dozen other ways to approach the problem. This is just what worked for me.
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