Thursday, August 14, 2008
I made a shelf out of wine bottles
On Instructables, I found a project someone had made where they used turn buckles and wine bottles to make shelves. The other day I saw someone on Craigslist giving away a case of empty wine bottles. Can you guess where those two ideas met up?
I got the bottles, and they turned out to be from all manner of vineyards. There turned out to be enough matching bottles for one shelf, and when I snagged a couple extra bottles from the house I had enough for two shelves. I got the cheapest non-plywood plank wood I could get, which is an odd finger jointed composite wood which looks like it was made from all the scraps with knots in it. For half the price of pieces made the same way with fewer knots and 1/4 to 1/8 the price of solid planks I figured I'd give it a go. I matched the bottles and cleaned off the labels first. I think some labels had a water soluble glue, while others a different glue since some came off easily with hot water and for others I needed to use gas to get the adhesive off the bottle. Then I got to work on the wood.
After ripping the 16" planks to 8" I added recesses for the tip of each bottle to sit into the shelf above it. I also put in two holes for the eye bolts to go trough just off center on each side of each plank. After test fitting it all, I took it apart, cut some small plywood feet to keep the bottom nut and bolt from touching the floor, screwed them in place, sanded, and stained all the wood.
Also along the way I managed to break one of the bottles I needed, so I had to go get more wine to finish the project. It turns out Barefoot wine is pretty good. It also turns out that working with tools while tipsy on a half bottle of wine is pretty fun. Good thing I had other bottles around to put the rest in, I wasn't feeling like working with tools while glassy-eyed.
Bada-bing, bada-boom and I have wine-bottle shelves. I might still add a third bottle height to it, but I need to get four more matching bottles. If you plan to do this yourself, go with more solid wood since I think the wood I used being under the stress this puts it in may wind up weakening the glue joints over time. We'll see how that goes. You can also forgoe the turn buckles and just use some small chain since I just wound up using the eye bolts to tighten the whole shebang down anyway. Also try to make sure that your bottles come from the same brand and type since very small differences in the bottle height can wind up as less-than-tightly held bottles in the shelves. Just use it as an excuse to buy a case of wine I guess. Just remember not to drink the case before making the shelves. Recruit friends if need be.
There are plenty of photos over on flickr of the construction. I'll add some of them here later, after I figure out where the heck to put this shelf....