A story of building a wine rack for Our Basement

Over the past few weeks, I have been working to build a new wine rack for my basement. Apartment life has prevented me from building a more permanent home for my small but growing wine collection, and I have run out of room on the various small racks around my house. So, I used a friends workshop to build a new rack for my basement.

Wine rackHow we built a wine rack from the scratch!

From the beginning, I need to thank Beth for giving me the basic outline that I followed when building my wine rack. Her original post and plans can be found here – what follows is my experience and some changes I made to Beth’s original design.

Dimension & Steps to making it

The first major change we made was that Beth’s design called for 1″x1″ bottle separators – our local hardware store didn’t seem to have enough of these and the ones they did have were overpriced so instead we got 1″ x 2″ boards to use as the separators and they worked just fine. I also didn’t make as many shelves as Beth did (I only made 7 shelves) and I spaced them a bit further apart (10″ from the bottom of one shelf to the bottom of the next). Other than those changes we pretty much followed Beth’s design and so I won’t repeat the entire process here.  

The larger bottle separator

The larger bottle separators mean that the bottles themselves rested a bit higher on our rack, which is one of the reasons we left more space between shelves. The additional space also makes it easier to read the labels on the bottom shelves without getting down on the ground – which in our basement is a MAJOR plus.

Once we finished making the shelves and cutting the legs of the rack down to size we stained all the pieces with a dark wood stain. Normally at this point you would then polyurethane the entire thing. I went back and forth on this question for quite awhile – on the one hand the polyurethane would help the rack last longer and ward off any rot that might come from moisture in our basement. On the other hand, a few articles and blogs about the detrimental impact polyurethane can have on the bouquet of your wine had me concerned that it could cause more harm than good. In the end I decided not to risk it – it seem to me it would be easier to replace a rotted wine rack than a case of 2007 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon.

Once the rack was in the basement

A process that was more complicated than it might seem, basement steps in 1870’s homes can be very narrow – we used some shims to level the rack. Then we used some scrap wood to tie the rack into the basement wall, ensuring it won’t fall (fingers crossed).
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At that point there was only one task left – the best one of all – filling the rack up with wine, drinking the wine on the rack, and then filling it up again. I plan to continue to repeat this final step as many times as I can.

Thanks so much Beth for the help and idea – I like to think it came out rather nice. For those of you out there looking for a good DIY project or looking to store wine in something other than those ugly case boxes in the corner – give this rack a shot, you’ll love the outcome.

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Thanks, Cheers