Author Steve Hughes includes building plans and step-by-step instructions for more than 30 winemaking essentials, including a crusher, a de-stemmer, presses, pumps, and a bottle filler in The Homebuilt Winery (Storey Publishing, 2012). With Hughes' extensive guide, you'll have everything you need to affordably enjoy delicious, high-quality, homemade wine. The following excerpt is a plan for building your own wine rack in a diamond pattern, holding up to 364 bottles. See the Image Gallery for illustrations showing further instructions.
You can buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Homebuilt Winery.
This rack will hold four cases of bottles in each full diamond and between 15 and 21 bottles in each smaller triangle, for a total capacity of about 364 bottles.
Two 12-foot lengths 2×10 lumber
Four 8-foot lengths 2×10 lumber
16d nails or 3-1/2" wood screws
Two Simpson A35 angle brackets
Six 4" wood screws
Six 1-3/8” wood screws
Polyethylene sheeting (optional)
1. Cut one of the 12-foot 2×10s into two pieces at 67-1/2" each. These will become the top and bottom of the rack.
2. Cut the other 12-foot 2×10 into two pieces at 64-1/2" each. These are the sides. Lay the top, bottom, and sides on the floor and fasten them with 16d nails or 3-1/2" wood screws, driving the fasteners through the tops and bottoms into the upright pieces. Square up this frame by measuring diagonally between opposite corners, adjusting the frame until the two measurements are equal.
3. Cut one of the 8-foot 2×10s to length at 91". Measure back 3/4" from each end and cut on this line at a 45° bevel out toward the ends. Flip the piece over and cut the same angle on the other side, effectively forming a V point on each end. Slip this piece into the frame, extending from one corner to the opposite one, and nail or screw it in place. Mark the centerpoint of this piece along its front edge.
4. Cut another 8-foot 2×10 into two pieces at 47" each, by cutting one end square and the other on a similar 45° point with the 47" measurement being to the long point of the piece. Install these pieces parallel to the long diagonal piece, and fasten them in place with the nails or screws.
5. From the remaining 8-foot lengths of 2×10, cut six pieces at 21-1/4" each. The ends of these should be left square. Install these six pieces perpendicular to the diagonal pieces, at each end of the #4 pieces and aligned on the centerpoint of the #3 piece, completing four diamonds in the center of the larger frame, and fasten them in place.
6. From the remaining 2×10, cut two pieces with the double 45-degree cut similar to the #3 piece on one end. Measure from the cut 21-1/4" and cut this end square. These are the remaining pieces that get installed at the opposite corners from the #3 piece.
7. Stand the new diamond rack up against the wall where you plan to install it. Locate a couple of studs to fasten the rack to. Nail or screw a metal angle bracket to the shelf at these two locations, and fasten the brackets securely into the studs with some 2" screws.
After you’ve cleaned the bottles, store them in the diamond rack, at the ready for bottling. To keep critters out in the interim, you could hang a piece of polyethylene sheeting over the face of the rack.
When stacking bottles in the rack, it’s a good idea to insert Bordeaux-style bottles (the ones with squarer shoulders) with their necks out and the Burgundy-style (like Chardonnay), Hock-style (like Riesling), and champagne-style bottles with their necks pointing toward the wall, as these latter types can tip forward and cascade out onto the floor.
Excerpted from The Homebuilt Winery (c) Steve Hughes. Illustrations by (c) Michael Gellatly. Used with permission of Storey Publishing. Buy this book in our store: The Homebuilt Winery.
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