Build a Wine Rack with Built-in Wine Glass Storage

  • 01 of 10

    Free Wood Working Plans

    Wine Rack with Built-in Wine Glass Storage
    Wine Rack with Built-in Wine Glass Storage. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    A wine rack can be a very nice addition to any kitchen. In this set of free woodworking plans, we take the traditional wine rack one step further.

    We've designed a wine rack that holds 13 bottles of wine, but it also contains a wine glass rack that will easily hold twelve wine glasses. The unit is perfectly suited for placing on top of a refrigerator, as shown in the picture on this page.

    This unit can be built using pretty much any type of wood you'd like and can be stained or painted. In the case of the prototype, you'll see as you go through the plans, we were fortunate enough to procure some nice material that was "rescued" from a local restaurant as it was being gutted for remodeling.

    If you choose to paint the wine rack, poplar or pine would be a good choice, but if you would prefer to stain the unit, try maple or oak for a nice finish. You'll want to paint or stain the unit before assembly, as it will be a bit difficult to finish the wood after the unit has been fully assembled.

    This is a fun woodworking project to build, and one that will certainly become a conversation piece in your kitchen for years to come.

    Download to build this Wine Rack with built-in wine glass storage (PDF).​

    Difficulty Level

    • Woodworking: Moderate
    • Finishing: Stain and polyurethane or paint

    Time to Complete

    6-8 Hours

    Recommended Tools

    Materials Needed

    • 16' of 1x12 - Pine, maple, poplar or oak
    • 16' of 1x6 - Pine, maple, poplar or oak
    • Tape measure
    • Pencil
    • Woodworker's glue
    • Finish nails
    • Stain or paint of color of choice
    • Polyurethane (if stained only)
    • Sandpaper
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  • 02 of 10

    Cut the Sides of the Carcase

    Cut Sides to Length
    Cut Sides to Length. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    The first woodworking step to building these free wine rack plans is to cut the sides of the carcase. As noted in the bill of materials that accompanies the free woodworking plans you downloaded in step 1, you'll need a couple of 1x12 boards.

    Using your miter saw or radial-arm saw, cut two lengths of 1x12 at 32-inches in length and two more at 23-1/2".

    Next, use your table saw to rip the two side pieces and the top to a width of 10-1/2" each. The bottom shelf will be ripped to 9-3/4" wide.

    Before moving on, you'll need to cut a rabbet in each of the four sides to accommodate the plywood back. Set up a stacked dado set in your table saw to cut a rabbet 3/8" wide and adjust the cutting depth to 1/4". Place a sacrificial strip of stock against your table saw's fence and move it so that it is just shy of touching the saw blade.

    Cut one rabbet on what will be the back edges of each of the two 32" pieces. This rabbet can go the entire length of the stock.

    Now, we'll want to perform the same task on the two sideboards (the 23-1/2" pieces), but this rabbet should not go all the way through each end. Instead, you'll want to start and stop the rabbet about half an inch from each end. To do this, you'll want to place the stock flat on the table against the fence and push down on the back of the board, lifting the front edge off of the table. Move the stock forward until you reach a point 1/2" past the far edge of the blade, and then ease the stock down onto the blade. Push the through the saw until you reach a point 1/2" from the back end and use the same procedure (on the opposite side) to lift the stock up off the dado blade. Because it is a rabbet, you can also simply slide the stock on the table away from the blade.

    This will leave a rabbet with rounded ends that can easily be cleaned up with a chisel.

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  • 03 of 10

    Make the Wine Glass Racks

    Cutting the Small Shelf
    Cutting the Small Shelf. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    Next, we'll focus on making the wine glass racks. This step can be a bit subjective, however, based on the size of the glasses you intend to house in the wine glass racks. Some glasses have a rather narrow base, where others have an exceptionally wide base. If your glasses have a wider base, you may need to adjust the width of the racks to accommodate the wider glasses. For this prototype, we assumed that the base of the glasses would not exceed 2-1/2" in diameter.

    TIP: Keep in mind that if you adjust the width of the wine glass racks, you'll need to make appropriate adjustments in the widths of the wine racks in the upcoming steps.

    Begin by cutting a piece of 1x12 to 9-1/4" in length and then rip it to 10-1/4" wide. This piece will serve as the shelf that will hold the lower wine glass racks.

    Next, we'll cut the lower portions of the wine glass racks. You'll need two pieces 10-1/4" long by 3" wide, and four more 10-1/4" long pieces at 2" wide. You'll also need six 10-1/4" pieces cut at 1" in width. These six pieces will act as spacers between the shelf above and the rack below.

    Before we move on, we'll want to cut some angles on the front ends of the lower rack parts. Set up your miter saw or radial arm saw to a 30-degree miter (to the right). Clamp a stop block against the fence 10" to the left of the point where the blade intersects the fence. Using one of the two 3" lower rack pieces, place the stock flat against the table with the edge that will become the back of the rack piece against the stop block and cut the miter. This should give you a miter that is 1/4" deep and 3/4" across the front face of the rack piece.

    Flip the piece over and cut the opposite front edge. Then, make the same two cuts on the other 3" piece.

    Finally, make one miter cut on the front edge of the four 2" wide pieces of stock.

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  • 04 of 10

    Cutting the Parts for the Wine Rack

    Cut Interlocking Notches for Wine Rack
    Cut Interlocking Notches for Wine Rack. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    The next couple of steps will require some patience and accuracy, but if done properly, it will be the most rewarding part of this woodworking project.

    We're going to turn our attention to the interlocking pieces of the wine rack itself. Begin by cutting three sections of 1x6 to 32" in length.

    Next, set up your table saw to rip these 32" sections of stock into strips at 7/16" in width. You'll need 20 strips in all.

    Now comes the tricky part: the layout. Refer to the drawings you downloaded in step 1 for an accurate layout, but essentially you're going to place these pieces on a grid where the gap between the parts is 4-1/8". Be sure that the strips are laid down on the 7/16" edge and not their 3/4" sides. Don't worry about some pieces being too long; we'll trim them to length later.

    Using a pencil, make marks at all of the intersecting locations on all strips. These marks will denote where you'll cut the notches to make the pieces interlock.

    Once all of the pieces are marked, set up your radial arm saw or table saw with a stacked dado, installed at 7/16" width. Adjust the cutting depth to 3/8" deep and cut the notches at the marks you just made.

    TIP: This is probably an easier task on a radial arm saw, but can be accomplished on a table saw with appropriate safety precautions. Remove your fence and use your miter gauge to guide the stock across the stacked dado, taking care to keep your fingers well clear of the blade. Do not attempt to use the fence or to "free-hand" the stock across the blade.

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  • 05 of 10

    Dry Fit the Wine Rack Parts

    Dry Fitting the Notches
    Dry Fitting the Notches. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    Before you should proceed to the next step, take a moment and check the fit of all of the interlocking connections you cut in the previous step. Dry fitting the parts together will ensure that the connections are not too tight or too loose. If the connection is too tight, take off a minute amount of stock and re-test the fit.

    This notched connection is a type of half-lap joint that, when properly fit together, will be strong and stable for years to come. However, if the fit is loose, the joint will not be as strong, and if too tight, could cause the stock to crack over time.

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  • 06 of 10

    Ease the Edges of the Wine Rack Parts

    Rounding Over the Edges of the Wine Rack Strips
    Rounding Over the Edges of the Wine Rack Strips. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    The next step is to round over the edges of the strips that will comprise the wine rack. This is a simple task with a router table and a 1/4" roundover bit.

    Be certain that your fingers stay well clear of the bit as you slide the pieces past the cutting head. Ease all four edges of each of the 20 strips before moving onto the next step.

    At this point, we're going to take a moment to cut a few other parts that we'll need for assembly. With the remaining stock left over from cutting the carcase and the slats for the wine rack, we'll need some strips ripped at 1" widths. Four strips will need to be cut to 19-3/4" in length, and another four at 20-3/4" long.

    One more piece, for the front of the bottom shelf, will be ripped at 2" wide and cut to 30-1/2" long.

    While we're at it, we should cut the plywood back as well. Cut a section out of your sheet of 1/4" plywood to 21-1/2" by 31-1/4".

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  • 07 of 10

    Sanding and Partial Assembly

    Sanding the Parts of the Wine Rack
    Sanding the Parts of the Wine Rack. Chris Baylor / The Spruce

    Before moving on, now would be the best time to sand all parts of the wine rack and wine glass rack. Use a random orbital sander or palm sander with progressively finer grits of sandpaper to smooth out all faces of the project. It is also a good idea to follow up with the power sander with a quality hand sanding.

    When you're satisfied with the sanding of all of the parts, remove all sawdust from the parts to prepare for the finishing step, which we'll need to complete before we can assemble this woodworking project.

    We should complete a little bit of assembly at this point, by putting together the notched portions of the wine rack. Place a small amount of woodworking glue into the corresponding notches of the pieces of the front rack and tap them together tightly with a hammer and a woodblock. When the front rack is completed, assemble the rear rack in the same manner.

    Next, we'll assemble the outer square rings for the front & rear racks. Attach two of the 19-3/4" pieces to two of the 20-3/4" pieces with finish nails, making a 20-3/4" by 21-1/4" square. Complete the second ring in the same manner. These will add stability to the wine rack when the racks are attached.

    Before we move on, we should trim the wine racks to their proper sizes. For appropriate layout, refer to the drawings on pages 4 & 5 of the free woodworking plans you downloaded in step 1.

    Place one of the two racks flat on your shop table. Then place one of the outer rings onto the assembled wine rack and align it as per the drawing on page 4 for the rear rack. Mark the cut lines on all of the strips of the wine rack on all four sides of the ring. Remove the ring and cut the rack to size using a circular saw.

    Repeat the entire procedure for the front rack, using the measurements from page 5 of the free woodworking plans.

    Clean up the cuts with a hand sanding.

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  • 08 of 10


    Staining. (c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to, Inc.

    Because of the intricate nature of this woodworking project, it would be best to apply the finish to your wine rack and wine glass rack before assembling the parts. You could wait until after assembly, but the task would be much more difficult.

    No matter whether you're painting or staining this project, be certain to apply finish only to the parts which will be exposed and visible. You can apply finish to the parts that won't be visible, such as the rear of the plywood back, but there is no compelling reason to do so unless you're worried about protecting the exposed areas from moisture.

    If you've chosen to stain your woodworking project, be sure to follow up the stain with two or three coats of polyurethane, to protect the finish. Follow the instructions on the can, and give each coat a light sanding after it dries before applying the next coat.

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  • 09 of 10

    Begin the Assembly

    Cutting Slots for Biscuits
    Cutting Slots for Biscuits. (c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to, Inc.

    To begin the assembly, we'll attach the 2" wide front edge to the bottom shelf. Align the two parts and make a mark across both pieces with a pencil every six inches or so to denote the locations for some biscuits. Then, using your biscuit joiner, cut slots for some #10 biscuits in both the front edge of the shelf and the backside of the 2" piece. Evenly distribute a small amount of woodworking glue in the slots, place the biscuits in the slots of the shelf and attach the front edge. Clamp the edge in place using some woodworking clamps and set aside.

    While that dries, we'll attach the square rings to the racks. Place each rack face down on a table with the ring on top and attach with finish nails.

    Next, we'll attach the two sides of the carcase to the bottom shelf assembly you put together above. Align the parts and mark slots for biscuits in both sides of the standards as well as the ends of the bottom shelf. Apply glue, insert biscuits and attach the two sides to the bottom shelf, again using clamps to hold the assembly together. You may wish to use a couple of finish nails through the sides to help hold the bottom shelf. Set this assembly aside to dry for a while, while we move our attention to the wine glass racks.

    Place the small shelf (for the bottom wine glass rack) upside down on your shop table. Position the 1" strips in their correct locations as shown on page 3 of the free woodworking plans you downloaded in step 1. Attach them to the shelf with some glue and finish nails. Next, attach two of the 2" and one of the 3" rack pieces to the strips with glue and finish nails, again as shown in the drawing on page 3 of the free woodworking plans.

    Attach the wine glass rack pieces to the underside of the top shelf in the same manner.

    Allow the glue on all of the parts to cure before proceeding to the final step.

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  • 10 of 10

    Final Assembly

    Attaching the Plywood Back
    Attaching the Plywood Back. (c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to, Inc.

    Once the glue-ups have cured, remove the clamps and prepare for the final assembly.

    First, we'll attach the front and back wine racks to the carcase. Begin by aligning the rear rack with the rabbeted edge of the bottom shelf and left standard. Attach the rack to the carcase using finish nails.

    Second, position the front rack so that the front edge is 1/4" back from the front edge of the bottom shelf and left shelf standard. Once again, attach to the carcase using finish nails.

    Next, we'll attach the lower wine glass rack and shelf to the assembly. The top of this shelf should be 10-3/4" up from the top of the bottom shelf. Mark the edge of the shelf where it meets the right standard for two biscuits, and cut the slots using your biscuit joiner. The location of the biscuits into the right standard can be tricky since you don't have an edge for reference. To combat this, cut the slots in the shelf first, then measure down from the top of the shelf so you know exactly how far down to cut the biscuit slots in the right standard.

    Insert some glue and biscuits, and attach the shelf. You'll need to bend the shelf standard out slightly to get the shelf into place, but with care, it can be done easily.

    Affix the opposite side of the lower shelf to the wine racks with finish nails.

    After the lower shelf is attached, we'll move on to the top shelf. Position this shelf appropriately and attach to the side standards with biscuits and finish nails.

    The last assembly step is to place the entire woodworking project face down on your shop table and attach the plywood back. Be sure to place the finished side inwards, and set them back into the rabbets of the shelves and standards. Attach with finish nails as shown in the image above.

    Check to see if any finish touch-up is needed before placing the wine rack in its final location.