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Decide How You'll Use Your Wine Rack
Some people invest in wine, and others just enjoy it. Those who buy a case or two of wine when they find a vintage they like should consider building a crate-like rack to store their purchases. Basically a subdivided box, these racks are diagonally divided with wood that is secured using strips of trim to keep the dividers from collapsing. The box itself can be fabricated from three-eighths-inch plywood. Dividers can be slid out to make larger compartments. Each square is large enough to hold a case of wine stored on its side. Several kits and do-it-yourself projects like the one shown above are available. These divider designs can be incorporated into other cabinetry (like a bar) or can be built as modules to be added to as the collection grows. As with any wine rack, placement is important. The rack must sit in a cool, dry area that is not subject to bumps to protect the integrity of the wine.
Decide What You Can Afford
Those with a more modest wine collection will want a smaller wine rack. Simple racks can be built using plywood or one-by-two lumber to build an open case. Supports are attached up the sides, on which are placed "benches" composed of one-by-twos on the front and back, with pieces lain across to separate bottles. A smaller version can be made using rope tied between the sides through holes drilled in the one-by-twos. The rack can be made larger by increasing the height or adding centre uprights, but it is not appropriate for large numbers of bottles. Precut and drilled kits for wine racks in any configuration are also available. The least-expensive alternative is the wine rack kit composed of dowels and thick anchor pieces that are assembled like the old children's toy. They make an easily adaptable rack to fit any space. As convenient as these sets are, the wine rack builder is advised to glue the dowel joints so that the pieces don't work apart over time.
After deciding on size and setting a budget, consider what style you want in your wine rack. Wood racks are traditional, but other materials, like the PVC pipe shown here, can be used to put together any shape wine rack to fit under a staircase, in a bookcase shelf or on a table top. If your style is modern or eclectic, this kind of unusual material might be right for you---and it's certainly easier to build. All you need is a hacksaw, some pipe adhesive and emery cloth to smooth the edges of the pipe. Whatever you decide to build, remember that most wine racks are simple so that the wine can be easily seen and turned---and expandable so the collection can grow.
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