How to build a riddling wine rack

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Riddling is a traditional method for clarifying wine, especially champagne. The bottles are stored with the necks pointing downward. They are turned a quarter-turn each day until any sediment in the bottle gathers next to the cork. At the end of the process, the necks of the bottles are frozen, they are uncorked, and the sediment is removed. They are then resealed. The racks used for this process have become desirable to have as decorative wine racks. You can make your own riddling wine rack with basic carpentry skills.

Measure 17.5 cm (7 inches) from the end of a 2.5 by 15 cm (1 by 6 inch) board that is 90 cm (36 inches) long. Measure width-wise at this first mark to find the centre of the board and mark it with an X. Measure 12.5 cm (5 inches) along the length of the board from the first mark, find the centre and mark with an X. Continue this process every 12.5 cm (5 inches) for the length of the board. You will have 5 Xs. Repeat for two more identical boards.

Put on safety glasses. Drill a 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inch) hole centred on each X with a drill or drill press and hole bit. Repeat for all three boards. Sand the holes and ends of the board with 150-grit sandpaper. Wipe with tack cloth.

Stain or paint the wood your desired colour. Stain or paint 15 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch) boards that are 40 cm (16 inches) long. Allow all the stain or paint to dry.

Line up the large boards with holes beside each other to form a large rectangle with 15 holes arranged symmetrically. Line up one of the 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch) boards across all three large boards. Position it so it is centred across the three large boards and so half the holes are covered by the smaller board. Nail the smaller board to the three larger ones at regular intervals.

Position a second smaller board on top of the first one you nailed down. Place it so it overhangs the hole 6 mm (1/4 inch) more than the first one. Nail it in place. Put a third smaller board on top the second, again covering 6 mm (1/4 inch) more of the hole than the second. Nail it in place. Repeat this process for all five rows of holes. The side where you nail the smaller boards is the back of the wine rack.

Attach heavy-duty hanging hooks such as those used for mirrors to the top corners on the back of the riddling wine rack. Determine the top of the rack by keeping the smaller boards at the tops of the holes so that when wine bottles are inserted by the neck, the necks are forced at a downward angle by the smaller boards.

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