The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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RV Wine Rack

A buddy of mine asked me to design and build a wine rack for his RV.  He will take out the wine bottles when he is traveling, so rack can set loose in the cabinet hole.

In the 1980's, I built a bunch of wine racks from oak, so I decided to use that basic design, since the wine bottles seems to fit fine in it.

The original pattern allowed for stackable units, you just put 2 dowels in each end, then you can stack them.  I never made any of the stackable ones, I just made single ones for gifts, and kept 2 for my own use.

New Design in Google Sketchup

Delta Mortiser

Back in the 90s sometime, I bought an AMT mortising attachment that fits on my drill press. I bought 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" wide mortise chisel bits for it..........and have used it to make a lot of projects over the years.  It does take a while to set up, then to remove from the drill press.

A couple years ago I bought a used Delta model 14-650 mortising machine. It came with a 1/4" chisel bit.  I have used it a couple of times, and like it better than the drill press.

On this projects, there is quite a bit of weight if the wine rack is full, so I wanted to use 3/8" mortise and tenon joints versus 1/4".  I went to change the bit on the Delta machine from 1/4" to 3/8", and discovered my other bits won't fit it!!!!!!!!!!!  The Delta machine requires bits with 5/8" diameter tooling.........while the AMT attachment requires 3/4" tools.  I checked the manual for the Delta machine to see if you could buy bushings to accept the 3/4" tooling, but must buy the 5/8" tooling.

I went ahead and ordered a 3/8" mortise chisel bit for the delta machine with a 5/8" on this project, I will use the 1/4" bit, and make 2 set-ups to increase the width of the mortise.  This worked, it just took longer.

So, I learned something about my Delta machine on this project!

Making the 2 long wine rack pieces

To conserve red oak, I ripped a 36" long piece of red oak 5.5 inches wide into 2 pieces.  I then glued some sacrificial 1x4 pine pieces to the red oak.  The pine gives a spot for the big 3.5" Forstner bit to have a center point to drill.  After I get the holes drills, I used the table saw to rip the oak strip to the 2.5" final height.  This worked well.

After they were glued up, I used a temporary stop on my radial arm saw, to cut both pieces the exact same length.

I printed a full scale paper pattern of the long pieces, and Elmer glued them on.  This eliminates measurement error, when locating where to drill the 8 holes, and is faster also.  When done, I used a wet rag to rub off the paper and Elmer's glue.

3.5" Big Forstner Bit

I just bought this bit in the last year or two, I don't remember what project it was for.  I decided to use it again on this project to drill the 16 holes.  I had to experiment and get the right drill press speed.  I started with the slowest speed, which was too slow and the motor would stall.  I went up 2 more speeds until I got the right one, which was 650 RPM at 60 Hz,

I could have band sawed the circle, but you run the risk of burning the wood, then having to sand all the burn out.

Unexpected Minor Safety Issue

After drilling the 8 big holes in each of the 2 long pieces, I took the first one to the table saw to rip it to the final width of 2.5 inches.  I was surprised that one of the pine chunks broke off and hit me in the stomach, and it hurt a little.  I did have my safety glasses on.

I stopped the saw. I started it back up, sawed a little further, and a 2nd chunk hit me in the belly,  Time out!!

I hand sawed the little pieces with a coping saw, then put a temporary strip of blue masking tape to hold it in place.  This worked fine!!

Table Saw Tenoning Fixture

Wood and  Stain

I used red oak from Menards for the wine rack.  The existing wood in the RV is cherry stained a very dark color. We decided Modern Walnut was the closest color match on red oak. After staining, I did 2 rounds of 220 grit sanding and polyurethane.

Dry assembly

Final Assembly


After Staining and 2 coats of Polyurethane

Sketchup Design

I uploaded the Sketchup file to the Warehouse.

Finished Wine Rack

Closing Thoughts on This project

On future projects, try to predict when small pieces might break loose on the table saw, like the connectors between the drilled holes on this project (see above). Wearing safety glasses whenever operating the table saw is a good idea!

Also when setting up the Delta mortising machine, don't set the depth stop until you have the final height support piece under the work piece. I set my depth stop, then found I needed to use a different board spacer to get the right height..........then drilled the first hole through instead of a blind hole!!  I forgot to change the depth stop when I changed support board.  I plugged the 1/4" hole.  Live and learn :)

I ordered and now a 3/8" mortise chisel to fit my Delta mortiser.  So on future projects, I can make 3/8" wide mortises in 1 pass versus 2 passes using a 1/4" wide bit.