Wood for Wine Rack Construction

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I've been planning on building wine racks for my wine cellar. The rack length will be about 14' and each column will hold 18 bottles with 2 display bins. I enjoy woodworking and have a nice shop, so construction isn't an issue.
I had assumed that I would be able to build it for cheaper than I could purchase a unit. I also hoped that it would justify some new tools! :-) The problem that I just priced out red wood and found that it's running $3.29-$3.79 per linear foot for 1x6 in New England. When I look at the pricing for pre-fabbed wine racks built out of red wood, I can't even buy the wood for what they're selling them for, let alone justify any new tools! :-(
I'm not fixed on red wood. I want a wood that will withstand the relative humidity of a cellar and look good. Pine is not an option. Any suggestions for a nice wood to build this out of?
-- Geoff
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Use seomthing they don't have to ship across the country. Perhaps cedar or SYP?
scott
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Geoff Schultz wrote:

I used poplar and shellac to get the result below. 'May- or may not be to your liking (I realize you are building something rather different) but it's worth a look:
http://www.tundraware.com/Woodworking/WineRack /
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snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com says...

nice color for the normally bland poplar, and I'm surprised you could get that color with just shellac and wax. If the color is all from the shellac, what color shellac did you use, and how many coats?
Thanks, Mark
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Mark Blum wrote:

I think I may have oiled it prior to the shellac - I cannot recall - and that may account for the color. I used Orange shellac, probably 2 or 3 coats.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

Some people don't realize how many different shades of shellac there are. Super blonde, blonde, lemon, orange, and garnet, and probably one or two I don't know about. And Ron Hock now has the orange and garnet in dewaxed, as well as the more common dewaxed blonde.
I've never found oiling poplar to add much color, unless you used a tinted oil. In fact, I've tried shellac with and without oiling first and my eyes can't tell the difference.
And yes Tim, it looks great.
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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Mark Blum wrote:

I second that. That is an EXCELLENT finish on poplar. It really doesn't look like poplar.
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It's a sad but true commentary that building it yourself is not cheaper than buying premade. Those companies get the wood for *pennies*/board ft where we pay *dollars*/board ft. If you want the joy of crafting it yourself, you will pay for that pleasure.
Good luck,
Vic
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Tue, Jan 9, 2007, 10:23am (EST-1) geoff"at"@geoffschultz.org (GeoffSchultz) doth toast us and sayeth: I've been planning on building wine racks for my wine cellar. <snip> in New England. <snip> I'm not fixed on red wood. I want a wood that will withstand the relative humidity of a cellar and look good. Pine is not an option. Any suggestions for a nice wood to build this out of?
If you don't have any wine racks yet, is it still a wine cellar? Does Nighttrain, MD 20/20, and Thunderbird, count? Everclear and Kool-Aid?
I'd say check some old cellars, then use a local wood (to you) that holds up well.
JOAT To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. - Igor Stravinsky
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"J T" wrote in message

LOL!
IIRC, put some sugar in it and that was Boudreaux's favorite "wine", cher ... I guarantee!
(Well, it might not be all the +good+ .... but it would knock you on your butt and make you wish you were dead the next morning.) :)
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Tue, Jan 9, 2007, 3:43pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Swingman) doth recall: <snip> (Well, it might not be all the +good+ .... but it would knock youon your butt and make you wish you were dead the next morning.) :)
Not even close to a Jagermeister hangover - probably close to 40 years now, and even the memory makes me sudder.
JOAT To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also. - Igor Stravinsky
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On Tue, 09 Jan 2007 10:23:29 -0600, Geoff Schultz wrote:

The humidity shouldn't be an issue as long as it's more or less constant--it's changes in humidity that are bad. On the other hand, if the floor is damp you might want to consider elevating the cabinet base a bit--Ikea sells plastic cabinet supports that hold up something like a half a ton a set for 6 bucks IIRC, complete with skirt clips.
As for choice of wood, if redwood is too steep that lets out most of the tropicals. Locally cypress and white oak are listing for around $3.75/board foot. Either of those should hold up fine.

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Geoff Schultz wrote:

Got money? Purpleheart!
<http://www.liwoodworkers.org/gallery/gallery_member_project.asp?p_idt&i_name=Mike+Daum
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ame=Mike+Daum>
Well, if one can afford to stock a wine rack of that size, they've likely got all the money they need for purpleheart.
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Upscale wrote:

I like the wood pile in the first photo. <G>
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So that works out to about $6.50 a board foot. What do you figure to pay? Most "better" woods are $4.50 and up. If you want cheap, you are limited to MDF. Check out Downes & Reader in Stoughton MA or Connecticut Hardwood Group in Enfield CT for prices. There is a sawmill in MA that has pine boards for as little as $100 a bd. ft.
You can do what I did. I have my son's old entertainment center and just lay the cardboard boxes on their side in it. Right now I've got about 200 bottles stored that way. Not pretty, but certainly cost effective.
Most of us do woodworking for the fun of it. You can buy most things cheaper (but not better).
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Geoff Schultz wrote:

If you live near a sawmill, you might be able to buy nearly any wood they process at a much lower price if the wood has flaws. If you can select what you buy, you might be able to pick out some lumber that would have a flaw near the end of the board that can be sawed off, etc. Of course I doubt if there are any redwood sawmills in New England :-).
The best choice I can think of is teak. Garden furniture made from it can last a very long time without rot in even very moist climates. England is full of very old teak garden furniture on private estates and in parks. The teak slowly turns gray as it ages outdoors and often is not treated. There is a less expensive wood than teak now being used for outdoor garden furniture. I do not recall the name - it may be from South America.
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On Tue, 09 Jan 2007 21:37:36 -0800, cwdjrxyz wrote:

No redwood, but eastern white cedar, white oak, etc are available.

While teak is durable in outdoor furniture, it's not the only wood for which that is the case. Ipe, osage orange (while most Americans think of this as more or less a shrub, in the tropics it grows to a good size), jarrah (if you can find it), purpleheart, and a few others are exceptionally decay resistant, but they'd be overkill for this application unless one was using them for the appearance.
In practice, anything from the first column of table 3-10 of the FPL "Wood Handbook" (a standard engineering reference, and it's free besides <http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm ) orthat comes up on the list when you select "decay reistance high" in woodpicker <http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/wdpick.htm should be more than adequate in a basement. That includes most of the more popular US cabinet woods--white oak, black cherry, and black walnut are all reasonably decay resistant.
The trouble is that the OP was objecting to paying something like $7 a board foot for redwood, and any of the tropicals will cost more than that, and the more popular cabinet woods aren't a whole lot cheaper.
Personally for me if price was no object I'd go with black mesquite--it's one of the most stable woods around, has good decay resistance, has good mechanical properties, and it looks very nice.
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The just ignore the humidity issue. Basement humidity is not nasty enough to rot just about any wood with a little finish to seal the grain. Wood movement is not really an issue with a skelletal wine rack design.
As others have said, contain the cost by finding a locally available (harvested), common species. In the NE USA, that would be Oak/Maple, Cherry or Walnut if you want to move up-market. Poplar would not be my choice as It's a bit on the soft side.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the look and you would have to up-size the components a bit to accomodate all that weight. IMO, good plan; avoid pine.

Where are you?
_Steve
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First off I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. I've been spending a lot of time talking to hardwood vendors and considering my options. My original design required 300 board feet of lumber and I've gone back and modified the design so that I'm down to about 200 board feet. As a result of this need, I am very sensitive to the price of the material.
To construct this I need 72 vertical supports, 48 horizontal supports and 1254 cross bars. Being an engineer at heart, I spent a couple of hours yeasterday developing a spread sheet that would calculate how many pieces I could construct out of varying sizes of wood. For example, for each 2"x6"x8' piece of stock I can make: 2 risers and 8 cross bars; or 6 horizontals and 8 cross bars; or 64 cross bars. Calculatiing this by hand while varying the dimensions of the design and the stock was getting to be too much. Hence the spread sheet.
Anyhow, after looking at my options I think that I may be setteling back to the redwood. I'll keep you posted on my final decisions.
-- Geoff
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