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designing and building with wood channels my creativity and challenges my mind.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sassafras and Walnut Wine Pedestal

A year ago, my friend gave me a piece of live-edged sassafras, along with a whole bunch of old-growth black walnut, from a fallen tree near his property in Maryland.

I have used most of the walnut, on some really cool personal projects, and on a recent commission

And I finally got around to using the piece of sassafras, along with some of that walnut, to make a cool wine rack. I book-matched a crazy-figured piece of the walnut to make the base, joining the two panels together using hand-cut wooden butterfly keys and clear epoxy. They're my first butterfly keys; the epoxy was a necessity, rather than an open choice. The resulting base sits on two walnut rails, and is solid and stable.

The rack itself is made from the one piece of sassafras, with a special walnut base that tilts the thing back slightly. I left the bark on, and to hold the wine bottles, I drilled angled holes in the sassafras. 

I also added small dowels in the tops of the holes to hold the wine bottles tight, in case the rack was bumped. These little dowels let me drill the holes so the bottles would lie almost flat, perpendicular to the rack, but still be held securely. The dowels are angled so you don't feel them when you put the bottle in, but you can't remove the bottle without lifting it up before pulling it out.

Ingenious, if I do say so myself!

The whole thing is finished in Danish oil, so there are no worries about leaving the bottles in for a long time (and pulling off a strip of stuck-on finish when you finally do remove the bottle).

It's stable when fully loaded, a one-of-a-kind art piece and functional bottle holder with a 12-bottle capacity. It's also for sale. Contact me here.

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