Canadian Woodworking

Make a floating wine bottle holder

Author: Robert Zakarian
Photos: Robert Zakarian

This dining table centerpiece displays the evening’s wine and showcases your shop skills at the same time.

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I think this is the perfect gift idea for someone who enjoys wine. It’s also the perfect project idea for a wood­worker with scraps of hardwood. I had a lot of maple scraps lying around the shop I wanted to use and this was the perfect project.

For a while I have been looking to make a wine bottle holder to use as a cen­terpiece for our dining room table. I have seen many on the market, but none that really stood out. The best thing was to design one myself. Although it looks sim­ple, there is a certain level of skill, layout and proper tools required to make this.

Center of the Hole
Marked on the center of the lower face of the workpiece, this will be the center point of the hole that accepts the neck of the wine bottle.

Center of the Hole

Lay Out the Angled Bottom
A 35° line is drawn from the very end of the upper face towards the lower face of the holder.

Lay Out the Angled Bottom

An Even Cut
A miter saw will leave you with a straight, even cut. This is important because the holder will balance on this cut face while in use.

An Even Cut

A Nice, Straight Hole
Bore a 1-3/8" diameter hole in the holder on your drill press.

A Nice, Straight Hole

Create a Wedge
After marking the cut, trim the waste off on your bandsaw.

Create a Wedge

Mark some lines

The base is a rectangular block 10″ long × 2-1/2″ thick and 1-7/8″ wide. Mill a blank to this size. Decide on the upper surface, but keep in mind a large portion of this upper surface will be trimmed off on the bandsaw down the road, so the grain will look a bit dif­ferent. Also keep in mind that if you laminate two thinner pieces to make this blank, the glue line will likely be visible in the finished holder. Making this project from a single thick piece of wood will look better unless you’re going for a more rustic look.

Mark a line 2-3/8″ from the top end. This is for the bottle neck hole. Mark a center line on this first mark. These mea­surements should be marked on the lower face of the workpiece.

To lay out the miter cut, mark a 35° line on the sides, at the bottom end of the blank. This line should start at the bottom corner of the upper face and extend away from the bottom end of the blank.

The cuts

Bore a 1-3/8″ diameter hole through the blank. This hole will accept the neck of the wine bottle. Be sure to do this from the lower face of the block, as the upper face will eventually get sawn off and any tear-out will be removed.

Next, make the 35° cut on your miter saw. You can also make this cut with a hand saw, but ensure the cut is as flat and even as pos­sible as this cut face is what the holder will balance on when in use.

Draw a line from the far end of the miter cut to the top, leaving 5/8″ on the top end of the holder. On the bandsaw, cut off the waste to form a large wedge-shaped object. To clean up the cut I made one pass on my jointer, as the piece is just long enough to be jointed. Just ensure the grain is running “downhill” so there’s no tear-out. If you don’t have a jointer or you prefer a quieter approach, you can use a hand plane to flat­ten the freshly sawn face.

As an added personal touch, you can chamfer the 5/8″ wide top or add whatever profile you’d like to accentuate the piece. I heavily chamfered the two corners. This can be done on a miter saw or with a hand saw, then smoothed with a block plane or sandpaper.
Sand the piece up to 150 grit and break all the sharp edges. I used food-grade butcher block oil to finish the piece, but just about any finish will do, as this holder isn’t going to see a lot of wear.

It makes a great dining table centerpiece and a great gift idea, so be sure to make multiple holders.

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