- Ideas & How-Tos
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Add floor-to-ceiling custom wine storage to the side of a standard-depth fridge for a built-in look. You can build the wine tower from rugged plywood in a weekend.
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Cut some plywood, spread a little glue, add a few pieces of trim, and you can add a wine case to your kitchen to customize stock cabinets. The cabinet can be easily reversed based on your kitchen layout.
Cut the 3/4 inch thick plywood for the shelves (A), back (B), narrow side (C), full side (D), and toe kick (G) (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram). The large parts (B), (C), and (d) can be cut with a straightedge and a circular saw. For greater accuracy when cutting the remaining smaller components, use both a table saw and miter saw for the best results. Sand the face of all the plywood parts with 150-grit sandpaper.
To glue and nail the shelves to the back (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram), start by placing the first shelf 4-1/2 inches up from the bottom to allow room for a toe kick at the front of the cabinet (Project Diagram, Drawing 1 and 2). (This also helps the shelf blend with existing or new cabinets.) To simplify the job, cut a spacer 4-1/2 inches long, and align with the bottom of the back (B). Clamp it and the first shelf to the back, square the shelf with a framing square, and drive the nails (Photo 1).
Cut a spacer to use for spacing the shelves to 4-1/4 inches long and use it to space and install the first shelf. Place the spacer, clamp the shelf and secure with brads. Continue using the spacer as you work up the wine rack installing the shelves (Photo 2).
Use spacers not measurements, slight variations in the marking out the shelf locations, can lead to leaning shelves. A spacer will keep all of the shelves level as you install them. Why worry about small differences? Because in this project, there are 19 shelves, including the top and bottom, spaced evenly apart to create 18 openings, and even a 1/32 inch error in the 19 layers adds up fast (19 x 1/32-in = 17/32, almost 5/8 inch). So use that spacer to get perfectly spaced shelves.
At the front edge of the narrow side (C) and side (D) cut a 4-1/2-inch-tall, 4-in deep notch with a jigsaw for the toe kick (Photo 3).
Attach the narrow side of the cabinet on the side that will be closest to the refrigerator. Apply glue to the edges of the shelf/back assembly and add the side. Nail along the back first (Photo 4).
Align the bottom shelf with the bottom edge of the toe kick and attach with nails. For the remaining shelves, retrieve the 4-1/4-in-tall spacer, and use it as a gauge to nail the front edges of the remaining shelves to the narrow side, working up from the bottom (Photo 5).
Flip the assembly over and add the remaining side using glue and nails (Photo 6). Align the side at the base and the front of the shelves.
Apply glue to the front edge of the wide side of the cabinet and install the first stile flush to the outside edge of the case (Photo 7).
When adding a long, flexible part, use your hand as a gauge and align the part as you nail it. Start at one end and nail the board so it is flush with the outside of the case. Then move your hand about 18 inches, adjust the rail if needed, and then drive the nail. Continue your way up the cabinet.
Apply all of the shelf edges to the shelves; the top edge of the edging should be flush with the top of a shelf. These poplar parts will be slightly thicker than the plywood (Photo 8), so let the overhang fall on the bottom face of each shelf. With all of the shelf edging installed, glue and nail the remaining stile to the narrow side.
Fill all the nail holes with a wood filler, let dry, and sand smooth. Your new cabinet is now ready to paint to match your cabinets and be installed.
To secure the front of the cabinet, drive screws through the other cabinets face frames into the front stiles of the wine cabinet. At the back, shim the gaps between the cabinets and drive screws through the wide side into the base cabinet. For an upper cabinet drive screws through the inside of the upper cabinet into the narrower side of the wine tower.