I have a tall, narrow alcove in my home where I would like to recreate a single "plank" of this wine rack (apologies for bad lighting, was in a dark restaurant):

enter image description here

I will very likely have a local woodworking shop tackle this, but I'm interested to know how the ovular holes in the outer plank were created, as well as how they ensured that the necks of the wine bottles went through the backing supports at the proper angle. Is this something that should easy to recreate for any professional woodworking shop? Are there similar plans available someplace?

Also, I know it is probably difficult to tell from this picture, but can anyone take an educated guess at what sort of wood the front planks are?

  • 1
    Unfortunately, wood identification is off topic for the WW.SE site. However, I did address the other parts of your question in my answer below. Sep 21 '16 at 15:47
  • Yeah circular hole at an angle = oval hole on the surface :-) Re. the wood, it's rough-sawn something (see the arced grooves? those are from a large circular saw as used in a lumber mill) but just from the one photo I don't think it's possible to be sure. Context can help (e.g. location) but if I had to guess I'd say maybe redwood.
    – Graphus
    Sep 22 '16 at 7:15

My guess is the holes were created with a forstner bit. There are lots of ways you could do it, for example you could use a hole saw, but forstner bits in a drill press produce the cleanest holes.

Fortsner bits and hole saws are circular and produce circular holes, not oval (elliptical) holes, but your next observation provides the key to the mystery. The holes are angled. If you use a round bit to cut at an angle, it'll produce an elliptical hole in the wood it is cutting.

The work piece was likely held at an angle when being drilled. If the craftsman was using a drill press with a suitable width to reach the center hole, this would be pretty easy with an angled sled such as this one:

Angled drill press jig

Image credit: woodsmithtips.com

There are plenty of other examples of this jig. A Google image search for "angled drill press jig" turns up plenty of results, including commercial and shop built options.

I am not familiar with the practices of production wood shops, but from a technical point of view I would think most shops could handle this request, assuming they were willing to take on the project in the first place.

  • Great answer, thanks. I feel foolish for not connecting the dots RE: the angle + elliptical holes, but that makes perfect sense. Sep 21 '16 at 15:49
  • Nah, don't feel foolish. I am familiar enough with the common jigs for most shop tools that it jumped out at me. I'm sure it would have confused me, too, even just a year ago. Sep 21 '16 at 15:52
  • Note that keeping the table at right angles and building a calibrated jig is a much easier way to work than trying to tilt the table precisely and then restore it precisely to level.
    – keshlam
    Sep 22 '16 at 16:26

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