When I came back to San Diego for winter break in 2014, I saw a precariously balanced wine bottle in a cantilevered wooden stand made from the stave of a wine barrel. I loved the aesthetic of the ostensibly-unstable-yet-secure bottle, and wanted to try making one myself. I appreciated the use of the barrel stave, but thought it would be great to get a rich red wood. I ended up using Chakte Kok (aka Redheart), which has some incredible grain. The board I bought was enough for six stands.

The Chakte Kok after planing

Once it was planed, it was split into planks. My design called for pieces 8 inches long. The gliding miter saw came in handy here and let me cut all four sides of the rectangle nice and cleanly. I initially tried to plane the long edges, but encountered problems with the very end chipping off slightly and quickly realized the miter saw was much more practical on a piece this size.

Five of the six blanks after getting chopped up

Next came the holes! I decided on a 1.5″ diameter, as it would allow the top of the bottle a comfortable amount of space.

Boring the holes (look at those chips!)

Next came the sanding and planing. I worked up from 120 grit to 400 grit on all the edges. The before and after pictures may not show much difference (maybe because they’re different planks…), but you can definitely see the sawdust!

What I did to determine the angle may have been a bit unorthodox, but it ended up working quite well. I put a bottle of wine in the stand and “felt” the angle at which it wanted to balance. I marked this with a line (maybe a liberal use of the word) parallel to the table. However,  this ended up being very close to 45 degrees, and ended up being working very well because I could “feel” the most stable point. The miter saw could lock into an exact 45 degrees, so I used that with the realization that these stands are more stable than one might think, since a change of a degree or two wont cause it to topple.

The miter saw worked great for consistent 45-degree angle cuts

Someone in the shop suggested I add in a chamfer, so I decided to use the small table router to add them. Tragedy struck when I realized the metal tabletop was scratching the top surfaces of all the stands! I had to repeat the whole sanding process.

I think the chamfer ended up being one of the best parts about the stand

Last but not least, finishing! Being frugal I ended up just using olive oil, which I have since come to like a lot for finishing woods, especially those with pretty grain.

All six stands drying after a second coat of olive oil

And here is the final product!

I really love how the color turned out. Chakte Kok has since become a favorite wood of mine.
In action!