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wine balancer

Did you know I will be at the Philly Home Show next week to teach some workshops? Have I mentioned that a few times on social media? In addition to the tile trivet, we will be making a wine balancer with Pure Bond plywood- a great gift and a neat use of leftover plywood scraps.

Did you know there is such a thing as attractive plywood? I will get into more detail about that in a later post, but trust me, plywood is a whole different animal these days. You can build extremely beautiful furniture from it that will look like solid wood and will last just as long if not longer. Pure Bond plywood is better plywood. It’s beautiful (nearly any wood look you can think of), made in North America (US and Canada), uses a soy-based adhesive instead of potentially toxic formaldehyde and available at Home Depot (and a few other select partners).

I have been working on a custom cabinet build for a client and using Pure Bond. When you use plywood, you can have some extra pieces lying around. This wine balancer is a great and quick item you can make to turn them into a neat display or gift piece with your own custom touch. I made three as samples and it was SO easy! I had a blowout on the hole drilling of one- I could have thrown it out and started over, however, my philosophy has always been take those lemons and turn them into vodka-infused lemon aid… so I did.

I used pieces that were 3.5″ wide by 10″ tall. I used my fabulous Ryobi Sliding Compound Miter saw to cut them to size.

The bottom end needs to be cut at a 45º angle. There are two ways you can do this with the saw I have. I can change the angle of the blade itself or the cut surface. Here are pictures of both ways:

ryobi compound miter saw with pure bond plywood angle cuts using the blade bevel saved by scottie ryobi compound miter saw with pure bond plywood angle cuts using the miter saved by scottie

The key to getting a smooth cut is to go slowly and use the proper blade type. The more teeth your blade has, the smoother the cut.

Once the cut offs were angled, I needed to put holes in them. The holes need to go about 7.5 inches from the bottom and in the center. I marked that off:

marking the place for the hole on a wine balancer saved by scottie

Drill a small pilot hole where your lines intersect (no, you don’t have to draw them that large, it’s easier to erase if you don’t). Trust me, drill the pilot hole, I didn’t the first time and it takes MUCH longer when you get to the hole saw part)

pilot hole for hole saw saved by scottie

See that tiny bit of blowout on the back? Just wait… it’s coming…

Use that pilot hole to set the center bit of your hole saw (forgot pictures of this part) and drill through. Now, if you just plow through it, you end up with this:

plywood hole blowout saved by scottie

Instead of throwing it out, you could use wood filler.. but waiting for that to dry did not sound like fun.. I just went with it and you’ll have to let me know what you think…

wine bottle hidden gem front saved by scottie

The way I found to get around the blow out for the second one was to use the pilot hole to start the hole on the back side to get through the top layer of veneer then flip it over and drill the rest. When you do it that way, it looks like this:

smooth hole with hole saw saved by scottie

Better, right?

I took some sandpaper and smoothed out the hole edges and then went to decorating. If you wanted a finished edge on plywood you can use edge tape. I considered using it to give the appearance of a solid piece of wood, but then I became inspired! Can you guess what I decided? I gave the board a quick coat of Shabby Paints Gelato in Dark Roast and laid out the edge tape pieces:

using edge tape to create faux shiplap saved by scottie

I started to use the finishing nails to line up the spaces, but eyeballing it was faster. In the past I have used a common household iron to heat the glue on the edge tape, but this time it was faster to use my Wagner Furno heat gun set to 425º (more on that later too) to warm it (careful to avoid my fingers) and then held it in place for a few seconds to secure it. Once all the pieces were in place, I flipped it over and used a razor to score the back sides right at the edge of the board. score the tape on the underside saved by scottie

Then you just push down from the top and it snaps off exactly at the edge. A quick swipe of sandpaper and you’re good to go. SO easy!

I painted each “slat” carefully (doing this again, I would have just painted the tape before I adhered it) and whitewashed the other sides of the board. I painted the blow-out section of the first board with a fabulous metallic teal color and stained the rest using Shabby Gelato in Dark Chocolate. I had made a third a few months ago inspired by Mackenzie-Childs around the time I painted that blue dresser.

Once they were done, grab a bottle of wine and get balancing!

wine balancer back side saved by scottie

No silly, not like that…

wine balancer hidden gem themed in use saved by scottie wine balancer in use mackenzie childs themed in use front saved by scottie wine balancer mackenzie childs themed back side saved by scottie wine balancer in use shiplap theme saved by scottie

What do you think? Would you make a wine balancer for yourself or a gift? Which one is your favorite? What designs would you want to try? I love this project because it’s so easy to adapt to anyone’s tastes. Star Wars, a fun saying… anything goes. Come join us at the Philly Home Show Jan 13-15 and make your own. It’s FREE and I even have free tickets I would love to give you.

wine balancers three styles and bottle saved by scottie




(Companies I talk about may have sent me products to use and share with you. All opinions are completely my own and always will be)



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