Learn how to make a tabletop DIY wine rack using steel rods – no welding needed!
My favorite part of DIY is that I get to try new techniques and experiment with ideas. When I decided to make this, I had no idea if it was going to work. I have brazed aluminum and copper before but never bent or brazed steel.
I am SO stocked with how it turned out! AND it was surprisingly straightforward to make! I have the full detailed tutorial below for you!
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Material needed –
- ¼” Steel rods (I got mine from The Home Depot but you can get them at any hardware or metal supply store.)
- Bernzomatic TS8000 High heat torch
- Bernzomatic flux coated bronze brazing rods
- Bernzomatic MAP-Pro® gas
- A way to cut the steel rods (you can use any saw fitted with a metal cutting blade or a rotary tool with a metal cutting wheel.)
- Bricks – these act as support and clamps
- Heat resistant gloves.
- Safety glasses
- Spray primer and paint of your choice
Making the wine rack includes a bunch of basic techniques – bending the steel rods, cutting them, and then brazing them.
How to setup for the project
Since the project involves a blowtorch and a flame, it needs to be done around material that is not flammable. This means it cannot be done on a wooden workbench or in an area where the flame has the possibility of coming in contact with anything that can easily catch fire.
I set up on my concrete garage floor and used cement bricks to act as support and as well as clamps for the rods as I bent and brazed them.
Be sure to have your safety glasses and a set of heat resistant gloves as well.
What blow torch and gas to use
To be able to bend or braze steel rods, you need to go to really high temperatures. In order to achieve this, the MAP-Pro gas is the best option. This should be used with a compatible torch and the Bernzomatic TS8000 high heat torch is perfect for the purpose.
How to bend steel rods
To bend a steel rod, it needs to be heated to 1600 – 1700F. The MAP-Pro gas and TS8000 torch accomplish this easily with a few basic steps.
- Hold the flame to the spot to be bent until it is red-hot.
- Remove heat and using heat resistant gloves, slowly bend the rod in the direction and angle of choice.
NOTE – the tip of the blue flame is where the flame is the hottest . This is what you want touching the steel rod during heating.
How to braze the steel rods
Brazing is a process of joining two or more metals by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint. The filler metal has a lower melting point than the other metal.
To braze steel rods, the Bronze flux-coated brazing rods are perfect. They have a working temperature of 1595 – 1630F and are flux-coated.
Flux is important in any brazing application because the flux helps clean and remove oxidation on the metal prior of application of the brazing material. Since the Bronze Flux-coated brazing rods already have flux on them, there is no need for extra flux.
Here is how the brazing process works –
- Heat up the joint till it’s at the working temperature – this means it’s going to be red-hot.
- Move the flame slightly away from the joint so it’s not directly on the joint but close enough to keep the metal hot.
- Bring the brazing rod in contact with the joint allowing the flux coating to melt and coat the joint.
- Hold the brazing rod until the brazing material starts melting and filling the joint.
- The capillary effect pulls the liquid brazing material in to fill the joint. Once the joint is full, you can turn off the flame.
- The joint is brazed.
- If you need to braze from the other side, turn over the workpiece while it is still red-hot and continue the process.
Now, let’s make the wine rack.
DIY Steel Wine Rack Video
As always I have a full video showing you how to make this steel wine rack. The step by step instructions follow below.
Step 1 – Bend the rods
- Using the cement bricks as support and clamps, heat the rod with the TS8000 torch and MAP-Pro gas and bend the steel rods.
- The first bend is at 5.5″ and the following bends are at 4″ (I got lucky that the cement brick had a 4″ width.
- Bend the steel rod in a zig-zag pattern.
I bent a total of four rods – two with 7 bends each and two with 5 bends.
Step 2 – Cut the rods
- Using a metal cutting tool (see options in the material list), cut 5″ pieces of steel rods. I used two of these pieces.
This can be done at the beginning but I wanted a longer rod to hold and bend. So, I simply cut off the excess to use for supports.
Step 3 – Braze supports
- Using the bricks as support, set up the supports and braze them to the bottom of the V on both sides of the long zig-zag.
- Attach the second long zig-zag to the other side.
Step 4 – Braze second tier
- Align and attach the second tier on both sides by brazing the tips of the V’s.
This step can be a bit tricky because it depends on the reproducibility of bending at same lengths. I got lucky enough that they matched up well enough.
Step 5 – Paint
- Clean the wine rack with acetone to remove any grease or residue.
- Use a metal spray primer followed by the spray paint in color of your choice.
I am really excited with how this turned out! It fits 7 wine bottles. The top tier can hold a larger bottle and the bottom can hold regular sized bottles.
Working with metal and torches might seem intimidating but trust me, you can do it!