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Wine Tasting at it's Best

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For those here on the Source that enjoy wine - here's a piece with accompanying photos of a job I just did in two Wine Outlet Stores here on the Jersey Shore. Most of the veteran members here know I own and operate my own custom woodworking shop - but those who have joined in the recent past may not have been aware of this. Anyway - I thought my fellow Q'ers might enjoy this piece:

"The Wine Outlet. Two stores, one located in the Shoprite Plaza on Rt 34 South in Wall Township, NJ and the other on the corner of Arnold Avenue & Rt 35 South in Point Pleasant, NJ. My job was to design, build and install cabinetry to house two separate Wine Dispensing machines for those who wish to taste their wine before purchasing. This also included 3 separate wine cooler dispensers for white wine, which requires chilling before serving. The main cabinetry is all built out of furniture grade plywood laminated with "Wild Cherry" Wilson Art Laminate (I did not use melamine, particle board, etc.) and the bottle racks below are all solid cherry wood. I used Corian for the solid surface countertops (I do all of my own counter work in-shop).


I've got to say - this dual store Wine Outlet project was one for the books! I can't begin to tell you how many very long days, sleepless nights and weekends went into this job from start to completion. What I can say is that without a doubt it was a very unique challenge, but to be sure, a very satisfying and rewarding project. From the very first conceptual drawing until the very last installation screw was installed - I'll be remembering these two stores for a very long time!


Though I did finish up a few weeks ago, I'm just now finding the time to go through the countless photos I took to choose 10 of which I feel do the project the most justice. I'm very proud of this particular job - not so much because it was so difficult to fabricate, but more so due to some very unique assembly methods evolving out of the design, especially the daunting task of cantilevering the upper stemware rack assemblies out three feet with no apparent way to support them. After much scrambling and head scratching I was finally able to come up with two individual and viable solutions - each store had its own unique twist to the installation.


Milling, sanding and cutting to size the almost two thousand individual pieces of cherry needed to build the bottle racks was the most tedious and arduous task I've accomplished in quite some time! Commercial work is inherently tedious primarily due to the sheer number of products the casework often supports. And to date I've built literally hundreds and hundreds of wine racks, wine cellars and bottle racks, but this pair of stores probably takes the cake for the most monotonous and laborious hours of the bunch! I love that my shop has such a varied and diversified scope of work to keep me always fully engrossed in my passion for woodworking. But if all I did every day of every week, all year long was to just sit and make up bottle racks of this nature, I can honestly say yours truly would be looking for an occupation change - I'm just talking about the "ladders" on the bottom units that support the countless bottles! But in the end I still had that wonderful and satisfying feeling of great accomplishment! Though I did have a couple guys give me some minimal shop support (muscle to move these pieces around - they weighed a ton!), for the most part 99% of the effort building this project was done by my own two hands.


So, here ya go - another successful job from Custom Kitchens by Lubrich! From my Manasquan shop to your computer, iPad or cellphone screens - enjoy these photos! I can honestly vouch that the pleasure of designing, fabricating and installing the cabinetry for both of these stores will be one of the better memories for the 2014 calendar year in my shop! "











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That would look really nice at my house :rolleyes:

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Hood - if you'd like one of those wine dispensing machines - they are made in Italy and cost $70,000.00 (includes a maintenance program as well as the software for operating as well as tracking the wine). LOL! My cabinetry came in a bit under that... rolleyes.gif


I actually have a client who saw my portfolio pix which included this job and he's in talks right now to purchase one for his home. The company that makes the machine has a smaller dispenser for 2 bottles, he wants to buy 3 of those and arrange them on cabinetry to simulate the bow curved look of this commercial unit I installed. The advantage of these machines is that the bottles, when hooked up to the machine are sealed and prolong the life of an opened bottle to well over six months. Once you open a bottle under normal circumstances you need to finish it within a month (so I'm told - I usually chug mine in a day or two).. wacko.gif Of course - the residential machine dispenses as long as you hold the button - it's not restricted to a 1/2 ounce. I'm hoping he gets it - he wants me to build a mahogany surround for his. That would be so much nicer than the laminate pair I put in the two stores. I much prefer working with solid wood than laminate. If we hook up - I'll post those pix here as well.


Here's a link to see the 2 bottle machine. Really cool system - you set your bottle on a 3" round piston, and press a button. The piston raises up and pushes the mouth of the bottle onto a sealed receiver that charges the bottle with either argon or nitrogen. Not sure of the price of this small, 2 bottle machine but my client is very wealthy. rolleyes.gif If anybody would buy 3 it'd be him! What a party impression this would make!

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This woodwork is amazing.

How do you protect the wood given the salt air that tends to discolor everything

Have you ever done any work on boat

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Ron, first - thanks for the compliment!


As to treating the wood, most of the exterior surfaces you see on that casework is actually Wilson Art Laminate - the color is "Wild Cherry". The only exposed wood is the bottle racks, for those I used solid, black cherry wood. I sprayed those with a catalyzed finish, which will only darken more and more as time goes by - which will bring their color closer to the wild cherry laminate. Since most of my work is for indoor use - salt air does not really play a role, and for these two wine outlets, one store is just over a mile from shore, while the other is 4 miles inland. My shop is less than a 1/2 mile from the beach and I have no issues with salt air inside the shop. It does play havoc with my box van which is primarily parked outdoors - the rust and corrosion is terrible. Especially any exposed aluminum!


I've done a lot of work on boats. The primary wood used for marine applications is teak, with mahogany, white oak and cedar following closely behind. Teak works very well for use on a boat as it is inherently an oily wood that does not absorb moisture, holds up well to the elements and usually ages very well to a gray, weathered finish. Annual sanding and oiling will keep that "red/tan" color to it. For interior cabin applications the teak does not fade gray - usually only on decking or structural use outside where the salt water and sun helps attain that nice gray patina. I have used other woods, such as cherry on some of the larger boats I been commissioned for (I'm talking boats like Carver, Henriques, Bertram, Hatteras, etc.) where they have full blown kitchens with raised panel doors, large crown moldings, granite countertops and SubZero appliances! Not the usual "galley" that you'll find on smaller (30' and under) boats...


Mahogany is the second most widely chosen wood, with the oak and cedar not quite as common. But all three hold up pretty nicely with minimal maintenance.


Many times I'll also use Corian on boats - it holds up much better than wood and is far superior with little to no maintenance other than wiping down with fresh water. I used a combination of white and gray to build a motor cover for my boat which testifies to the excellent durability of solid surface. See the attached photo to see the inlay (fluke) I made to dress it up a bit, as well as the two cup holders, which were a series of pieces laminated together. My boat originally came with a plywood structure covered with vinyl which lasted all of two years before breaking down (and coming apart at the threaded seams and hems). That led to the custom corian cover I made - which led to countless projects for many of my clients once they saw how well it worked on my boat. I can't tell you how many compartment covers (battery, fish wells and coolers) I made out of Corian to replace original teak wood! And tons of trim, side panels, gunnel liners, etc. Corian works wonders for boating use. For the purist though, teak still reigns. But you have to be religious with your maintenance, as little as it does require. A lot if you want to keep the original color rather than the graying effect from the sun and water.



Custom Corian Motor Cover on Mike's boat. If you look closely you can see two strips of black velcro just behind the cup holders. I had a custom cushion that we placed on there for the girls to "lay out and sun on", and the velcro kept it from sliding around.



Click on image to see a larger photo.


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