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Build a box or use brackets?


I'm trying to install a wine/liquor rack (30Wx12Dx15H) above my fridge. There is currently a filler board (1Wx24Dx90H) at the end of my cabinet line-up that separates the end of the cabinets from the fridge. The filler board lines up perfectly with the bottom cabinets at 24D. I would like this new rack to line up with the filler board up top as well but the trouble is the filler board is 24D and the wine rack is only 12D. I can't install the wine rack directly to the wall either because there's no way anyone would be able to reach over a 70Hx30D fridge to grab a bottle without the use of a step ladder.
The only choices I can think of are to build a box the same dimensions as the rack and attach to the wall basically extending the rack to 24D, or use some L brackets. I've tried the L brackets and although functional, it's quite ugly.
Will the box idea work or will a rack full of bottles be too heavy to be hanging off the wall? Any other ideas would be appreciated.

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11/6/13       #2: Build a box or use brackets? ...
John McGinnis  Member


I would simply screw through the right side of the wine box into the filler piece with 4 screws and put 2 screws into a stud on the left side. The sheer strength of the screws will be more than enough for what you need. Leave the back empty.

11/6/13       #3: Build a box or use brackets? ...

Thanks for the quick reply John, but I forgot to mention that the distance between the filler piece and the wall is 34". Wine rack is only 30" and that wall is just sheetrock with a metal stud somewhere around 18" from the wall.

11/7/13       #4: Build a box or use brackets? ...
Rich Kuban Member

One possibility would be to acquire another 1" filler panel and cut it to make a top, bottom, and side of a box (may need two?) to make a 3 sided box (existing filler would be the 4th side)

I would definitely run cleats on the left and back fastened with toggles as needed to support the weight. Then screw a back in from the top and bottom to add stiffness and add a stop for your wine box. I would then screw the top and bottom to the wine box to add additional stiffness.

Due to your 34" span, and your cantilever out of the weight, I would be more comfortable with the 1" thickness, and screwing (not nailing) everything together, and cleats supporting the sides and back.

11/7/13       #5: Build a box or use brackets? ...

I'm not a carpenter by any means. I tried to figure out a solution and this is what I came up with. It's too damn ugly to leave, although I do have a 4" valance which would hide the 2x3s. Here's a few pictures. Is the distance from the rear too far for toggle fasteners?

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

11/7/13       #6: Build a box or use brackets? ...

I've never heard of a cleat before so I just spent the last 15 minutes goggling youtube'n cleats and French cleats and it's a fantastic idea; thanks!. I'm just wondering if that's too far for a cleat; it's 3-3/4" between the rack and the left wall.

11/7/13       #7: Build a box or use brackets? ...

Not the answer you are looking for - but above a refrigerator is the last place you should store wine. First - heat rises, and ref's are notorious for putting out a lot of heat - and you don't want heat on your bottles. Second - compressors in ref's usually set out a vibration (subtle as it may seem), and that is also not conducive towards a stored wine bottle.

That being said - I have to say I've see many installations whereby wine racks are installed over a ref. Space issues are usually quoted...

Of course, you could always add a 4" filler to the left side of the wine rack, or - two 2" fillers for each side so that the rack is centered (horizontally) in your space. Myself - I'd build a 4" wide box the same height as the wine rack, 24" deep and secure that to the left wall and install the rack between that and your existing end panel. At the least that will allow heat to rise behind the rack.

11/7/13       #8: Build a box or use brackets? ...
Rich Kuban Member

I agree completely with ML about why I personally would not store wine bottles above a refrigerator. But having said that...

I would expand on his idea about two separate 2" wide boxes 23" deep and fasten to the left wall and the right filler panel. The I would cap them in front with 2" fillers. I like his suggestion about allowing the heat to escape behind the wine rack.

I suggested cutting up a filler panel since I thought it would be easier for you to get.

I doubt you will be able to get the frig in with the metal brackets you show now.

11/7/13       #9: Build a box or use brackets? ...
Slider Help

You could also dress up the two fillers with perhaps a fluted, carved or similar piece secured to the face of the fillers. If you can't find a pair the height of your wine rack - perhaps find a longer piece and cut two matching sections out of that. I'm sure whoever provided your cabinetry also has some kind of prefinished pilasters, etc. in stock that may work out.

In our shop we call this "celebrating" an otherwise boring or unsightly scenario... :-)

11/7/13       #10: Build a box or use brackets? ...

Just install the refrigerator and let it sit on top. Likely to end up there anyway with what you got...

11/9/13       #11: Build a box or use brackets? ...
Iain Lowrie Member


if this is all the wine they store and not in a dedicated cooler, I doubt vibration is of concert to them. Heat for sure. Consider building a 2" thin box with a bottom below the rack and fill it with insulation. Sure some is left over from the construction . To avoid the vibration issue none of this rests on the frig...??

11/9/13       #12: Build a box or use brackets? ...

ML, the 4" box was a great idea. I tried it but it wouldn't line up right so I chopped it down to 3" and then it was too big in the front and perfect in the back. I just dropped a spacer board between the wall and the 3" box and mounted the hell out of it. It's up there real solid. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

As far as storing wine there, that's not really going to happen. It'll more then likely be holding some cheap wine. Whole foods sells $3.00 wine that'll be perfect for show. Wine doesn't last very long in my house anyways. I could care less about heat. It's for show, not function. Everyone puts a cabinet over their frig. I wanted to do something different.

I picked up a piece of maple that I'll stain and mount on top of the 3* box. I just have to match the stain.

Hey Mark, what are you trying to say here??? "Just install the refrigerator and let it sit on top. Likely to end up there anyway with what you got..."

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

11/9/13       #13: Build a box or use brackets? ...

the box

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

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