One of my recommendations / observations from the wine staining experience was to concentrate the wine a little bit to see if it helped darken the color quicker.
After I gifted the first wine-stained wine 6-pack carrier I made, my sister-in-law started showing it off. Low-and-behold, one of her friends decided she wanted two of them. This presents me with the perfect opportunity to try out my (hopeful) improvements.
Unfortunately, I used up all of the old bench wood I had on the first wine carrier, so I had to look around the woodshop for other materials to reuse. I had pallet pieces laying around from a paper company here in town which has more then they can handle. Every time I go in there it’s like walking into an episode of the Office and they love it there. Pallets is something I have on hand to make flags, benches, etc., so it will be carrier #1.
The other wood I had lying around was from a fence I took down years ago and re-used once already to make a stand up planter for my wife. The planter ended up falling apart (from lack of wood glue. This was long before the woodshop started and I learned my lesson, the hard way in this case). So the ceder from the fencing will be re-re-used into wine carrier #2.
Pre-step: construct 6-pack wine-carriers. I stuck to the same design and methodology, so check out the other page for the details.
First step: the wine. Last time I started with a cheap bottle of wine, but I don’t think 750 mL will do it this time since it has to cover two carriers and be boiled down. I picked up a 3 L box of cabernet sauvignon at a deep discount. I actually like this stuff and am sad to see it go to “waste,” but at least it’s going back to California, albeit in a completely different form and function.
Step two: concentrate the stain. I emptied the plastic bag inside the box directly into my mouth, err… a pot to be reduced (in kitchen speak). It boiled down for about a couple hours which reduced the volume by about half and made the house smell like a winery for a couple of days.
Step three: application. I went back to the cooler soak method and it worked great. Basically put the carrier in the cooler with the concentrated stain and get it soaked evenly.
The ceder was really really dry and soaked up the stain quick and deep. It went from brown to purple-red in one or two treatments. The pallet pine took three or four more treatments, but the concentrated stain worked just as well with a third as many treatments.
Here is the outcome:
I think they came out great and the concentrated stain worked just as well as the first one, but it fewer treatments.
1) Wine bottles are not standard. After I built the first one, I tried to load it up with 6 bottles and learned some wineries use fatter or odd shaped bottles. I don’t know if you can see it in the picture above, but I made the pallet carrier wider to accommodate all different shapes and sizes of bottles.
2) Family is your best asset. My sister-in-law sold these to a friend by her word (and pictures) alone. Never underestimate the power of loved-ones’ opinion of your work.