A Bar inside the Closet - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 Old 03-26-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Carmel, NY
Posts: 134
View Russell Hudson's Photo Album My Photos
A Bar inside the Closet

We had worked with this client before on numerous projects. They had an apartment in Manhattan as well as their country home, a nearly 200 year old farm house they had been renovating slowly but surely since they bought the place ten years ago.
When they called asking about our building a bar for them, I figured it was that basic, finished basement bar we’d made for clients a dozen times before.
However, when I arrived, they showed me a small closet with a standard door (30X80) and suggested that, perhaps, the bar could fit inside the closet w/o any modification to the size of the opening. I was still scratching my head when they went on to show me a series of pictures of an antique, Deco-style bar. A small unit, (on wheels) they had found for their apartment in the city.

He loved this bar because, upon first inspection, it was all enclosed, but as you opened the front panel, which hinged outward and down, three things happened. First, the panel opened only 90 degrees so it’s back face acted as the surface to prepare cocktails on. Secondly, a clever arrangement of brass arms automatically lifted away the unit’s ceiling AND thirdly, also caused a tray of a dozen glasses to rise up and outward towards, what I’d imagined was, the tuxedoed host, serving his guests in some old, 1930’s movie. It was a very cool, old bar.
Right after their explanation and photos, they looked over at me and simply smiled. Following an uncomfortable silence, I said “aah… sure! We can do that”.
Driving back to the shop, I thought of what might reasonably be done w/o subcontracting a machinist, mechanical engineer… and perhaps, a therapist.
It had to store SO many things… 40 bottles of liquor & wine, shot glasses, scotch tumblers, wine glasses AND… a wine cooler (and the stereo distribution amplifiers for the whole house that sat inside this closet already)
I positioned the serving section half way up the opening (at standard working height) and let the above and below areas handle the storage for all the bottles and the cooler.

I envisioned a means of having the tray of glasses come out towards you as you opened the bar’s door panel.

They liked the design and trusted us to figure out the mechanism. So we began.
What was so great about their antique bar was how tightly everything fit inside when it was closed, but how easy to get to it all when open. The movement was relatively simple, but there were a number of requirements for this contraption. How far would the tray move when the door was opened? Would it miss the wine glasses hanging from it’s ceiling? The swing-down door was to have a mirror on it’s back side to act as a counter top to mix drinks on… which made it heavy. I found some adjustable tension, brass flap stays to ‘cushion’ the door from slamming into it’s open position (held at 90 degrees). I knew we had to build an operating model (wooden prototype) before committing to the actual construction.. Here is my cellphone’s video of the mock-up.

We adjusted arm lengths, pivot points and the amount of tension until we liked how the mechanism moved. I ordered 1/8″ x 3/4″ brass bar stock to make our arms. It was soft enough to be a pleasure to work with.

Next we designed a handsome, functional tray for all the glasses… in mahogany with thick, ebony inlays. My son (always eager to do finer, more intricate work) volunteered.

We created three tiers for glasses. Each glass sat within it’s own recessed circle, lined with felt. We made decorative side walls left, right and across back.

A brass lamp was mounted above. It illuminated when the door was opened. Here’s how the tray looked following it’s lacquer finish.

Because the closet’s interior had more room to the right of the doorway, we needed to create an extension that had to be removable during installation. The lower shelf configuration was also removable to allow access to the audio distribution system.

The wine cooler required ventilation… and with no other way to circulate air other than through the front, I suggested these little ‘jail house’ doors. This picture is from another project done a few year back.

We’ve done a number of projects for them (four of which are in a single room). Here is a short video (with voice over and music) of that room after all was completed.

Took a while to shoot the photos & make the video, then write and post this thing / hope you liked it / more things made of wood on the site, check it out

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

"Courage is knowing what not to fear"~Plato
Russell Hudson is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old 03-26-2012, 10:29 PM
Log dog
Dominick's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northeast illinois
Posts: 7,935
View Dominick's Photo Album My Photos
That's some fancy work there. Nice job.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
Dominick is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 03-26-2012, 10:33 PM
No Longer Here
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rumson New Jersey
Posts: 1,530
View MastersHand's Photo Album My Photos
Beautiful I know space is something you need to really take advantage of in Manhattan. Great Build CHEERS
MastersHand is offline  

automatic bar, bar in closet, bar in wall, deco bar, hidden bar

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dc in closet tackbb Dust Collection 11 03-03-2012 10:48 AM
Building Door for closet within closet ThumbBuster Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 1 10-03-2010 04:14 PM
One closet done, one to go wdkits1 Project Showcase 8 09-05-2009 04:36 PM
out of the closet hammerhead New Member Introductions 5 08-23-2009 06:31 PM
Closet built-ins Adrian548 Design & Plans 8 04-16-2008 02:08 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome