A Little Bar with a Little Secret

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Project by Peter Oxley posted 2001 days ago 3094 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a small dry bar that I built recently for a repeat client. This space is directly between their eat-in kitchen and their large patio, so it allows easy access whether they are entertaining inside our out.

The construction is American birch and American birch veneer, stained with a rich tobacco-brown and then finished with a colored varnish. The client had not selected hardware yet, so we used post-it notes as temporary drawer pulls.

The client didn’t expect to put anything large in the cabinets, so the full depth of the base seemed to waste a lot of space. Almost all casework jobs have dead space that could have a hidden compartment, but making that hidden space useful can be difficult. We decided to divide the base cabinet so the front section could be used for additional shelving and the back section could conceal a trash pull-out.

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14 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2367 posts in 2470 days

#1 posted 2001 days ago

Verrrry verrrry nice!!!!!!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2899 days

#2 posted 2001 days ago

Beautiful project. I like the stain color.

View LesB's profile


1056 posts in 2028 days

#3 posted 2001 days ago

Interesting design idea.
That hidden space would be a great place to conceal and store valuables and/or to put in a fire resistant box for securing important documents. I have often included hidden spaces under cabinets in the toe board space. I use magnets to hold the toe board in place. Your space is much more accessible and almost as inconspicuous.

-- Les B, Oregon

View WOODLAND's profile


26 posts in 2001 days

#4 posted 2001 days ago

WOW now this is what talent is all about. Beautiful job well done.


View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 2248 days

#5 posted 2001 days ago

Very nice

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2579 posts in 2297 days

#6 posted 2000 days ago


What a great use of what would have been wasted space. I love how you hid it.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2547 days

#7 posted 2000 days ago

it really came out nice, Peter. Good one.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 2372 days

#8 posted 2000 days ago

Brilliant use of wasted space. You did a great job on the wine fridge too. :)

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View jim1953's profile


2657 posts in 2426 days

#9 posted 2000 days ago

Great Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Tony's profile


978 posts in 2615 days

#10 posted 2000 days ago

Nice project, I especially like the compartment for the trash.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 2531 days

#11 posted 2000 days ago

Nice Peter. Good use of the space for the trash pull out!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2459 days

#12 posted 1998 days ago

Thanks for the comments everyone!

@ LesB – It’s funny … when I was posting this, it occured to me that we want to hide our most valuable things and our trash. I guess a compartment like this would work for either one.

@ShannonRogers – The wine fridge was the hardest part. I have some experience with metal fab, but the cooling system really took some figuring! :)

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View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 2750 days

#13 posted 1997 days ago

Peter O,
You really did a fine job with that birch very nice finishing. Is that a stone bar top or a composite type top? I know that concealed trash can will get a lot of use, very nice design.Congratulations again on such a fine project.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2459 days

#14 posted 1991 days ago

Thanks, Ken. The top is stone. It had a crown that was really frustrating to work with – it was probably 1/4” higher in the middle than on the edges. I’ve never come across that kind of variation in stone before.

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