Advise on Drop Front Bar

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Forum topic by jmos posted 02-24-2017 02:32 PM 775 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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892 posts in 2545 days

02-24-2017 02:32 PM

I’m building a sideboard for a friend, and he wants to include a drop front bar in the case. I’m not sure how to design it so it will hold up, and where to source the hardware.

Background – The case is 60” long, 20” deep, and 34” high made from red oak. Here’s a rough sketch, it’s based on a picture they saw in a magazine, so no details on construction.

The upper door in the center is where he wants the drop front bar. The idea is the door drops down to horizontal and accesses the compartment to store liquor. With this type of design, I have to assume the door will be used as a table, and bottles will be put there, so it has to be able to support some weight. The planned dimensions are about 20” wide and 14” tall. I’m not sure how to design this to be strong enough.

In order to get the door to sit flush with the front when closed, and to sit flush with the bottom of the compartment when open, I’m thinking a hinge pin like THIS is probably my best bet. I think the 1/4” size will be strong enough to support the weight. My concern is how to support the door further out, to keep it horizontal. Most supports I’m finding, like THESE, don’t go out much more that about 6”, and I’m concerned with just having two small wood screws taking all the load in a direction that is trying to pull the screws out.

I’m thinking I could just use a chain, but my ideal attachment would be something that goes through the door, maybe with a plate on the outside and a stud going through the door where the chain attaches. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything like that online.

I think my last option is to make it like a drop front desk, with the sliding wooden supports that come out of the case. This would be sturdy enough, but I don’t think they would like the look on the the front of the piece with the drawers narrowed to allow for the supports.

Anyone have any great ideas for me? I’m open to suggestions.

-- John

6 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 823 days

#1 posted 02-24-2017 02:37 PM

This might be what you’re looking for … ... in conjunction with the slide out supports.

View jmos's profile


892 posts in 2545 days

#2 posted 02-26-2017 02:13 PM

Yes, those hinges could work too, but as you noted, would still require some additional support. Unless someone makes a much larger version.

Any other thoughts, anyone?

-- John

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1617 days

#3 posted 02-26-2017 05:27 PM

If you search for “flap stay” you will find various options. Here’s one: Flap Stay

Same for “Flap Hinge”:

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View oldnovice's profile


7273 posts in 3544 days

#4 posted 02-26-2017 09:35 PM

How about these hinges?
I didn’t put the link to eBay for these as it was w a y to long.
I just searched for secretary desk hinges of which there are many!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jmos's profile


892 posts in 2545 days

#5 posted 03-06-2017 10:12 PM

Just thought I’d update this – I talked to future owner of the piece and we decided to switch to two doors and a pull out shelf. With a 20” case I can make a shelf that pulls out 14” and still have 6” to house in a groove to provide support. Should be much more sturdy. I just couldn’t get past the vision of a couple of wood screws pulling out when the drop door was in use as a table and everything hitting the floor.

-- John

View Lazyman's profile


2561 posts in 1563 days

#6 posted 03-07-2017 03:21 AM

Sounds like you changed the design but for future reference, I have seen center pivot hinges used for a fold-down door on a wine cabinet. The hinge is mortised into the side of the door instead of the surface so the screws are less likely to pull out. They made it so that the bottom of the door was slightly below the shelf so that when you fold it down the bottom pivots up so that the shelf supports the drop down door. I think that I saw this in a Woodsmith magazine.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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