Introduction

How to Build a Fold-Down Murphy Bar
Photo: Laura Moss
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Call it a Murphy bar. When the guests start arriving, fold down the cabinet door to create a neat and sturdy work surface. Made of naturally rot-resistant cedar, it also happens to be safe for food handling. You'll need to use a router and a doweling jig to build the door, with its inset slats, but don't sweat. This Old House contributor Christopher Beidel, owner of Pernt, a handmade-furniture company in Brooklyn, New York, shows you how.

NOTE: Cedar boards can be ordered at most home centers and are stocked at most lumberyards.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • Countersink bit
      1/16-inch countersink bit
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer
    • sliding T-bevel
      Bevel gauge
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • router
      Router with ¾-inch straight-cut bit
    • Doweling Jig
      -inch doweling jig from rockler.com
    • Drill bit
      -inch twist bit
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips screwdriver
    • Rafter Square
      Rafter square
    • two-foot level
      Level

    Shopping List

    1x4 cedar Get three 10-footers for the slats.

    1x8 cedar Get two 10-footers for the box pieces and the gable ends.

    1x10 cedar Get one 8-footer for the roof and top pieces.

    5/4x4 cedar Get one 10-footer for the door frame.

    -by-2-inch spiral-cut wood dowels

    1½-inch brad nails

    1¼-inch deck screws

    3-inch deck screws

    -inch brass screws for the door slats

    brass or stainless-steel hinges, latch, shutter pulls, Quick Links, and chain exterior-grade wood glue