DIY Amazon Alexa Activated Family Heirloom Antique Barrel Wine Bar

What do you get when you add my love for secret compartments, clever storage ideas, a 100-year old barrel, and a big linear gearmotor I salvaged from work? Read on.

This Barrel was from my wife’s great-great-grandfather’s hardware store so it’s roughly 100 years old. It’s been sitting empty in our place forever, so (with her permission) I decided to make it useful besides visually cool. I took care to minimize actually modifying or screwing to the barrel – Besides drilling a hole for power in the one plank that was already broken and put one screw in the inside of the lid, This didn’t require modifying the barrel at all. I took the screws out of the hinged lid so it now floats free on top –  the base everything else is attached to is held in place by gravity.

The wine rack is screwed to and hanging from platform that is attached to a rod that goes through the large eyelet on the actuator. It’s an older, industrial actuator not meant for this business so it’s a big shakier and slower than I’d like. I may change things a bit before I complete the finish work so the wine rack platform is attached to the base via bearing drawer sliders, instead of hanging directly from the actuator – the actuator will then simply push up without having to be directly attached at all. This should reduce the wobbles.

The electronics are simple – the 120 volt actuator already had end switches to prevent over-travel. It has three wires – one for neutral, one to drive the motor up and one to drive the motor down. I just used a SPDT relay with a 120 volt coil to switch the constant power source from “drive down” to “drive up.”  The relay coil gets powered from an Amazon Alexa Smartplug turning on and off.



I play with 120 volt and up to 480 Volts in control panels for a living. If you aren’t 150% confident with electrical, I implore you to find a 12 volt DC actuator if you intend to try this or something like it. It won’t require much more work.



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