Wine Cabinet with 'Smartwaiter' Lifts 64 Bottles

September 04, 2015
Read time: 2 mins


Smart phones, smart TV's, smart cars... it's about time the old-school dumbwaiter wised up a bit.


With a power lift motor and remote control, the mechanism in this cabinet raises 64 bottles of wine from the climate controlled space below the cabinet. The bottles are sent back down just as easily.

When a good friend asked for help to create a cabinet so that he and his wife didn't have to climb down into a crawlspace to get a bottle of wine for dinner I was instantly intrigued. The idea was to use a mechanism to lift and lower a selection of wine in a cabinet made from rough-sawn oak cut and milled from the homesite—in a style that fit the decor of a creekside log home.

I don't have too many details on the lift mechanism because it was provided by the customer, but I do know it's from Auton, and I believe it is the 200lb capacity model shown on their website.


Seat of the pants cabinet making

Considering the material I had to work with and the atypical type of cabinet, it was very much a seat-of-the-pants design/build-as-you-go kind of job.  For example:

  • The latching mechanism for the doors didn't get brainstormed until very late in the game instead of being one of the first things to be engineered. 
  • Also, we didn't know the counterweight would be necessary until after the cabinet was installed and in use... so I really lucked out on getting all THAT to work too.


—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota.