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Retracting Wall


Hi Guys.  I just found this forum, so this is my first post.  I'm just starting to finish our basement, so you might find me asking all kinds of questions down the road.

We'll have all the usual rooms like the bathroom, bedroom, bar, and rec area for pool table and stuff.  We're also adding a theatre room.  The theatre room is what's keeping me up at night and driving my wife nuts.  I want the back wall, opposite the screen, to be able to raise and lower.  That way if we have people over to watch a game, we can lower the wall and watch it on the big screen.

I want the lower half of the wall, about 44", to be permanent.  The top half will lower inside the bottom half.  I would finish the top of both the top and bottom half, so when lowered, they end up flush and looks like a small bar to set drinks or even sit at.

My questions is, what's out there that's motorized to raise/lower a solid wall.  The only thing I can think of is rigging a garage door opener.  We'd have a platform against the wall for an extra tier for the theatre.  I thought I could put the opener under the platform, run cable from the floor to ceiling and over pulleys to the wall.  Travel limits could be adjusted, too.

So, I guess I'm looking for any input or ideas.  Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

Dennis



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Hummmn !! this one is gonna be a head scracher,, can you post up some measurements , like wall length. height, and thickness of the wall , If you want thes walls to close into themselves, the max height (open)would be about 88" am I correct? closed into the bar at 44" ?

could you draw up some simple drawings so we can vision the whole picture?

just a quick thought on raising and lowering the screen, could be a couple of electric screwjacks,

Oh Yeah!! Welcome to the Handyman show,,,,

 



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The wall is about 12' long.  I think the lower half will need to be built like two separate walls with a gap for the top, so probably around 12" thick.

You're right about the height.  It'll have to be around 88" tall.  The ceiling is taller, but I'll have something coming down from the ceiling to enclose it around the top when raised.

The electric screwjack idea might work for the wall.  Can I get them with 4 feet of travel?  And without spending a fortune?

I'll work on a sketch when I get time.  Right now, it's all scrambled up in my head.

Thanks!



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a garage door opener mite work.or a 12v wench. it is a bit easier to help with a pic . if you get a chance post a few. im not gettin it in my head but its kinda thick. hahaha

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Have you considered a left to right bifold unit for the top section and just put your bar top permanently on the lower wall?

Just a thought



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A winch!  That might be easier than a garage door opener.  Can you get them with limit switches???

I thought about the left to right bifold, but that's just too easy.  I want something a little different.



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I think I would go like the double hung windows in old houses...They built a counterweight into the structure so that the windows would open with the touch of a finger....You would need a bigger weight fora wall, but it would be slick.just a thought

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DennisT wrote:

I thought about the left to right bifold, but that's just too easy.  I want something a little different.


 I can dig it - - - - sounds like some of the Hot Rodders I know !

I wonder if a small electric boat winch could be set up with a 12 volt to 110 adapter?  Most of them have a remote controlled hand held operating button and that wouldn't be hard to adapt into home decor at all.

I'm also wondering if a chain and sprocket drive line wouldn't be better than a cable drive ??

Be sure and keep us in the loop 'cause this is interesting



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this is a good un for sure. i like the idea. its cool as heck. good thinkin. ....what box !!! hahaha

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There's sure a lot of sites out there on retractable walls, room dividers and movie screens that you might get some ideas on.



-- Edited by Mello Yello on Saturday 14th of April 2012 04:06:25 PM

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Ha!  Thanks guys!  All these ideas are definitely helping.  I'll check out boat motors too.  I like the remote control part of it.

I agree about the chain and sprocket drive.  I will probably go that route instead of the cable.

I looked at quite a few retractable wall sites, but they all seem to be the bifold type.  Even the up and down are bifold and kind of thin.  I want to have a solid wall that's insulated for better sound when it's being used as a theatre.



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Here's a picture of the area and my best work in the computers Paint program.

I know both sides of the wall will have to go the full height just to hide all the guts of whatever system I use for the wall to travel on.



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How much the panel weighs and how fast you want it moved determines the lift mech. hp.

1 hp = 550 ft-lbs/sec so a 55# panel raised 7' in 60 sec takes about 9w at 746 w/hp.

 

Use 35#/cu. ft. for wood density.



-- Edited by WT on Saturday 14th of April 2012 05:31:31 PM

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here is a 120 v cheapie winch that would be way overrated for your application,, make the frame of the screen out of aluminum tubing, for weight reduction, and the rails Guide system like these would work

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rlz=1T4GZBN_enUS464US464&q=electric+winches&gs_upl=0l0l0l1762lllllllllll0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8181714896046196364&sa=X&ei=NROKT4W4FaTYiAKrl5GeBA&ved=0CK8BEPMCMAE#

http://anaheimautomation.com/products/linearguide/linear-guide-products.php



-- Edited by Bad Rat on Saturday 14th of April 2012 07:17:00 PM

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WT wrote:

How much the panel weighs and how fast you want it moved determines the lift mech. hp.

1 hp = 550 ft-lbs/sec so a 55# panel raised 7' in 60 sec takes about 9w at 746 w/hp.

Use 35#/cu. ft. for wood density.


That's some danged good data to help you in your design and material purchase IMHO that is !



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WT


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Or you could use the guts of one of those flat screen TV lift mechanisms. And if you have room for a counterbalance the motor can be almost zero hp.

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You mean I gotta use math??!!!  That is some good info.

I probably will counterbalance, even if it can handle it.



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DennisT wrote:

You mean I gotta use math??!!!  That is some good info.

I probably will counterbalance, even if it can handle it.


Well, you don't "gotta'" biggrin

but if it doesn't work on paper first it almost certainly won't work in the real world.

Good luck with this thing - I'll be with you in spirit. . .

Recommended reading you can borrow through inter-library loan.

How Math can save your life

and

The arithmetic of life and death

 

 



-- Edited by WT on Monday 16th of April 2012 12:53:55 PM

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I ain't that smart, I use the old trial and error system,,, OVER BUILD = SUCCESS



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Bad Rat wrote:

I ain't that smart, I use the old trial and error system,,, OVER BUILD = SUCCESS


 Yeah, I realize now that this plan is better suited for electrical circuits, where you can't see what's happening and have to take the word of your test instruments.

 

That's the trouble with things that are designed by computers; they're very sure of themselves so there is no safety factors so a single failure can cascade into a pretty big mess.  The suspended walkway at the Hyatt Regency was an example of this.



-- Edited by WT on Monday 16th of April 2012 03:53:18 PM

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?Hyatt Regency? - - - - I think I drove by there once biggrin



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WT wrote:

How much the panel weighs and how fast you want it moved determines the lift mech. hp.

1 hp = 550 ft-lbs/sec so a 55# panel raised 7' in 60 sec takes about 9w at 746 w/hp.

 

Use 35#/cu. ft. for wood density.



-- Edited by WT on Saturday 14th of April 2012 05:31:31 PM


 I'm thinking about using metal studs to keep it lighter.  Anything good or bad about them?  I think the sheetrock will be the heaviest part.  Probably about 3 full sheets.



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DennisT wrote:
I'm thinking about using metal studs to keep it lighter.  Anything good or bad about them?  I think the sheetrock will be the heaviest part.  Probably about 3 full sheets.

Bad Rat is our resident metal stud drywall expert and I'm sure he'll be able to tell you all you need to know about that stuff.  Don't forget they make 1/4" sheetrock also but if the wall is going to move up and down a lot then you're probably gonna have trouble keeping the joints from cracking and showing.  You might even find some 16' sheetrock and then you wouldn't have any butt joints only belly bands.

I'd better s'hup and let Rat handle this now.



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where is that onry old rat anyway. them metal studs are way lighter. ive framed a lot with em but they do need to be tied off purdy good up above. kinda flimzey in a way without bracin. im thinkin 12' long it mite twist a bit easier than wood but i mite be wrong....where is that old onry rat ?

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resident drywall expert????????????????? where in the hell did you hear that??

I stay as far away from that stuff as possable,,

using metal studs would be much lighter, First question is how wide will the wall be (thickness) 2 1/2-- 3 1/2 --?? to sturdy up a metal stud wall you can run 1 1/2 " ( black iron is what we always called it but its a 1 1/2" wide piece of u shaped steel   that will fit snuggly in the slots cut in the metal studs, ) often used for metal lath plastered walls, makes a wall much more stable especally the thinner walls, 1 1/2 studs, 1/2 " upsom board ( much lighter weight than s/r) on both sides equals 3 1/2 " finished  wall thickness,

even some smooth sided 1/4 " wood paneling would be lighter than sheetrock caulk and paint the surface or stretch a fabric or reflective movie screen over it, since thats what it will be used for



-- Edited by Bad Rat on Monday 16th of April 2012 08:56:55 PM

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Well, maybe 2x4s are the way to go then.  Maybe I'll go 24" on center to save a couple pounds.



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dont use nails. use them 3" screws to frame the wall. there aint no comparison in strength. i can nail a wall together and kick it apart. them screws wont give or loosen up. id use deck screws. them drywall screws will work but their brittle and ive had em fail, break, . i like your thinkin, lookin foward to more of this one !

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I just looked at your schematic and I have another thought, "if I may?"

Unless I am reading the drawing incorrectly, it looks like your wall is 12' in "width" AND if it is less than 12' then you won't have any butt joints (they are the ones that are formed by the 4' ends of the drywall) - - - - if you don't have any butt joints then you could even go with 2x2 studs and forfeit even MORE pounds.

Hope my thinking is correct on this !

meller



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DennisT wrote:

Well, maybe 2x4s are the way to go then.  Maybe I'll go 24" on center to save a couple pounds.


 Wood studs are much heavier than metal, the reinforcement bar is simply for stability for the center of the wall, metal studs are pretty flimsy, through the center, especally if you are planning on raising it up with hardly any support on the bottom, the bar twists into the holes that are already punched into the studs, sllide through and twist into position,

3 1/2 " studs would probably be the way to go, since the bottom section will be part of the bar (Counter)

I'm working on a drawing, with my version of this, confuse we'll see how close I comebiggrin



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Bad Rat wrote:
DennisT wrote:

Well, maybe 2x4s are the way to go then.  Maybe I'll go 24" on center to save a couple pounds.


 Wood studs are much heavier than metal, the reinforcement bar is simply for stability for the center of the wall, metal studs are pretty flimsy, through the center, especally if you are planning on raising it up with hardly any support on the bottom, the bar twists into the holes that are already punched into the studs, sllide through and twist into position,

3 1/2 " studs would probably be the way to go, since the bottom section will be part of the bar (Counter)

I'm working on a drawing, with my version of this, confuse we'll see how close I comebiggrin


 Can't wait to see your drawing.  I tried drawing something up, but even I didn't know what it looked like when I was done.  If I get some time, I want to sketch something up in our CAD system at work.



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Mello Yello wrote:

I just looked at your schematic and I have another thought, "if I may?"

Unless I am reading the drawing incorrectly, it looks like your wall is 12' in "width" AND if it is less than 12' then you won't have any butt joints (they are the ones that are formed by the 4' ends of the drywall) - - - - if you don't have any butt joints then you could even go with 2x2 studs and forfeit even MORE pounds.

Hope my thinking is correct on this !

meller


 You're right about the 12' width.  My brain defaulted to the 8' sheets yet.  One 12' sheet per side should do it with no seams.



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I had a drywall company in the Rocky Mrns but we "NEVER" messed with metal studs because there was more money in stick framing for the little independent - - - - - - metal stud jobs were for the Union Dudes biggrin



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DennisT wrote:
Can't wait to see your drawing.  I tried drawing something up, but even I didn't know what it looked like when I was done.  If I get some time, I want to sketch something up in our CAD system at work.

 CAD is the program to do it with for sure - - - - - that Rat is a F-f-f-f-f-f-f-fabricating FOOL and he's not even a Redneck biggrin



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hes a gentleman red neck. hahaha. so are you mego.

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geezer69 wrote:

hes a gentleman red neck. hahaha. so are you mego.


 Yuppers, he is - - - as far as I know, none of my kin are hitched  - - - however Sherry Belle does keep a spit cup on the end of her ironing board hahahahaha - - - - - just kiding just kiddin just kidding - - - - - if she sees this she'll kill me



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hahaha, you sure do live dangerious mego. and i thought i had nerve. hahaha

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Mello Yello wrote:
- - - however Sherry Belle does keep a spit cup on the end of her ironing board hahahahaha - - - - - just kiding just kiddin just kidding - - - - - if she sees this she'll kill me

 Your as good a DEAD Mego,,, may ya rest in peace with a piece,,,wink I'mtellin on yasmile



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Mello Yello wrote:

I had a drywall company in the Rocky Mrns but we "NEVER" messed with metal studs because there was more money in stick framing for the little independent - - - - - - metal stud jobs were for the Union Dudes biggrin


http://www.racointeriors.com/

 http://www.4specs.com/s/10/10-2250.html

This is the system we used mostly, Raco Demountable , all walls could be demounted ( taked apart ) just in reverse of the way they went together, usually the sheetrock was covered with a vinyl ( wall paper type material) and attached to H shaped studs with clips,,all the electrical boxes were at the very bottom (within 4" of the floor) so when reuseing the panel, a plug could be cut and the rubber base covered the plug, so 95 % of all the material was reusable,

When it first came out in the 70'S it was considered as office furniture( because it was movable) so the building owners got a huge writeoff on the product,, (taxes)

We had the only machine for installing the material on the 2' or 4' wide sheetrock ( no beveled edges) north of San Francisco,

nearly every hi rise in Portland has Raco in it,, and we put it there,,,

 



-- Edited by Bad Rat on Tuesday 17th of April 2012 06:16:59 PM

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Will there be any personnel safety issues if the wall keeps moving if it hits an obstruction?

The way around this is to have a circuit that senses motor current and shuts down if the current gets excessive. The parts for such a thing are $10 or $20 but it'll take a weekend to build/test/debug and you'll need at least some test equipment.

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WT wrote:

Will there be any personnel safety issues if the wall keeps moving if it hits an obstruction?

The way around this is to have a circuit that senses motor current and shuts down if the current gets excessive. The parts for such a thing are $10 or $20 but it'll take a weekend to build/test/debug and you'll need at least some test equipment.


Don't some garage door openers have that feature?

 



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im itchin to see this in action. its a good un. theres a bunch of ways of goin at. if you use wood you can pick through a few and use the light weight boards. they varry a lot in weight. one you pick up mite be 10 lbs. the next one 2 lbs. theres light lumber too. cedar,fir,white pine. jusat check at the lumber yard. you can find somethin. im sure the metal studs will work too with a little help. im thinkin you can build a switch if you cant find one handy.

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Dennis<<< couple of questions:::::: how wide will the top be that you intend to use as a bar when the wall is closed? that will need to be raised along with the wall, and matched up to the sophet hanging from the ceiling, unless you want the screen part to raise up from the middle of the bar top, then that will effect the width of the screen, you will have a counter top running through the middle of your game,

will the entire wall be used as the screen or just the raised portion? if the entire wall ( including the bottom sect) will be used,, there will be a offset on the bottom portion where the upper wall comes out of the lower section, will this effect the visuals of the projection,, I think it will,,

lots to consider here, about how the finished product will work and appear,

 

 



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Rat, this is the wall opposite the screen wall. I want the wall up when the room is used as a theatre, but down if there's a game on and have people over to watch. So this is just a plain wall. I figured the top plate (bar top) of the wall would over hang the wall about an inch on either side. It'll be centered in the rest of the bar top when down. I'll bevel the bottom edges so it centers itself when down.

Make sense???...

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geezer69 wrote:

im itchin to see this in action. its a good un. theres a bunch of ways of goin at. if you use wood you can pick through a few and use the light weight boards. they varry a lot in weight. one you pick up mite be 10 lbs. the next one 2 lbs. theres light lumber too. cedar,fir,white pine. jusat check at the lumber yard. you can find somethin. im sure the metal studs will work too with a little help. im thinkin you can build a switch if you cant find one handy.


 Good point about the lumber weight.  That Raco tubing sounds good too.  I'll have to check that out.

My brother in law has an old garage door opener that he says is all mine, so I think I'll go that route.  I won't feel as bad destroying that thing instead of a brand new one.

I hope you guys don't think this is going to be done next week or anything.  Actually, what are you guys doing this weekend???  smile  With work and everything else, I'm hoping just to have the walls framed in a month.  Then the fun will start.



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well, im takin care of my wife rite now so i aint up to much. soon as she gets on her feet good i got some buildin to do and get a little done on ours.i havr some new hardware in my neck i need to check out too. your in good company here, none of us get in much of a rush anymore. hahaha. the ole rat says hes the king procrastinator but i think he does more than the rest of us. best i know anyway.if that garage door oppener works and its free its a winner. my favorite price !



-- Edited by geezer69 on Wednesday 18th of April 2012 08:15:26 PM

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DennisT wrote:

Rat, this is the wall opposite the screen wall. I want the wall up when the room is used as a theatre, but down if there's a game on and have people over to watch. So this is just a plain wall. I figured the top plate (bar top) of the wall would over hang the wall about an inch on either side. It'll be centered in the rest of the bar top when down. I'll bevel the bottom edges so it centers itself when down.

Make sense???...


 Yep!! it does make more sense now,, for some reason I was thinking you wanted this wall to be used as a video screen,, but really its just a Bar disguised as a wall,biggrin

so now I am wondering where exactly is this upper wall is suspose to retract too? fold up to the ceiling like a garage door does, Or retract down into the bar top?

Think about this,confuse since you want a bar , how about building the bar the size you want, 44" high and 4" wide, by say 12ft long, with the bar top about say, 12-14-16-18 " wide,or whatever ,, and have the upper wall with the bar countertop attached to it   come up out of the center of the lower wall, with the bartop rising with the wall to match up to a overhead sophet hanging from the ceiling,and  the same size as the bar top, and latch onto the sophet to hold the weight of the raised wall and bar top,, m aking this rising wall , say 46 " high and the extra 2" will remaing in the lower wall to stabilize it and keep it from moving around in lower wall slot,,there by closing off the area behind the wall, does this make any sense at all to you?

to raise the wall, build a metal frame work  in that sophet  with pullys on each end with a cable running through the pullys down to each end of the bar ( that will rise out of the lower wall and pull the wall up with the use of a electric winch) the cables would be hidden in the overhead sophet, and when the wall is down , and being used as a bar, the cables will detach and go back into the sophet,   this is just about Clear as Mississippi Mud ain't it?



 



 



-- Edited by Bad Rat on Thursday 19th of April 2012 11:46:38 AM

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Bad Rat wrote:
Think about this,confuse since you want a bar , how about building the bar the size you want, 44" high and 4" wide, by say 12ft long, with the bar top about say, 12-14-16-18 " wide,or whatever ,, and have the upper wall with the bar countertop attached to it   come up out of the center of the lower wall, with the bartop rising with the wall

 That's what I was thinking but couldn't figure out how to put it in type.  Sure would be better than have a Bar top that wasn't one piece - - - - too much chance for things (including liquids) to end up in the crack, in my way of thinking that is???



-- Edited by Mello Yello on Thursday 19th of April 2012 07:34:21 AM

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Mello Yello wrote:
WT wrote:

Will there be any personnel safety issues if the wall keeps moving if it hits an obstruction?

The way around this is to have a circuit that senses motor current and shuts down if the current gets excessive. The parts for such a thing are $10 or $20 but it'll take a weekend to build/test/debug and you'll need at least some test equipment.


Don't some garage door openers have that feature?

 


Yes, by photocell and by current drawn.

For fasteners and cabling the OP should use a safety factor of at least 4 - e.g., if the panel  weighs 50# and is supported by two cables, the breaking strength of each cable should be more than 50x4/2 = 100#. 



-- Edited by WT on Thursday 19th of April 2012 11:39:51 AM

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Bad Rat wrote:
DennisT wrote:

Rat, this is the wall opposite the screen wall. I want the wall up when the room is used as a theatre, but down if there's a game on and have people over to watch. So this is just a plain wall. I figured the top plate (bar top) of the wall would over hang the wall about an inch on either side. It'll be centered in the rest of the bar top when down. I'll bevel the bottom edges so it centers itself when down.

Make sense???...


 Yep!! it does make more sense now,, for some reason I was thinking you wanted this wall to be used as a video screen,, but really its just a Bar disguised as a wall,biggrin

so now I am wondering where exactly is this upper wall is suspose to retract too? fold up to the ceiling like a garage door does, Or retract down into the bar top?

Think about this,confuse since you want a bar , how about building the bar the size you want, 44" high and 4" wide, by say 12ft long, with the bar top about say, 12-14-16-18 " wide,or whatever ,, and have the upper wall with the bar countertop attached to it   come up out of the center of the lower wall, with the bartop rising with the wall to match up to a overhead sophet hanging from the ceiling,and  the same size as the bar top, and latch onto the sophet to hold the weight of the raised wall and bar top,, m aking this rising wall , say 46 " high and the extra 2" will remaing in the lower wall to stabilize it and keep it from moving around in lower wall slot,,there by closing off the area behind the wall, does this make any sense at all to you?

to raise the wall, build a metal frame work  in that sophet  with pullys on each end with a cable running through the pullys down to each end of the bar ( that will rise out of the lower wall and pull the wall up with the use of a electric winch) the cables would be hidden in the overhead sophet, and when the wall is down , and being used as a bar, the cables will detach and go back into the sophet,   this is just about Clear as Mississippi Mud ain't it?

-- Edited by Bad Rat on Thursday 19th of April 2012 11:46:38 AM


 By George, you got it!!  That's exactly my thoughts.  Wall dropping into bar and forming the bar top.  I probably won't go quite that wide, maybe 16-18" total, but that's the idea.  I have a spot for a real bar, so this is more just to stand around and set drinks.

I'll drive it with chain and sprocket, but will need a cable to wind when raising the wall.

As far as what Mello wrote about liquids spilling, I'll have access points on the ends and middle where anything is connected.  Should give me enough room to clean up spills if needed.

 



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DennisT wrote:
As far as what Mello wrote about liquids spilling, I'll have access points on the ends and middle where anything is connected.  Should give me enough room to clean up spills if needed.

 I might not have made myself very clear on that but I was referring to the cracks that would be located where the beveled edges that you mentioned were.

Dang, I used to be so good at putting things into woids - - - - - ?couldn't possibly be old age could it? - - - - -  NAWWWWWWWWWWWW no



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