DIY: How to Make a Bar Cart

You'll love how easy it is to build this DIY wood bar cart covered with an easy-to-clean laminate top. Made solely from low-cost 1-inch by 2-inch furring pine boards and a few screws, this is an inexpensive project that you can finish in about two hours.

With two casters, this cart is easy to move and gives you the perfect place to serve wine or shake up cocktails for a backyard get together or a fun wine and cheese party. Using pine furring strips is the cheapest way to make the cart, but if you would like to create a longer-lasting piece of furniture, substitute quality hardwoods like hemlock, red oak, or walnut for the pine.

This design features one under-mounted wine glass rack that holds three glasses, but by following the instructions below, you can add at least two more. For more storage, you can custom-cut a hardwood veneer board and place it on top of the middle brace.

The cart can be finished by staining or painting, or for a more rustic look, you can leave it as-is, with natural wood.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Hammer or cordless nailer
  • Drill
  • Speed square
  • Miter saw
  • 2 Long woodworking clamps
  • 4 Spring clamps

Materials

  • 10 1-inch x 2-inch furring strip boards, each 8-feet long
  • 1 1/2-inch wood screws
  • Finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • 2 2-inch non-marking rubber caster wheels

Instructions

  1. Cut Your Lumber

    Cut the one-inch by two-inch boards into pieces with the following measurements:

    • (8) 44 inches
    • (2) 41 inches
    • (4) 36 inches
    • (11) 12 inches
    • (2) 39 1/2 inches
    • (2) 10 1/2 inches
    • (2) 2 1/2 inches
  2. Lay Out the 44-Inch Boards for the Tabletop

    Arrange eight of the 44-inch boards in an attractive fashion for the tabletop. Make sure that big knots and imperfections are on the bottom.

  3. Spread Glue on the Tabletop Boards

    Flip the boards to their sides.

    Apply a strip of wood glue on the sides. Do not put glue on the outer edge of boards that will form the sides of the tabletop.

  4. Clamp the Tabletop Boards Together

    Laminate the tabletop boards by clamping them together with long woodworking clamps.

  5. Wipe Glue, Apply Weight to Tabletop Boards

    Wipe off the excess glue with rags.

    Lay scrap boards on top of your laminated tabletop, then lay heavy weights on top of the boards. Let the tabletop cure for at least six hours.

  6. Create Two End Pieces for the Legs

    Build two end pieces that the legs will attach to. Screw two of the 12-inch boards together in an L-shape to create each of the end pieces.

  7. Attach the End Pieces to the Tabletop

    Attach the end pieces to the bottom of the tabletop with screws. Do not place the end piece directly on the edge of the tabletop. Instead, set back the end pieces by the thickness of one of the 1 x 2 boards. Use a scrap board to provide the setback distance.

  8. Build the Middle Brace for the Legs

    Create a middle brace in the shape of a rectangle to help strengthen the legs. Build this by using the two 39 1/2-inch pieces for the long sides and the two 10 1/2-inch pieces for the short sides. Attach with screws.

  9. Mark End Pieces and Middle Brace

    Make pencil marks on the end pieces and on the short sides of the middle brace to identify where the legs will be placed. Make these marks 1-1/2 inches from the edges, for a total of four marks.

  10. Attach Legs to End Pieces and the Middle Brace

    Screw the four 36-inch-long boards to the end pieces to create the legs. Position each leg so that it is on the inside of the pencil mark. Complete for all four legs.

    Position the middle brace so that it is about halfway up the legs, then clamp into place. Make sure that each leg is on the inside of each pencil mark. Screw into place from the inside.

  11. Attach the Two Lengthwise Bottom Braces

    Flip the bar cart upside-down. Attach the two 41-inch boards lengthwise to the legs with screws.

  12. Attach the 12-Inch Front Brace to the Bottom

    Take one of the 12-inch boards. Screw it perpendicular to the lengthwise bottom braces, stepping it back from the edge by about 1 inch.

  13. Glue and Nail the Legs to the Front/Bottom Brace

    Glue the two 2 1/2 inch pieces of wood onto the front/bottom brace. Clamp and leave for about three hours. Unclamp, gently flip the bar cart over so that it is upright, then nail the legs into place from the top with finish nails. Alternatively, you can nail with a cordless nailer.

  14. Attach Two Braces to the Back For Casters

    Similar to the front/bottom brace, screw two of the 12-inch boards perpendicular to the lengthwise bottom brace, stepping them back from the edge by 1 inch.

  15. Attach the Casters to the Back/Bottom Brace

    Attach the two casters to the back/bottom braces with screws.

  16. Build and Attach the Wine Glass Rack

    Each wine glass rack is built with four 12-inch pieces. Layer one board on top of another board in a stair-step fashion, screwing the top board into the bottom board. Repeat for the other two boards. Nail into place on the bottom of the tabletop, spacing them apart by 3 1/2 inches.

DIY Bar Cart
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Lay Out the Boards
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Apply Glue to Boards
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Clamp the Table Top Boards
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Add Weight to Flatten Out Boards
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Create the Two End Pieces
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Attach End Pieces to Table Top
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Build the Middle Brace
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Mark 1.5 Inch From the End
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Attach Legs to the End Pieces
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Attach Bottom-Most Leg Braces
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Attach Bottom-Most Front Brace
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Glue and Nail the Front Legs
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Attach Bottom Braces for the Casters
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Attach the Casters
The Spruce / Lee Wallender
Build the Wine Glass Rack
The Spruce / Lee Wallender

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