DIY: How to Make a Bar Cart

Bar cart
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This DIY Bar Cart Is a Fast, Inexpensive Build

DIY Bar Cart
Lee Wallender

You'll love how easy it is to build this laminated top DIY wood bar cart. Made solely from low-cost one-by-two furring pine boards and a few screws, this is a ridiculously cheap project that you can finish in about two hours.

This is the most simple cart you can build if you need a place to serve wine or shake up cocktails for a backyard party or for a fun wine and cheese party. It is endlessly flexible, too. Building with pine furring strips is the lowest price and most rustic option. If you would like to create a longer lasting bar cart, substitute the pine for quality hardwoods like hemlock, red oak, or walnut.

Designed with one wine glass rack to hold three glasses, you can add as many racks as you like. Or custom-cut a hardwood veneer board and place it on top of the middle brace for extra storage.

With two casters, this cart is easy to move. Finish by staining or painting. Or you can leave as-is, with natural wood.

Tools and Materials

Cut List

Cut the one-by-two 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

Lay Out the 44-Inch Boards for the Tabletop

Lay Out the Boards
Lee Wallender

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.

Spread Glue on the Tabletop Boards

Apply Glue to Boards
Lee Wallender

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.

Clamp the Tabletop Boards Together

Clamp the Table Top Boards
Lee Wallender

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

Wipe Glue, Apply Weight to Tabletop Boards

Add Weight to Flatten Out Boards
Lee Wallender

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.

Create Two End Pieces for the Legs

Create the Two End Pieces
Lee Wallender

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.

Attach the End Pieces to the Tabletop

Attach End Pieces to Table Top
Lee Wallender

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 one-by-two boards. Use a scrap board to provide the setback distance.

Build the Middle Brace for the Legs

Build the Middle Brace
Lee Wallender

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.

Mark End Pieces and Middle Brace

Mark 1.5 Inch From the End
Lee Wallender

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.

Attach Legs to End Pieces and the Middle Brace

Attach Legs to the End Pieces
Lee Wallender

Using the four 36-inch-long boards, screw the legs to the end pieces. 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.

Attach the Two Lengthwise Bottom Braces

Attach Bottom-Most Leg Braces
Lee Wallender

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

Attach the 12-Inch Front Brace to the Bottom

Attach Bottom-Most Front Brace
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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.

Glue and Nail the Legs to the Front/Bottom Brace

Glue and Nail the Front Legs
Lee Wallender

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.

Attach Two Braces to the Back (For Casters)

Attach Bottom Braces for the Casters
Lee Wallender

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.

Attach the Casters to the Back/Bottom Brace

Attach the Casters
Lee Wallender

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

Build and Attach the Wine Glass Rack

Build the Wine Glass Rack
Lee Wallender

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.