This step by step diy project is about how to build an outdoor bar. Building a wooden bar for your backyard is easy, provided you use proper plans and tools. In this project we show you detailed instructions as well as everything else you should know before starting the woodworking project. Work with attention and with great care, making sure you plan everything from the very beginning.
When building a wooden bar, there are several things that you should take into account, in order to prevent costly mistakes and to keep the costs under control. Taking into account there are many plans and designs you could choose from, we recommend you to study the alternatives and to select the project that matches the style of your house and garden. Select a proper location for the outdoor bar, as to make it an attraction point of your garden.
It is essential to use weather-resistant lumber, if you are going to place the bar in your backyard. Redwood, cedar or pine are excellent choices, as the components will be durable and have a beautiful finish. Use a router to round the exposed edges of the components. Always align the wooden components at both ends and add waterproof glue to enhance the bond of the joints.
Building an outdoor bar
- A - 4 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 40″ long, 4 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 40″ long LEGS
- B - 4 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 15″ long, 4 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 48″ long FRAMES
- B – 13 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 18″ long BOTTOM
- C - 3 piece of 2×3 lumber – 15″ long, 4 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 45″ long TOP
- D - 2 pieces of 2×3 lumber – 24″ long, 2 pieces of 2×3 lumber – 54″ long COUNTERTOP
- D – 6 pieces pf 2×4 lumber – 51″ long COUNTERTOP
- E - 1×4 lumber, 1×2 lumber SHELVES
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw, jigsaw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- Apply several coats of wood stain to the wooden components
- Fill the holes with wood filler and smooth the surface
- One Day
How to build an outdoor bar
The first step of the project is to build the frame of the outdoor bar. As you can see in the image, you need to build the frame from 2×4 lumber, as in the plans. Check if the corners are right-angled and drill pilot holes trough the components, to prevent the wood from splitting.
After building the two frames, we recommend you to attach the 2×6 and 2×4 posts to the corners. As you can notice in the image, you need to leave 2″ from the bottom to the frame of the wooden bar. Use a spirit level to plumb the legs and to check if the frames are perfectly horizontal. Drill pilot holes trough the frame and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the posts, from the inside of the bar.
The next step of the woodworking project is to attach 1×4 slats to the bottom frame of the backyard bar. As you can see in the image, building your own bar is easy, but you need to take accurate measurements and use quality materials. Drill pilot holes at both ends of the slats and secure them into place with 2 1/2″ galvanized screws. Lay the slats equally spaced, leaving about 1/4″ between them.
Continue the project by attaching 1×4 slats to the exterior of the wooden structure, as in the plans. Place the slats equally spaced, leaving about 1/4″ between them, in order to get a professional result. Place a piece of plywood between the slats, in order to get consistent gaps. Drill pilot holes and insert 1 1/4″ wood screws, as to lock the slats to the frame.
Building the shelf is a straight-forward, as you only need to fit the cleats and to attach the 1×4 slats. As you can see in the image, you need to level the cleats with a spirit level, otherwise the shelf won’t be horizontal. Leave 1/4″ between the slats and lock the slats into place with 2 1/2″ galvanized screws.
One of the last steps of the project is to build the countertop and to lock it to the wooden legs of the bar. In order to get the job done in a professional manner, we recommend you to use 2×3 slats (frame) and 2×4 slats (top). Cut the ends of the trims at 45º and lock them together with waterproof glue and 1 1/2″ finishing nails.
Smart tip: Place the slats inside the trims and insert 2 1/2″ wood screws trough the frame, after drilling pilot holes. Make sure you don’t leave any gaps between the slats and the corners are right angled. After assembling the countertop, you need to fit it into place and to insert galvanized screws trough the screws into the legs.
After building the outdoor bar, there are many things that you could do in order to increase the storage capacity. As you can notice in the plans, you could create several compartments and shelves, using 1×2 cleats and 1×4 slats. Moreover, you could even create a simple rack for wine bottles.
You can see in the image the wooden bar seen from the back. Use a spirit level when attaching the cleats, especially of you want to get the job done as a professional.
Last but not least, we recommend you to take care of the finishing touches. Fill the holes with wood filler and let it to dry out for several hours. Afterwards, smooth the wooden surface with fine-grit sandpaper and vacuum the residues.
Smart tip: Apply several coats of stain or paint to the wooden components, if you want to protect them from decay and to enhance the look of the outdoor bar.
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