Bar carts are decidedly cool, and a requisite piece of furniture in every home. They look super classy and provide a display for your collection of fine spirits that random people have left at your place. Plus, they're mobile, so you could literally tow one to a party, thereby making you the coolest person at this hypothetical shindig. Unfortunately, they're usually very expensive... unless you decide to build one yourself.
It took me one hour and approximately $180 to make this industrial-style cart from materials I picked up at Home Depot. It's nice, right? Let me show you how it's done.
You'll want to start with the bottom shelf first. Grab your four wheels, and mark with a sharpie where they'll be going (but don't drill -- just mark). Then grab your flanges and align them -- one in each corner. Make sure the holes in the flange do not match up with the holes you've marked for the wheels. This is very important, because you don't want the screws you're drilling into the flange to hit the screws for the wheels on the other side, or else they'll meet and crack the wood. Once your flanges are in place, grab your screws and drill.
Step 2: Screw in the pipes
With flanges secured and confidence levels reaching 1980’s Schwarzenegger, screw your 12” pipes into the flanges, then attach four more flanges (upside down) to the other end of the pipe. No need for a wrench, hand tightening will be a-ok.
Then flip over onto the second board (your middle shelf) and drill down those flanges.
Step 3: Secure flanges on top of the middle board
Once the 12" pipes are all screwed in and flanges attached, you'll want to flip the cart right side up and secure flanges to the top of the middle shelf. (Remember! Make sure the holes don't align with the ones you just drilled in on the bottom.) Once you're confident you won't screw up your screwing, drill baby, drill.
After your middle board is attached to the bottom board and all the flanges are in place and properly attached, screw in your 10" tubes, attach the top flanges, and throw on the top board -- ostensibly following the same rules as step three.
Step 5: Make sure your cart looks something like this
It does? Congrats! You're doing a great job and the worst is over.
It doesn't? Oh man. Well. I'm sure you're good at other things, like chess or sudoku!
Step 6: Install the casters, aka wheels
Because without wheels a bar cart is just a shelf, you’ll want to throw some casters on there. I went with the 1 ½“ ones (they were the cheapest), but it really doesn’t matter what size you choose. And because you're incredibly astute and intelligent, you lined these up and marked them previously. Hey, you're almost done!
Step 7: Drill in the handle
First, assemble the handle by screwing in your steel nipples (lol) to the elbows and flanges, then place it wherever the hell you want it on the cart and lock it in with some screws. I chose the end of the bar cart because I’m a rational and logical person who appreciates form and functionality. But you do you.
Step 8: Load it up with booze, throw a bangin' party
Be prepared for all of your friends to ask you “will you build one for me?!” Once I completed this cart, I got at least seven requests from people in my office, three of which were from the same person spaced out over 30 minute intervals. It was great to have strangers admiring the final product, but it was even better to stock it and roll it around making drinks.
And that’s how you make a really, really awesome $180 bar cart in one hour.
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Alex Robinson is an editor at Thrillist who thinks because he built this, he can probably build a tiny home. Follow all of his delusions on Twitter.