building a bar overview
Illustration: Doug Adams


Day-to-day Timeline
Prep Day: Build, trim, and assemble the bar's side panels (Steps 1–7).
Saturday: Install the shelves and corner stiles, and create the bar top (Steps 8-12).
Sunday: Install the bar-rail molding and optional foot rail (Steps 13-16).

Download the cut list for this project.


½-inch plywood: 1 @ 60 by 42 inches
½-inch plywood: 2 @ 24 by 42 inches

Lauan sheathing: 1 @ 60 by 42 inches
Lauan sheathing: 2 @ 24 by 42 inches

1x2 framing: 11 @ 37 inches
1x2 framing: 4 @ 24 inches
1x2 framing: 2 @ 60 inches
1x4 nailing block: 2 @ 6 inches

1x4 stile: 5 @ 31¼ inches
1x4 corner stile: 4 @ 42 inches
1x4 corner stile: 2 @ 42 inches (Rip ¾ inch off the board's width.)
1x2 stile: 2 @ 42 inches

1x4 rail: 1 @ 54½ inches
1x4 rail: Scribe 2 to size.
1x8 rail: 1 @ 54½ inches
1x8 rail: Scribe 2 to size.

Panel molding: Miter 32 to size.

1x2 shelf supports: 1 @ 54 inches
1x2 shelf supports: 2 @ 6 inches

¾-inch plywood bar-top substrate: Cut 2 to size.
¾-inch plywood bar-top substrate: Cut 2 to size.

1x12 bar top: Cut 1 to size.
1x12 bar top: Cut 2 to size.

Bar-rail molding: Miter 3 to size.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with a combination drill bit
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic nail gun
    • hand saw
      Small hand saw

    Shopping List

    ½-inch birch-veneer plywood to sheathe the interior. Get one-and-a-half 4-by-8 sheets.

    Lauan to sheathe the outside of the bar. Get one-and-a-half 4-by-8-foot sheets.

    ¾-inch utility-grade plywood for the base of the bar. Get one 4-by-8 sheet.

    1x4 common-pine boards to be sandwiched between the sheathing. Get eight 8-footers.

    1x4 clear-pine boards for the stiles and rails. Get seven 8-footers.

    1x8 clear-pine board for the bottom rail. Get one 8-footer.

    1x10 clear-pine boards for the shelves. Get two 6-footers.

    1x2 for the capping and supports. Get one 6-foot common-pine board and one 8-foot clear-pine board.

    1x1 for the shelf cleats. Get two 8-foot lengths.

    Panel or base cap molding to trim the inside edges of the stiles and rails. Get six 6-foot pieces.1x12 oak to finish the bar top. Get one 10-foot board.

    1x2 oak for the trim. Get one 12-foot board.

    Oak bar-rail molding Get one 12-foot length.

    Foot rail, brackets, and caps (optional, available through KegWorks)

    1-inch nails

    1¼-inch nails

    -inch brad nails

    1¼-inch screws

    3-inch screws

    Construction adhesive

    Wood glue