DIY Copper & Wood Bar Cart

copper and wood bar cart

modern bar cart

News flash – I love entertaining. Don’t believe me? I’ve created DIY wine racks, outdoor bars, and beverage holders on this website time and again! To prove myself a Class-A partier one more time, today I’m sharing my newest party-related project, a DIY copper & wood bar cart! Even better, my friends at Bernzomatic helped keep this celebration alive by sponsoring this build! Let’s get the this party started!

How To Make A Mid-Century Modern Copper & Wood Bar Cart

P.S. The YouTube tutorial for this project will be live on Wednesday, March 13! Make sure to subscribe to my channel to be the first to watch!

mid century modern bar car

One of the things I love most about this build (other than I can use it to store my liquor collection), is that it required the use of copper soldering techniques to reinforce the strength and straightness of the copper pipes. Even cooler, I not only know how to solder copper for woodworking projects, but can totally fix a leaky pipe now!

bar cart

Ready to see how to make your own? Let’s do this!

What You’ll Need:

how to build a bar cart

Tools
Miter Saw
Table Saw
Drill
Pocket Hole Jig
Bernzomatic TS4000
Bernzomatic Propane
Jig Saw
Solder & Flux
Pipe Cutter
Pipe Cleaning Tool
¾” Forstner Bit
320 Grit Sandpaper
Metal File
Steel Wool/Abrasive Sponge
Spindle Sander (optional)
Wood Clamps
Safety Goggles
Safety Gloves
Rags

Materials:
(1) ½ Sheet of ½” Plywood
(4) 48″ Tall 1¼” Dowels
(4) 1 x 3 x 6′ Boards
(3) 5′ Tall ½” Copper Pipes
(16) ½” Copper Couplings
(4) Ball Stem Castors
1 ¼” Pocket Hole Screws
1″ Pocket Hole Screws
Copper Spray Paint
Danish Oil (Dark Walnut)
Fast Setting Epoxy
Painter’s Tape

The Steps:

1. Measure and cut your 1×3 boards into the following pieces:

(4) Short Frames @ 16 ½”
(4) Long Frames @ 29″

cut wood on miter saw

2. Measure and cut your dowels into four 36″ tall pieces.

how to cut wood dowel

3. Measure and cut your plywood boxes into two pieces at 16 ½ x 32″

measuring plywood

4. Once my pieces were cut, I used a spindle sander to add a curve to the end of my 1×3 pieces. This helps them hug the dowels and is a totally optional step!

how to use spindle sander

5. To help the dowels lay flush to the plywood, use a jig saw to cut the hard corners away from the plywood panels.

how to use jigsaw

how to cope wood for curve

6. Next, drill pocket holes into the bottom of your plywood panels.

how to drill pocket holes in plywood

7. Once the plywood is finished being prepped, drill pocket holes into the ends of your 1×3 boards (this is what you will use to attach to your dowels).

how to drill pocket holes in lumber

8. Next, begin your shelf assembly by attaching the plywood panels to your 1×3 boards using wood glue and 1″ pocket holes screws. I used a spacer to attach the plywood to the middle of the frame pieces and allow some space both under and over the shelf.

attaching plywood to frame

9. Now it’s time for the fun part! Cut your copper pipes into the following sizes (these measurements include the room required for the coupling I used):

(4) Long Rods @ 28″
(4) Short Rods @ 15 ½”

I chose to add coupling to the ends of the copper piping to help it remain stick straight – it also adds a fun decorative element as well!

how to cut copper pipe

10. Next, clean the outside of the copper pipes and the inside of the copper coupling to prep it for soldering.

how to solder copper

how to clean copper pipes

11. Once clean, add flux to the inside of the copper coupling and outside of the copper pipe.

applying flux to copper pipe

12. Next attach the coupling to the end of the pipe and begin to heat using the Bernzomatic TS4000.

how to heat copper pipe

how to solder copper pipe

13. After a few minutes, remove the direct flame and touch the connection between the pipe and the coupling with your soldering wire. It should begin to melt onto the pipe. Keep a wet rag around to fix any dripping.

soldering copper

Continue this process for all 8 rods and all 16 couplings.

how to clean solder

14. Once the rods have cooled, clean up the connections using a metal file.

clean copper with file

15. Next, buff the copper pipes using 320 grit sandpaper and then follow with an abrasive sponge or steel wool (I picked up this trick from fellow Torch Bearer, Modern Builds).

how to buff copper with sandpaper

16. Begin attaching the remaining pieces of the bar cart together. First, attach the legs to the bottom shelf using wood glue and 1 ¼” wood screws.

glue wood joint

attach dowels to wood

17. Once your legs are in place, use a ¾” forstner bit to create grooves for the copper pipes to sit. I created a quick jig to keep my holes aligned, but this is optional.

how to drill holes in wood

drill hole with forstner bit

17. Next, use epoxy and clamps to connect the copper pipes on the bottom shelf first.

how to use epoxy

how to attach copper pipe to wood

18. Once the bottom shelf has been put into place, continue the same method up top.

how to attach wood with pocket holes

19. After the piece has dried, remove the clamps and give it a good sanding.

how to sand wood

20. Next, stain and seal the cart (I used Danish Oil to finish mine).

staining wood with oil

21. Optional: while the cart dries, spray your wheels copper to match the piping.

copper castors

22. Once the wheels have dried, drill holes in the bottom of the dowels and attach the wheels.

how to add castors to dowels

copper castors in wood

23. Serve up a drink and celebrate! You build a pretty awesome bar cart!

diy custom bar cart

I am so excited to roll this thing into action at my next event!

how to make a bar cart

Anybody want a drink?

Want to save this project for later? Make sure to Pin It!

bar cart ideas

Also, make sure to visit Bernzomatic’s website for more awesome project ideas!

This post is sponsored by Bernzomatic. While compensation has been received for this post, all design ideas, product opinions, and design choices are my own. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

This post may contain affiliate linking. While these links cost no extra for you to use, a percentage of all sales made through these links will help fund future DIY Huntress projects. For more information, please visit my "About Me" page. Thank you!

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