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
Want to skip the video and see the step-by-step? Let’s do this!
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!
Ready to see how to make your own? Let’s do this!
What You’ll Need:
Pocket Hole Jig
Solder & Flux
Pipe Cleaning Tool
¾” Forstner Bit
320 Grit Sandpaper
Steel Wool/Abrasive Sponge
Spindle Sander (optional)
(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
1. Measure and cut your 1×3 boards into the following pieces:
(4) Short Frames @ 16 ½”
(4) Long Frames @ 29″
2. Measure and cut your dowels into four 36″ tall pieces.
3. Measure and cut your plywood boxes into two pieces at 16 ½ x 32″
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!
5. To help the dowels lay flush to the plywood, use a jig saw to cut the hard corners away from the plywood panels.
6. Next, drill pocket holes into the bottom of your plywood panels.
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).
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.
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!
10. Next, clean the outside of the copper pipes and the inside of the copper coupling to prep it for soldering.
11. Once clean, add flux to the inside of the copper coupling and outside of the copper pipe.
12. Next attach the coupling to the end of the pipe and begin to heat using the Bernzomatic TS4000.
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.
Continue this process for all 8 rods and all 16 couplings.
14. Once the rods have cooled, clean up the connections using a metal file.
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.
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.
17. Next, use epoxy and clamps to connect the copper pipes on the bottom shelf first.
18. Once the bottom shelf has been put into place, continue the same method up top.
19. After the piece has dried, remove the clamps and give it a good sanding.
20. Next, stain and seal the cart (I used Danish Oil to finish mine).
21. Optional: while the cart dries, spray your wheels copper to match the piping.
22. Once the wheels have dried, drill holes in the bottom of the dowels and attach the wheels.
23. Serve up a drink and celebrate! You build a pretty awesome bar cart!
I am so excited to roll this thing into action at my next event!
Anybody want a drink?
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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.