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How to Build a Home Bar

Home Built Six Foot Home Bar

Home Bar Front View

Your home will become a relaxing center for conversation and entertainment when you build this classic bar. Your friends will be amazed when you tell them you built it yourself.The Home Bar is 72 in. long, 42 1/2 in. high, and 24 in. in depth. It features a solid oak armrest and brass footrail.

The trim in front gives the appearance of a frame and panel design but this design is much easier to build. The cabinet is made of readily available 3/4 in. oak plywood. Where edges of the wood are visible, 3/4 in. solid oak wood is used .


Home Bar Rear View

Home Bar Rear View


In the rear you'll have a full length workshelf for mixing drinks.

On the left, below the long workshelf are a couple of shelves for storage. In the middle, you'll have two sliding wine racks for storing your wine in a horizontal position. Also, you'll have three convenient drawers on the right.

Our free 42 page Home Bar plans have details parts drawings and detailed cutout drawings that show you how to make the most efficient use of your wood. The detailed step by step assembly instructions will show you exactly what is involved in building your own beautiful and durable home bar.

To see a general idea of what's involved in building this project, please look over the drawings below. Again, this is just a sample of the detailed drawings and instructions in the free bar plans PDF file.

Please note that in the HomeBarPlans.pdf download file, I used the word cleat for the strips of wood that strengthen the wood joints. On this page, the word gusset is used instead.

Home Bar Front Panel Dimensions

Dimensions for the three front bar panels

The above drawing shows the dimensions for the three front panels. Note the locations of the pocket holes on each side of the center panel. These pocket holes enable you to easily join the panels and they will be covered by front trim when the bar is assembled.

Side Panels and Vertical Dividers Dimensions

Dimensions for the Side Panels and Vertical Dividers

Above are the dimensions for the side panels and vertical dividers. You"ll need two each of these panels. The side panels are for the sides of the home bar and the vertical dividers create the three rear sections for the drawers and wine racks.

Dimensions for the Work Shelf and Kick Panel

Rear Work Shelf for the Home Bar

The rear work shelf and kick panel dimensions are shown above. The rear work shelf provides a convenient work surface for mixing drinks. The kick panel is mounted on the bottom of the bar and serves as the lower front panel of the bar.

Dimensions for the Bar Top

Dimensions for the Bar Top

The bar top will have arm rest molding mounted around the front and both sides. The cutout in the rear will have solid oak trim attached during the assembly.

Attach the Panel Gussets to the Bottom

Attach the Panel Cleats to the Bottom

Attach the gussets to the top surface of the bottom plate as shown. Pocket holes sides should be placed 16" from the ends with pocket hole sides facing each other as shown. (These gussets are used for mounting the vertical panels to the bottom surface.) Be sure the gussets are square to the bottom before screwing the parts together.

Note that in these drawings, the drawer slides are already attached the the gussets. Details of mounting the drawer slides are in the plans.



Assemble the Vertical Divider Panels to the Bottom

Assemble the Vertical Divider Panels to the Bottom

The two divider panels are attached to the gussets that were attached to the Home Bar's bottom as shown. The bottoms of the divider panels are attached to the gussets with wood screws. Be sure your screws are not too long as they would break through the opposite durface of the plywood and would be visible. Again, detailed instructions for placement of the drawer slides along with detailed drawings for the smaller wooden parts are included in the download file.

Attach the Kick Panel to the Bottom

Attach the Kick Panel to the Bottom

Turn the assembly upside down and attach the kick panel as shown with pocket hole screws. Note: the pocket hole screws are on the back side of kick panel.

Attach the Work Shelf to the Sides of the Bar

Attach the Work Shelf to the Sides of the Bar

First, attach the four gussets to the bottom side of the work shelf with pocket hole screws as shown. The end gussets have pocket holes facing out. The middle gussets have the pocket holes facing each other. The pocket hole side of the middle gussets are placed 16" from the ends of the workshelf.

Next, attach the side panels to the bottom gussets with 1 1/4" screws. Place the work shelf (with gussets attached) on top of the vertical dividers and secure it to the sides and dividers with 1 1/4" screws through the gussets.

Assemble the three Front Panels

Assemble the three Front Panels

Assemble the three front pieces as shown and secure with pocket hole screws. These screws will be covered with trim later. Note: the pocket holes are represented by the enlongated ovals as indicated by the blue arrow.

Attach the Home Bar Front Panels to the Sides

Attach the Home Bar Front Panels to the Sides

Attach the assembled front panels to the side panels and vertical divider panels. Use finishing nails to attach the front to the sides. These nails will be covered with trim later. From the back side, use 1 1/8" screws through the two front gussets to attach the front to the bottom and the workshelf

Attach the Bottom Trim to the Front and Sides

Attach the Front and Side Trim

Attach the lower side and front trim pieces along the bottom with finishing nails as shown above.

Attach the Corner and Fluted Front Trim Pieces

Install the Corner and Fluted Front Trim Pieces

The vertical side and front trim pieces are attached to the cabinet panels as shown above. Note that these vertical trim pieces should be positioned flush with the top of the horizontal trim on the bottom of the home bar cabinet.

Attach the Top Horizontal Trim Pieces

Attach the Top Horizontal Trim Pieces

Attach the top horizontal trim pieces to the bar cabinet with finishing nails as shown above. This should leave a 1 1/8" space from the top of the cabinet panels so the Bar Top Assembly can fit over it. The top horizontal trim sits flush with the top of the vertical trim.

Attach the Rectangular Frame to the Front Panel of the Bar

Attach the Rectangular Frame to the Front Panel of the Bar

Attach the decorative frame molding with finishing nails as shown. Position the molding so the frame is centered side to side and slightly higher than centered top to bottom. The gap between the top of the frame and the top horizontal trim should be about 1" more than the gap between the bottom of the frame and the lower horizontal trim. If you center it top to bottom, it may actually look like it is too low because of an optical illusion.

Install the Foot Rail Brackets to the Bottom of the Bar

Install the Rail Brackets to the Bottom of the Bar

Install the Foot Rail Brackets as shown above. Your hardware may be diffferent, so be sure to take your own measurements. Position one brachet so the foot sets flat on the floor and measure the distance of the mounting holes from the floor. This should be about 5 1/2". The rest of the brackets must all be the same height.

The rear edge of the side brackets should be two inches from the rear vertical trim. The front brackets should be centered side to side between the trim.

Note the angle of the mounting screws. You can get the correct angle by trying it on some scrap wood. I recommend you leave these mounting screws slightly loose so the brackets can all sit freely on the floor.

Establish the Length of the Side Brass Foot Rest Tubing

Measure the Side Brass Foot Rest Tubing Length

Place a piece of tubing in the front supports as shown and measure the distance X. (The rear of the cabinet trim to the edge of the tubing.) This should be about nineteen or twenty inches.

This will be the length of the tubing for the sides.

Establish the Front Foot Rest Tubing Length

Measure the Length of the Front Brass Foot Rest Tubing

Insert a piece of tubing in each side support as shown. Have someone help you hold them so they are parallel to the cabinet and the floor. Measure the distance Y.

This is the length of the front tubing.

Assemble the Front and Side Foot Rest Tubing

Assemble the Front and Side Foot Rest Tubing

Assemble the foot rest rails tubing as shown to above. The end caps go into the rear of the side rail sections.

I recommend completely assembling the rails tubing with the screws provided in the kit and tighten all the screws enough so they make visible marks on the brass rail sections. Then, disassemble the rail and drill 3/16" holes in the rail where the screw marks are so the screws will all fit flush with the bracket surfaces, elbow collar surfaces, and at the end caps.

Since the end caps are inserted into the ends of the rail sections, their screw heads will be on the outside of the rail section.

Attach the Top Trim to the Top

Attach the Top Trim to the Top

Attach the top trim with glue and pocket hole screws as shown above. To ensure the top surfaces of both the Trim and Top are flush with each other, clamp both pieces to a flat surface before inserting pocket hole screws.

The illustration in the right of the drawing above shows how to clamp a piece of trim to plywood Top. One clamp holds the trim piece flush to a flat surface and the other clamp holds the plywood flat to the same surface. In this case, the plywood represents the bar top. To keep the pieces flush along the whole piece, you'll want to move the clamps close to each pocket hole as you insert the screws. This will ensure the trim is flush with the top surface.

Assembling the Arm Rest Molding for the Bar Top

Assemble the Arm Rest Molding for the Bar Top

The first step in assembling the top is to assemble the molding as shown above. Note: This drawing shows the molding in an upside down position. Detailed instructions for assembling and permanently joing the arm rest corners are provided on page 28 of the HomeBarPlans pdf file.

Bottom View of the Assembled Bar Top

Bottom View of the Assembled Bar Top

Show above is a view of the bottom of the Bar Top after it is completely assembled. There are several steps involved in assembling the various parts of the Bar Top before attaching it to the Bar Cabinet. Please see the free downloadable plans PDF file for the details.

Attaching the Top to the Home Bar Cabinet"

How to attach the bar cabinet and top with angle brackets

This drawing shows an upsidedown view of how the cabinet and top are attached. Use two corner brackets on each end and three in the middle. You don't want to actually turn the bar upside down to attach the top, it may damage it.

Spacing of the corner brackets is not critical. The cabinet trim is not shown for clarity. Note: You should predrill the bracket screw holes in the top and use screws that go no more that 1/2" into the wood. Otherwise, the bracket screws may cause unsightly bumps on the top surface of the Bar Top.

The images above are only a sample of the detailed drawings and instructions in the complete plans pdf file. Please read the copyright notice below before downloadingthe free plans.

The extensive use of pocket holes makes the assembly of this project easy and intuitive. If you have never used pocket holes in your woodworking projects, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Pocket hole joints are extremely strong and there is no measuring. You only need to drill the pocketholes in one of the work pieces to be joined. (the exact location is not critical). Clamp the pieces together, insert the screws and you're done. Since the screws remain in the joint, they serve as both a dowel and a permanent clamp.

You can build this Home Bar with basic woodworking tools. You'll need:

  • Table saw, miter saw, or hand held electric saw
  • Miter Guage (if you don't have a table or miter saw)
  • Pocket Hole Jig and Drill

It's true this bar will require a litte more than beginner level woodworking skills but if you're up to it, our free plans will guide you every step of the way.

Since our plans are free, there is no risk to you. You can download and look over the plans and then decide if you want to build the project.

Copyright Notice

We hope you enjoy the free woodworking plans offered on this site. You are invited to download any of the plans free of charge for your own use. Please be aware that the plans are copyrighted and may not be distributed by any person or company except here on www.bobsplans.com.

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Copyright © 2021 by Robert E. Reedy (All Rights Reserved)
HomeBarPlans.htm (03-30-2021)