Rolling Bar Cart with Removable Tray
Highly inspired by Pottery Barn's Chesapeake Bar Cart, sold out for a whopping $350 a cart, this bar cart, AKA beverage cart, party cart, or could be decorative plant cart, is made entirely of 1x3 boards (well, except for the wood wheels) and cost me under $20 to build in lumber.
9 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
4 - 1/2" diameter bolts, 2 1/2" long with bolts
6 - 1/2" washers to fit bolts
2 - handles
2 - 6" diameter wood rounds
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
2 - 1x3 @ 41 1/2" (Side Aprons)
4 - 1x3 @ 32" (Legs)
2 - 1x3 @ 16" (End Aprons)
2 - 1x3 @ 32" (Optional Side Supports)
4 - 1x3 @ 33 1/4" (Sides)
10 - 1x3 @ 14 1/2" (Bottom Slats)
10 - 1x3 @ 14 1/4" (Top Slats)
2 - 1x3 @ 16" (Bottom Ends)
2 - 1x3 @ 15 3/4" (Top Ends)
Build the sides. Start by drawing a handle pattern on the side aprons. The handle at most can be 6" long, as the handle overhangs the back leg 6". Clamp both side aprons together and sand until the two match perfectly.
You can also taper the back leg with a jigsaw as shown above (I didn't, but would be cute).
Then attach the legs to the side apron, using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and drilling holes with the Kreg Jig, set for 3/4" stock. Again, the handle overhangs the back leg by 6". Use glue and adjust for the square.
Once your two sides are complete, attach the end aprons as shown in the diagram. Use glue, adjust for square.
After I built my bar cart, I thought that a little extra support and also, a rail for possibly using smaller trays (or even a drop in ice bucket) would be good. So this step really is optional, but recommended. Add the side aprons supports as shown above.
Now the trays. You can build the trays with pocket holes, but it's really overkill. I used 2" finish nails and wood glue, two nails per slat, with slats spaced 3/4" apart.
The top tray needs to be 1/4" narrower than the bottom so you can easily remove it without scratching the finish. This is noted above and shown in the cut list.
Finish the ends of the two trays as shown above.
Now add the trays to the frame. The top is as easy as just resting in place. For the bottom, measure up 6" and screw in place. I used 1 1/4" screws and glue from the insides, two per leg, and it's plenty strong to hold my preschooler.
Drill holes in the center of your wood rounds with a 1/2" drill bit. Mark the hole placement on the leg, and drill holes in the legs. Test the wheels with bolts, and when satisified, remove the wheels and trim legs (see next step).
When you put your wheels on permanently, you will want to use three washers - one on the bolts side, one on the nut side, and one between the wheel and the leg to protect your finish. Bolt side out, nuts on the inside.
And a diagram for how the finished leg should look.