Build a Patio Bar

This easy-to-make, versatile outdoor bar can serve as a potting bench, plant stand and more.

Build an Outdoor Bar

Whether looking for a bar with a small footprint for casual entertaining on the deck, an elegant wine station or a sturdy potting bench, one piece of furniture can fit all your needs. This patio bar is easy to construct, but the beauty and durability of exotic hardwood makes it the perfect bar for both fashion and function.

You Will Need

eight 1-inch x 6-inch x 8-foot Ipe or other hardwood / two 50-piece boxes 1 1/2-inch stainless steel screws / 10-inch x 22-inch under-cabinet wire wine rack (optional) / teak oil / belt or orbital sander / tape measure / circular or miter saw / drill with 1/8-inch countersink bit and screwdriver tip / wood clamps / cloth rag

Sand Planks

Using a belt or orbital sander, sand all planks to remove blemishes from the surface.

Measure and Mark Pieces

Using a tape measure and pencil, measure the following lengths to be cut from the ipe planks: Three 42-inch, six 41-inch, one 39-1/2-inch, six 38-inch, six 13-inch.

Cut Measured Lengths

Use a circular or miter saw to cut pieces to measured lengths for assembly. Ipe (pronounced “ee-pay”) is an extremely dense hardwood similar to teak and a sharp blade is recommended. If Ipe is unavailable in your area, other exotic hardwoods like Brazilian redwood, teak or mahogany can provide the combination of durability and beauty ipe offers.

Assemble Top Support

Using wood clamps, assemble a box using two 41-inch and two 13-inch lengths of wood with the ends of the long sides exposed. This portion will support the bar top and provide a sturdy anchor for the legs.

Drill Pilot Holes for Screws

Using a sharp 1/8-inch bit with a countersink, drill thee pilot holes spaced evenly at each corner 3/8-inch from the edge. Countersink allows screw heads to rest flush with the surface of the wood.

Add Screws to Top Support

Secure support using stainless steel screws driven into pilot holes. Using stainless steel screws are not only strong, but they will not discolor or rust in the elements. Once screws are secure, wood clamps may be removed.

Place Bar Top

Lay three 42-inch lengths of wood on top of the support with a 1/2-inch overhang on each end and 1 inch on the long edges.

Attach Bar Top

Make sure top is resting evenly on support with all edges square and flush. Drill two pilot holes into each plank spaced 7/8-inch from end and 1-1/2 inches from long sides and attach top to support with screws.

Assemble Bottom Support

Use two 38-inch pieces and two 13-inch pieces to create a box. As with the top support, hold the box you created in place with wood clamps, drill three pilot holes spaced evenly at each corner 3/8-inch from the edge and finish assembly with stainless steel screws driven into each pilot hole.

Attach Bottom Shelf to Bottom Support

Remove wood clamps and place three 38-inch planks on top of bottom support, flush on each end and with an overhang of 1 inch along each long side. Drill two pilot holes into each plank spaced 3/8 inch from end and 1-1/2 inches from long sides and attach bottom shelf to support with screws.

Attach Legs

Clamp four 41-inch planks to the inside of each corner of the top support, with the face against the short side. On each leg, drill four pilot holes spaced 1-1/2 inches from the edges of the sides to which it will be attached. Take care to set the depth of your drill bit to 1-1/2 inches to avoid drilling through the side of the support. Secure with screws and remove wood clamps.

Attach Bottom Support

Turn the bar over to rest on its legs and lay two pieces of scrap 2-inch x 4-inch lumber beneath. Rest the bottom support on the scrap lumber, centered with a 1/2-inch over overlap at the front and back. On each leg, drill four pilot holes spaced 1-1/2 inches from the edges of the sides of the support. Secure by driving screws into each hole.

Attach Side Brace

Measure 23 inches up from the top of the bottom shelf on each side and use wood clamps to attach a 13-inch plank with the top edge at the 23-inch mark. Make sure braces are level and drill a pilot hole at each corner of the brace 1-1/2 inches from the top and bottom of the brace. Affix with screws and remove clamps.

Attach Back of Middle Shelf

Use wood clamps to attach a 39-1/2-inch plank to the back of the bar with the bottom edge level with the top of the side braces. At each end, drill a pilot hole at the top and bottom on the plank 3/8 inches from the end and 1-1/2 inches from the long edge. Drive screws into each of the four pilot holes to secure and remove clamps.

Attach Middle Shelf

Lay a 38-inch plank on the side braces firmly against the back of the shelf. Drill four pilot holes, one at each corner of the shelf 3/8 inches from the end and 1-1/2 inches from the long sides. Drive screws into pilot holes to secure shelf.

Attach the Wine Rack

A wire under-cabinet wine rack can be attached to the underside of the bar top for easy wine glass storage. A 10-inch x 22-inch rack will hold up to 18 glasses. Attach per manufacturer directions, but be sure to drill pilot holes for any screws required.

Apply Teak Oil

The beauty of hardwood becomes quickly apparent once teak oil is applied using a cloth rag. Because teak oil draws out the natural color of the wood, it enahnces the visual appeal while protecting the wood from mold and sun damage.

Let Dry and Place

Allow the teak oil to absorb into the wood and dry completely, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Once dry, your bar is complete and ready for use.

Sturdy and Versatile

This easy-to-build bar is sturdy enough to use as a potting bench, yet its beauty makes it the perfect bar, hors d ouerve table or storage nook for your deck, patio, kitchen or living room.