How to Build a Rustic Bar

There’s no contest – the bar is the perfect hangout space when friends and family come over.

DIYing a rustic bar is not only a fun project to take on, but it also saves you a lot of money.

Building a bar for your home is not that complicated – as long as you have basic woodworking knowledge, you can knock the project out in a few hours.

In this post, we’ll look at how Niki from YouTube channel Nikita Maree built a rustic bar for her sister’s wedding. Her tutorial is by far the most comprehensive “how to build a rustic bar” tutorial on YouTube!

Supplies

Aside from the usual assortment of woodworking tools, you will need:

  • Four logs of wood
  • 90x45mm pine
  • Corrugated iron
  • Pallet wood

Also, make sure you have a chainsaw handy for cutting logs.

Steps

01 Size Logs and Cut Wedges

Begin by cutting the logs to the same length – use a chainsaw and steer clear of the circular saw for best results.

The bar is trapezoidal, and making the frame of the bar requires you to cut out wedges of wood from the logs.

Nika tackles this cleverly – she divides the log into 60° and 120° segments, and saws off the portions to match the frame’s requirements.

Watch Nika measure and saw off wedges by skipping to 0:20 on her video below.

02 Make the Frame

Mark the drilling spots on the pieces of pine and pre-drill holes larger than your screw’s shank. Remember to give them a chamfer!

In the video, Nika uses a decking screw in reverse to score the log below the pine, and then uses a drill bit that is smaller than the shank of the screw to drill a pilot hole into the wood. It prevents splitting.

Repeat this with other pieces of pine and screw every piece in place – the frame is ready!

Skip to 2:34 on the video below to watch Nika make the frame.

03 Fit the Iron

Use the chainsaw to make a channel in the logs to make the corrugated iron slide in neatly.

Take your time with making the channel – cut off little segments at a time. Keep sliding the iron up against the log to find and follow the metal’s shape as you cut the wood.

After you make the channels, measure the length of your logs and cut the corrugated iron to length. Slide it in, and you’re more than halfway done!

Skip forward to 3:12 on Niki’s video below to view this step.

04 Put the Sides Together

First, pre-cut a channel for corrugated iron on the side of the log. Then, cut the iron to half of the width of the bar.

Next, cut two lengths of pine to half the width of the bar.

Tuck in the iron first, and screw pieces of the pine in later. This is much easier than going about it the other way.

Watch Niki put the sides of the bar together by skipping to 4:04 on her video below.

05 Make the Top

The final step involves pulling apart the paling from the pallets, then squaring up, and attaching the first and last palings to the top of the bar.

All that’s left to do is fill in the center with as many loose palings as needed and cutting them to length.

For a nice finish, sand the sides off, and that’s it, the bar’s ready!

Skip forward to 5:30 on Niki’s video below to watch her complete the bar.

Full Video

Watching Niki’s demonstration of how to build a rustic bar in her comprehensive tutorial will make the steps clearer.

FAQs

What is the best bar-top finish?

Epoxy resin is by far the most durable bar-top finish. However, since we’re using strips of pallet wood and not one block of wood, you can use conversion varnish or oil-based polyurethane.

Can I add a storage cabinet to this bar?

Of course! All you need it a block of wood and some hinges to make it work.

Is there an easy way to DIY accompanying bar stools?

Making bar stools is a lot easier than making the bar. All you need is a few dowels, some cement, and some foam. Make cement in a bucket, dip and position the dowels in the cement, and leave to dry. After it dries, glue the foam to the cement, and add dowel supports.

Additional Steps

Remember that woodworking is just as much of a craft as cooking is – a lot of it is flexible. You can make the bar as big or small as you like and alter the design as you see fit.

Making custom-tailored solutions is at the core of DIY!

Although Niki uses her bar primarily as an outdoor bar, you can place your bar in the garage or the basement. A few dispensers or maybe a kegerator is all you need to complete your rustic bar.

Niki has dozens of similar DIY building and craft videos on her YouTube channel, Nikita Maree. Her focus on repurposing readily available material in her projects (like this bar!) makes her channel worth subscribing to. Make sure you check her channel out!

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