Home Bar Plans

These home bar plans are designed to hold a small refrigerator on the left and glass shelves on the right.  This particular buffet style of bar designs stands next to a wall and has front access to the refrigerator and shelves.

Home Bar Plans

The dimensions of the refrigerator space for these home bar plans were designed specifically for the Sanyo SR-4912M 4.9 Cu. Ft. counter height refrigerator.  I wanted this particular refrigerator because it does not have a freezer unit and is capable of holding a 5 gallon Cornelius keg and a CO2 tank.  See below.

Sanyo Refrigerator with Keg and CO2 Tank

If you are not a home brewer, you might consider a different size refrigerator that includes a freezer.  It all depends on your needs.  If you don't already have a refrigerator, I recommend purchasing one before you build this bar.  You can get the exact dimensions of your refrigerator before you design the size of the opening.

The width of the shelf opening was determined by the size of some glass shelves that I have had stored in my garage for over 10 years.

The wood used in these home bar plans are mostly Western Red cedar and oak plywood.  I used 2x4 pine (that it not seen when the bar is finished) to frame the base of the bar, and some aluminum strapping (also not seen) to tie in the top of the refrigerator opening.  I did this to keep the height of the bar to 42" (+/-), and to provide structure for the bar frame.

Note:  I use the formats 25" and 25 inches interchangeably throughout this document.

Home Bar Plans
Front Dimensions

Home Bar Plans - Side View
Side Dimensions

Purchasing the Wood

If you choose to use Western Red cedar for your home bar furniture, as I did, you might find that there are a few challenges out there.  I think Western Red cedar is beautiful wood, but it was difficult to find nice straight pieces that didn't have too much character.

This wood is typically used for fencing or deck building, but it can be sanded down to a nice smooth finish, and used to build just about anything.  I visited two or three different lumber yards before I found one with sufficient quantity of Western Red cedar to pick through and find the best looking pieces for my home bar.

Home Bar Plans - Assembly

Materials List:

Material Size Quantity
Western Red cedar 4" x 4" x 8' 3
Western Red cedar 2" x 4" x 8' 3
Oak plywood 4' x 8' 1
Hex screws and washers 4" x 1/4" 6
Hex screws and washers 1.5" x 1/4" 60
Corner braces  5" x 5" 10


Preparing the materials:

Cut the 4x4 posts to the length specified in the drawing(s). Sand the 4x4 posts and 2x4 trim until they are smooth.  Apply one coat of polyurethane to all of the cedar parts and let them dry at least 24 hours.  Lightly sand the parts again with fine sand paper.  Apply another coat of polyurethane to all of the parts and let them dry another 24 hours.

Assembling the frame:

The easiest way to build this home bar furniture is to assemble the front and back sections first, then tie two sections together with the oak plywood base, 2x4 trim, and corner braces.

Starting with the back section, on a flat surface, lay out three of the 38.5 inch 4x4 posts.  Cut one piece of 2x4 cedar trim 28.25 inches and one piece of 1.5 inch x 3 inch framing material 59.5 inches.

Space the posts apart as shown in diagram A.  Using a framing square, square all of the corners and attach the 1.5" x 3" (actual size) x 59.5" wood framing member to the bottom of each post using one .25" x 4" hex screw and washer per post.

Attach the 2x4 trim piece as shown in diagrams A and B.  Ensure that the corners are square and attach the 5" corner braces with .25" x 1.5" hex screws and washers.

Cut a piece of metal strapping (I used a piece of aluminum that I bought from the hardware store - 1/8 inch thick and 1 inch wide) 27.5 inches, so that it overlaps each of the two posts 1.5 inches.  Drill a hole in each end of the metal strapping and secure it to the top of the posts using a wood screw.  See diagrams A and B below.

Using the steps above, cut and assemble the parts for the front section.  Keep in mind that the front section is the mirror image of the back section - the dimensions are flipped.

Home Bar Plans Back Elevation
(A) - Home Bar Plans - Back Section

Home Bar Plans - Back Isometric View
(B) Home Bar Plans - Back Section (assembled)

Cut the plywood base as indicated in diagram C.  To be absolutely precise with the notch cuts, you can cut the plywood to its base dimensions (20.5" x 59.5"), then hold it up to the front and back sections of the bar and mark the exact location of the posts.  The depth of all of the notches is 1.5 inches.

Home Bar Plans - Base Dimensions
(C) Home Bar Plans - Plywood Base

The exploded view, of this home bar furniture, below shows how the back section and front section of the bar tie together.  In this diagram, the lower cedar trim on the back side of the bar, and the upper-right 2x4 trim is not shown. 

Also, the metal strapping is shown attached to the top-middle of each post.  It is best to attach them on the inside-top part of the posts, as shown in diagram B.  This way, they don't interfere with the bar top.

Home Bar Plans
(D) Home Bar Plans - Framing Plan

The diagram below shows the frame completely assembled, with a cutaway of the base to provide further clarity on how the base plywood is supported and trimmed.  Diagram F shows the detail view of the bottom base framing, plywood and trim.

Home Bar Plans - Assembled Framing
(E) Home Bar Plans - Framing Plan - (completed)

Home Bar Plans - Base Trim Detail
(F) - Base Trim Detail

The actual dimensions of the top plywood section with 2x3 cedar support is 64.5" x 25.5".  When the outer 1x2 trim is added, the dimensions become 66" x 27".  You can use any method you prefer to attach the cedar support and outer trim to the plywood top, but I preferred to glue and clamp all of the pieces to eliminate nail holes.

Once the top is assembled, sand it smooth with fine sand paper, apply a coat of polyurethane, let dry 24 hours (or longer), sand again with a very fine sand paper, apply the final coat of polyurethane.

Home Bar Plans - Top Trim Detail
(G) Home Bar Plans - Bar Top

Final notes:

This home bar furniture was relatively easy to build.  I put a lot of thought into the structure and size of the openings, etc., to accommodate my refrigerator and glass shelves. 

The Sanyo SR-4912M 4.9 Cu. Ft refrigerator can be converted to a kegerator, though this is not manufacturer's recommendation, there are several websites that provide the details. 

I didn't attach the bar top to the bar frame.  The weight of the bar top holds it firmly on the frame.  I also left it unattached to leave the option open to do the kegerator conversion and add a tap to the top of the bar at a later date.

Please verify all of the measurements before cutting any wood. 

Home Bar Plans - Base Framing
Home Bar Plans - Base Trim View
Home Bar Plans - Base Framing
Home Bar Plans - Corner Brace
home bar plans center post detail
home bar plans corner post detail

I hope you enjoy building this home bar furniture.  If you have any questions or suggestions  about bar designs, I would love to hear them.  Please send me a note.  Cheers!

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