My outdoor bar furniture is made of a combination of Western Red Cedar, Corrugated Tin, 3/4" Plywood, Ceramic tile, and a couple of old indoor bar stools. This bar design allows for occasional rain or moisture contact, but this bar should not be left out in the open air conditions for extended periods of time.
Objectives: Design a bar to be used under a patio cover that will be able to withstand occasional moisture from rain or heavy fog. This bar design should reflect the surroundings of south central Texas - corrugated tin and cedar are common materials used in many rural structures, and the painted Mexican tiles used on the bar top are also common decor.
Diagrams A and B show the outside dimensions of this outdoor bar.
The view of the back of the bar (C) shows two under bar surfaces, the work surface and the lower deck. The lower deck is designed to hold an ice chest full of beer or other drinks. The work surface is for preparing drinks to be served on the bar top.
The work surface is not attached to the bar. It rests on two pieces of metal angle (or wood) attached to either side of the bar. The work surface is made from a piece of 3/4" plywood trimmed in the front with a piece of 1x2 oak. It is designed to be removed easily for cleaning.
The lower deck surface is made from three pressure treated 2x4s bolted to two sections of 1.5" metal angle attached to either side of the bottom of the inside of the lower bar. Use one 2" x 3/8" carriage bolt with nut and washer on each end of the three 2x4s (see diagram C and E).
The diagram below (D) shows the basic framing of the bar. The offset 2x4 framing provides a nailer for the corrugated tin at the top and bottom of the outside of the bar (see A, B and C).
You can optionally add 3/8" plywood behind the corrugated tin (not shown) to provide additional support for the bar frame and tin.
The lower deck plan (E) shows the top view of the lower deck assembly. Before cutting the lower deck surface boards, make sure that the bar frame is square on both sides. It is the lower deck boards that keep the bar framing square.
The bar top is made from a single piece of 3/4" plywood cut to the shape of the bar top. The painted Mexican tiles that I used for my outdoor bar furniture are close to 4 inches square, but are more irregularly shaped than the tiles you might buy from Home Depot.
Before cutting the plywood for the top, I laid out all of my tiles on the 3/4" plywood so that I could decide how I wanted them positioned and how much space I needed to leave between the tiles. Once positioned, I marked the location of each tile on the plywood with a pencil before gluing them in place.
After the glue had dried and the tiles were firmly in place (24 hours or more), I used a dark gray grout to fill the space between the tiles. The space between the tiles varied between 1/8" and 3/8" due to the irregular shapes of the hand painted Mexican tiles.
The dimensions (F) are the outside measurements of my bar top after I added the 1x2 trim.
Finish: All Western Red cedar should be sealed with a cedar stain/sealer of your choice. The plywood used for the under deck work surface and the 1x2 oak trim should be protected with three coats of polyurethane.