How to Make a DIY Industrial Bar Cart in Just an Afternoon

Corral all your glassware, sips, and swivel sticks in one party-ready place with this pipe bar cart.

Wooden and metal pipe cart in corner of room
Photo: Adam Albright
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Few things make a party run smoother than a well-stocked bar cart. Because of its versatility in style, function, and size, this DIY bar cart is a must-have. Purchased bar carts often come with a hefty price tag, but you can make an industrial-style rolling bar cart for much less. To make this affordable furniture project, you thread metal pipes through three wood boards (simply twist to secure in place) and add casters. Get started with our instructions, below.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Sanding block
  • Pencil
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • 1-1/8-inch drill bit


  • 2 1 x 12 x 96-inch cedar board
  • 2 3/4 x 3-inch black iron pipe
  • 19 3/4-inch black iron couplings
  • 2 3/4-inch elbows
  • 14 3/4 x 1-1/2-inch black nipples
  • Masking tape
  • Wood glue
  • Box of 1 1/2-inch wood screws
  • 4 3-inch wheels
  • 6 3/4-inch black caps
  • 4 3/4 x 8-inch black iron pipe
  • 4 3/4 x 18-inch black iron pipe


  1. Cut All Wood Pieces

    Using a table saw, cut the two 1x12x96-inch cedar boards to size, according to the cut list. You should have three 1x12x36-inch boards and two 1x12x6-inch boards when you're done. Sand any rough edges and wipe clean of sawdust.

    Piece Dimensions Quantity
    Cedar boards 1 x 12 x 36-inch 3
    Wheel Support Boards 1 x 12 x 6-inch 2
  2. Build Handle

    To build the handle, you'll need two 3-inch pipes, three couplings, two elbows, and four nipples. Start by attaching two 3-inch pipes with a coupling. Add an elbow to each end. Then add a nipple and a coupling to the elbows. Finish by adding a nipple to each end, and twist tightly to secure each piece. Because this is a push-pull cart, you only need one handle on the end.

  3. Mark and Drill Holes

    Mark the handle placement on one end of the 1x12x36-inch boards, making sure it's spaced far enough apart for the nipple of the handle to slip through at both ends of boards. We placed our holes two inches in from each corner. Use the handle you built in the last step to check your measurements. This will be the template used to drill holes through all of the boards. Repeat on the opposite end of the board.

    Use masking tape to secure the three 1x12x36-inch boards together. Attach and tighten clamps to steady the boards to the table while drilling. Then, drill through all three boards at the marked holes using the 1-1/8-inch drill bit drill bit. Remove tape once all holes are drilled.

  4. Attach Casters

    Glue and screw two 1x12x6-inch boards to the underside of the bottom shelf board on opposite ends. These will be used for attaching the wheels. Sand and finish boards as desired now, before you add additional hardware.

    Attach two wheels to each of the boards you just attached. Two rotating casters should be placed on the end where you'll install the handle, with two stationary casters on the other end of the board.

  5. add couplings to pipe to secure handle

    Attach Handle

    Insert the handle into the holes on the top board and add couplings on the bottom side of the board to secure. The handle should go on the same side as rotating casters. Add a cap and nipple to each of the remaining holes at the other end of the board, as well as a coupling on the bottom side of the board (same as the handle).

  6. Attach Pipes and Finish

    Attach the four 8-inch pipes to the couplings on the underside of the top shelf board. Then add a coupling and nipple to the end of each 8-inch pipe before stacking the next board.

    Repeat the process with the next two boards, adding nipples, couplings, and pipes. Make sure the bottom board has the casters facing down.

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