Building a Mobile Bar | Quickstart Guide

Mobile Bar

A mobile bar is an essential part of any catering service but being portable it is a super versatile thing at every home too. Still, it is not recommended to use this piece of furniture to store your vitamins, melatonin supplements etc. Because it is important toprotect them from degrading.

Follow the guidelines from our personal experience given below to construct your own mobile bar for any party.

Hard labor: 4/10

Skill level:  4/10 (requires the use of power tools)

Time needed:  ~ 4 hours (excluding drying time)

Finished size: 1200mm (L) x 900mm (H) x 600mm (W)

Project notes

Workbenches come in standard lengths of 900, 1200, 1500 and 1800mm; ours was 1200mm, which determined the number of slats required to clad our bar.

• We used lengths of 44 x 22mm pine to add new frameworks onto our bar counter before fixing 800mm lengths of 22 x 22mm meranti as cladding.

Shopping list

• twenty-two 2400 x 22 x 22mm meranti cut to: 66 x 800mm lengths

• one 2400 x 44 x 22mm pine cut to: one 1200mm length two 600mm lengths

• one 1800 x 44 x 22mm pine (brace for the placeholders)


• ±one hundred and fifty 40mm chipboard screws

• ±thirty 30mm chipboard screws

• wood glue

• varnish or paint

• castors

• 38mm wooden curtain rail (for footrest)

• prep bowl/stainless steel ice bucket

• glass racks


• drill, combination countersink drill bit

• jigsaw

• pencil

• measuring tape

• 38mm Forstner drill

• paintbrush or foam roller

The home bar has come a long way from the heavy, dark timber eyesore of old and is now a lifestyle accessory.

Get started

Construct the base

1 We started transforming this standard workbench by painting it white; first, we applied a coat of multi-surface primer followed by two coats of durable water-based enamel. Then we measured 100mm (the height of our castors) from the ends of each of the workbench legs and marked a line. Use a skill saw or handsaw to remove this length by cutting along these lines. Now fix each of the castors onto the ends; we secured ours with 30mm chipboard screws.

2 Cut the 1800 x 44 x 22mm pine plank to fit in the underside of the framework. The position of the plank is determined by the size of the glass holders and relative to the ‘front’ edge of the framework. Now use the combination countersink drill bit to drill countersunk pilot holes before fixing the plank in place, as shown.

3 Fix the new glass racks to the ‘front’ edge of the counter as well as to the plank added in step two. We used 30mm chipboard screws to fit our glass holders.

4 Find a circular container or use a compass to scribe a circle to one side of the countertop; the diameter should be determined by the size of the prep bowl or container you wish to incorporate into the structure. Now drill a 10mm hole just inside the circle as a starting point for the jigsaw blade, then use the jigsaw to cut out the shape.  


The hole will need to be slightly smaller if you install a prep bowl with a lip.

5 Measure the width of the mini bar fridge. Then draw a line across the timber slats of the middle shelf to allow space for the fridge. Use the jigsaw to cut through the slats, as shown.

6  Add a timber offcut between the corner of the middle shelf and the bottom shelf to act as support. Glue and screw it in place.

7 Cut the 2400mm length of pine to add a frame to which you will fix the meranti strips.  NOTE This frame acts as a ‘spacer’ so that the cladding can be fixed vertically to the framework. Use 40mm chipboard screws to fix these in place after drilling pilot holes.

8 Place the meranti slats side by side and draw lines across them at points where they’ll fix onto the framework, roughly 100mm from the ‘bottom’ and 50mm from the ‘top’. Drill countersunk pilot holes into each slat along these lines.  


Place an offcut piece under the slats so that the wood does not splinter out at the bottom of the holes. Then apply wood glue before screwing the slats onto the framework with the 40mm chipboard screws. Fix them in line with the corner of the workbench legs, 22mm apart.

9 Cut two pieces of 70 x 22mm meranti from an offcut, measuring roughly 250mm in length as struts for the footrest. Then use a 38mm Forstner drill bit to drill holes at one end, as shown.

10 Fit these lengths between the slats and fix them to the legs of the workbench using 40mm chipboard screws. Then cut the curtain rod to length and fit in position. Finally, lightly sand all edges of the meranti slats and finish with two coats of clear varnish.