The 2x material you find at the building stores—both your local building supply stores and the big box stores (think Home Depot or Lowes) is usually what you call “construction lumber.” It’s probably not the most glamorous stuff you’ve ever seen. You may have to dig through a large pile just to find some straight ones. But, it’s cheap. And it’s readily available.
Pros and cons.
But, despite the bad reputation construction lumber can sometimes get, honestly, most of what I build is made from construction lumber. When you get a little creative, you can make some really pretty stuff from not-so-pretty boards.
That’s why Remodelaholic is hosting a 2×4 and More Challenge! They asked several bloggers to each come up with a fun project using mostly 2x construction lumber just to prove this construction stuff can be awesome. Links to all the projects can be found at the bottom of this post.
Can you guess which project that I did??
It’s a DIY Bar Cart (I guess since I don’t drink, it’s technically a tea cart??)! But, the best part is that I made it entirely from a single 2x10x8 board. WHAT?! And guess how much that board cost me?? $6.56 exactly…I just checked the receipt haha.
And as always, I’ve got the how to for you below. AND I even have a video tutorial, too! You can find it at the bottom of this post. By the way, how are you guys liking the videos I’ve been trying to do more of lately?? Like the ones from the entryway bench, and the dog house??
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To build this DIY bar cart, you’ll need:
4 rolling casters (I used these from D Lawless Hardware)
Clamps (optional, but helpful)
Step 1: Cut down the 2×10
Read this CAREFULLY. First, you’ll have to cut down your board to size using a table saw. Go in this order:
First, rip two strips of 2” wide board from the 2×10 using a table saw. Cut 12” off of ONE of these 2” boards with a miter saw and set it to the side.
Then, cut what’s left of the 2×10 in half (two 4 ft pieces). Rip three strips from one of these pieces at 1 ½” wide.
Lastly, rip the remaining wood and the 12” piece you cut from the 2” wide boards earlier all down to ¾” thick strips.
I know that’s a lot of instructions, but once this is cut, it’s easy peesy from here.
Step 2: Cut out the legs
The 2” wide strips are the legs. I would have made these 1 ½” wide instead of 2”, but the casters had 2” long brackets to screw into the legs. So I made the legs 2”.
Cut two legs and a top from each 2” piece. The legs are mitered at 45 degrees on ONLY ONE END and cut at 34 ½” long at the longest point. The tops are mitered at both ends not parallel to each other and cut at 15 7/8” long at the longest point.
Step 3: Cut out the frame pieces
Cut down the 1 ½” wide pieces so you have 4 pieces at 11 7/8” long and 4 pieces at 23 7/8” long. (Why 7/8”?? If you cut at an even 12” and 24”, you won’t have enough board because you didn’t account for the blade width on the cuts. Your last piece will be too short…helpful hint 😉 ).
Screw one 1 ½” pocket hole in each end of these pieces.
Step 4: Assemble the frame.
Measure up from the bottom of the legs 4” and make a mark, then 26 ½” and make another mark. You can totally pick different measurements if you want. Line your frame pieces up with these marks. Assemble the frame like shown using 2 ½” pocket hole screws in the pocket holes you just drilled in step 3.
Make sure the miters are turned the right way on the legs. I found it easiest to assemble the two side frames first, then attach them together with the longer pieces. You can see this in the video. Also note that all the frame pieces are flush to the INSIDE of the legs.
Once your frame is together, glue and clamp on the top piece. Allow the glue plenty of time to dry.
Step 5: Cut the slats
While the glue is drying, cut 10 pieces of 11 7/8” long and 7 pieces of 23 7/8” long from the ¾” thick boards. The longer ones will be the top slats and the shorter ones will be the bottom slats.
Drill one ¾” pocket hole in each end of each board.
Step 6: Attach the slats
Screw the slats in place using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws, making sure to space them out evenly. I made the tops slats run lengthwise and the bottom run opposite. I screwed them in so that the bottoms were flush with the bottom of the frame pieces. This left a shallow “lip” around the edges so that they were more like a “tray” than a “shelf.” You can make the top flush across if you’d rather. It’s just personal preference.
Step 7: Add casters
Simply screw the casters into the bottom of the legs.
Step 8: Putty, sand and finish
I put a little putty around the mitered corners and sanded it down really well. I’m really digging natural finishes lately, so I chose to leave mine as is with just a coat of poly on it. Of course, you can stain or paint as desired.
Step 9: Roll that thing around like you own the place!
Fill up your tea picture and grab your mason jars and get ready for a party.
I love how it turned out and I think the natural wood color looks great. If you plan on leaving your cart “naked,” look for a board with lots of large, dense knots to add some color variation and character.
I love this little cart for my kitchen. That wood round was made from rough cut poplar I originally bought to cover a steel beam in our kitchen remodel, but changed my mind. After I made lazy susans, I had an idea and glued some of that old wood up and cut it out. Why I waited so long to make these, I have no idea!!
Okay that’s enough pictures…I may have gotten carried away haha. Be sure to check out the video tutorial and the whole playlist for all the 2×4 and More projects below, but first, I’d love it if you’d pin this for later! 🙂
Now, check out all these other awesome #2x4andmore Challenge projects from these other talented bloggers! Click over to Remodelaholic for more 2×4 and More projects and link party all week long!
garden arbor | Remodelaholic
15 minute coffee table | The Ugly Duckling House
tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted
single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries
outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House
wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy and Pretty Things
upholstered x-base bench | Frazzled Joy
jumbo tic tac toe | Ginger Snap Crafts
porch bench | Everyday Party Magazine
console table | Hertoolbelt
farmhouse patio table | North Country Nest
easy flower planters | Our House Now a Home
treadmill incline | Practical and Pretty
patio side table | Small Home Soul