There's nothing better than kicking back with a cold drink at the end of a long day. Rather than going out on the town, which is annoying because it's pricey and you have to wear pants, why not make your own bar? DIY a man cave bar by following this simple step-by-step guide.
Note: Play safe. Always wear safety glasses and ear plugs as you work.
Supplies Needed to Build Your Man Cave Bar:
- Tools: Table saw, screw gun, such as the Milwaukee M18 1/4" Hex Impact Driver, 2 foot level, and compound miter saw
- Materials: 1" finish nails, 3" outdoor screws (use the same bit), 25' tape measure, and a pencil
- Lumber: 6 x 2x4 boards, 1 x 4'x8' MDF board, and 1-1/2" trim. The amount of wood you use will depend on desired size
step 1: take measurements
Determine where exactly you want the bar to go in your basement or other space. Measure the length from the wall that you want the man cave bar to extend. A common length is 7 feet.
Cut your 2 of your 2x4 boards to this length (7 feet or another measurement), using best safety practices with your miter saw. These boards will be the top and bottom plates.
Mark with a pencil on each plate where you want the "studs" to go; make them identical markings on each of the 2x4s. Square the lines.
step 2: Cut for the studs
How tall do you want the bar? The standard home bar height is 42" or 3.5 feet. Work out where to cut the studs by using this equation: 42" - 3" (top and bottom plates) - 3/4" (MDF board is that thick) = 38 1/4". This amount is where you will cut for the studs.
Cut as much as you need to accommodate all of the markings on both top and bottom plates. Then screw the studs into between the 2 plates. Line up the studs with the lines you made on each plate.
Step 3: time to stand up
Stand up your frame. Ensure it is level with the wall or at 90 degrees. Attach it to the wall using the end stud and be sure to use your lever to make sure your frame is just right.
If your bar does not run the length of the room, now is the time to secure it to the floor. Use nails to attach the bottom plate to the floor (obviously it depends on what the floor material is). Google online for help if needed with this part.
Step 4: add shelves
Add a shelf to your man cave bar frame next. For the project shown here, we are building 3 shelves. The height of the shelf we designed here is 20". Use 6 x 2x4s that are each 10"; they will be 3 pairs of top and bottom plates for the shelf structure.
Figure out where to put the studs. Use the same equation as before: 20" - 3" (for top and bottom plates) = 17". This amount is where you cut for the studs. You will cut 6 plates if you have 3 structures as we do here.
Screw the top and bottom plates for the 3 structures using the same method as before.
step 5: Stabilize the Bar
For the top plate of the main framework, add stabilizers to reinforce it. Cut several 2x4s to lay across the top so that you have one covering each stud. Cut the boards the width that you want for the bar top. Cut the amount (such as 8") that hangs over the front and the amount that hangs over the back of the bar top (such as 10"), and add the amount for the top plate (such as 3") to figure out how long each 2x4 should be.
Screw the stabilizers to the top plate. Use 4 screws. They will be underneath the bar top. The MDF board goes on top.
step 6: put on the Man Cave bar top
It's time to cut the MDF board to form the bar top. How wide should it be? Use your table saw to cut its length to the size of the top and bottom plates and the stabilizers size for width.
Attach the MDF bar top by screwing up from underneath the stabilizers.
Take the 1-1/2" trim and cut it to the length of the MDF board on the bar. Attach the trim to the board with finish nails, making it plumb with the top of it using your level.
step 7: finishing touches
Add material to the front face of the bar that suits the theme of your man cave. That will cover up the frame. You could go with a retro 60's pattern to match your Mad Men home office, support the Mets like in the bar shown above or use any other style you want. Here is a how-to guide for adding a padded bar front to your man cave bar.
Don't worry if you still have things you want to tweak about the bar. Take your time with the finishing touches. The main thing is that you have built a stable bar. The visual stuff is secondary.
Now you have a bar to call all your own! Add bar stools and fill the shelves with a collection of your favorite bottles as well as glasses. Invite your buds over and show them what you crafted. Your DIY self is pretty dope, yo.