How To Build A Portable Wet Bar

Learn how to build a portable wet bar in time for your next tailgate party, camping trip or backyard barbecue. This wet bar breaks down into three pieces and stores easily in the garage. Set it up on the tailgate or on an outside table for instant part success. Imagine impressing everyone at the tailgate party of the year. While everyone else is sucking suds, you and your friends are having mixed drinks and attracting all the babes.

You will need:

  • One purchased kitchen cabinet, 18” tall, 30” long and 12” deep
  • Two handles
  • One bar sink and 4 inches of drain pipe
  • One five- gallon bucket
  • Measuring tape
  • Jigsaw
  • Marking tools
  • Melamine board and edge tape
  • Drill with countersink bits
  • Galvanized number 10 wood screws, 1 1/2” long
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Wood putty
  1. Assemble the kitchen cabinet according to the instructions. Do not cut anything yet. Assemble the cabinet completely, including the top. If using a surplus or cabinet purchased at a used building supply store, clean thoroughly and repair any damages.
  2. Measure the cabinet top, cut melamine board to match. No overhang is needed for this portable wet bar, so the top edges just meet. You’ll be able to put this in the back of any car, pickup, RV or carry it to the back patio instead of running in and out every five minutes. Do not attach the top yet.
  3. Make a cardboard cutting template for the sink. Cut a piece of cardboard the same size as the inside of the cabinet top. Cut a second piece of cardboard the same size as the top MDF. Using careful measurements, place the smaller piece under the larger so they match the bar top and cabinet top. Place the wet bar sink upside down on the top piece and trace around the edge. Using the utility knife cut a half inch inside the mark but not through the second piece. Measure the bottom of the sink, and cut the cardboard to match. Place the sink in the holes to ensure a good fit.
  4. Using the templates and the jigsaw, cut out the holes for the bar sink and faucet. If all your measurements are correct, the sink will fit perfectly. That’s why it’s far easier to make a mess of cardboard first- no mess, no fuss, no cussing and no cutting things wrong.
  5. Attach the sink to the underside of the top. This is the easy part. Place the sink through the hole, and attach the clips and tighten the screws. Attach the drain. Attach the sink faucet.
  6. Mark two inches down from each side of the cabinet for the handles. Center the placements and attach the handles to the sides.
  7. Attach the bar and sink to the top of the cabinet. Pre-drill and countersink the screws. Fill with wood putty and use melamine edge to cover the drill holes.
  8. Open the cabinet and measure for the portable wet bar sink drain bucket. Measure from the bottom of the cabinet to an inch over the drain pipe. If a shorter drain pipe is desired, disconnect it and adjust with a hacksaw. Cut the five gallon bucket so it barely has to tip for placement under the drain. A jug with an appropriate sized hole works well, too.
  9. Stock the bar and have a party. Use bottled water to wash hands, glasses, etc. Your portable wet bar is ready to go anywhere you are. Dump the water on grass, or drain into a covered bucket to dump in the nearest gas station toilet.
  10. If desired, install locks on the bar. There’s always someone who needs to keep their hands out of the bar. A lock on the doors will do the trick- pick one up at any DIY store. Plastic storage bins hold liquor, silverware and small cutting boards. Keep a small lunch sized  ice chest in the bar for ice, and you’re always ready to party. 
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