Introduction: BAR T.A.B. (Take Along Bar)

Picture of BAR T.A.B. (Take Along Bar)

Biking and beverages have long been a passion of mine. This BAR T.A.B. allows me to enjoy both....

This is not an original concept. You will find a couple others out there on the internet. The configuration and specific add ons are original, which will be outlined in the steps to follow. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials and Tools List

Picture of Materials and Tools List

The materials purchased for this project amounted to around $35 total. The wood glue, nails, screws, stain, and varnish I had on hand.

1 - 2' x 4' sheet of 1/4" plywood

1 - 8' 1" x 4" pine board

2 - 1/4" x 1 1/8" x 2" u-bolts

2 - small hinges

1 - magnetic door latch

2 - plastic tumblers

1 - side loading water bottle cage

The tools used for the job included:

- power drill

- hammer

- belt sander

- mitre box and saw

- hand jig saw

- couple of screw drivers

Step 2: Framing It Up

Picture of Framing It Up

Because of the nature of a bike frame, all the angles and tube lengths vary from bike to bike based on frame size and material (steel framed tubing is present on the Fat Rat fat bike used in this project), I thought it best to actually lay out and piece together the frame of the BAR TAB on the bike itself. The holes for the U-bolts were counter sunk to keep them out of sight, and to allow for the length of the bolts. I used a socket head and wrench to fasten the frame piece on the top tube of the bike. The down tube framing piece was positioned and held in place by the brazed on waterbottle cage mounts that were already in place on the bike frame. These holes were counter sunk as well. These bolts will help to stabilize the BAR TAB when in use, and for positioning during the build. The bottom piece near the bottom bracket of the bike frame was leveled with the bike up on the bike stand. This way the cover, when in the table position, will be a relatively level surface and appear "right with the world" (as my dad would have said) when in use.

Step 3: Closing the Case...

Picture of Closing the Case...

Next I moved the framed BAR TAB to the workbench to affix the back and cover portions. I glued and nailed the back on with wood glue and finishing nails. The cover was fastened with two small hinges. If you notice in the 4th picture, I drilled out where the screw heads on the hinges would butt up against the box, so the cover would fit flush to the frame.

Step 4: Finishing It Off...

Picture of Finishing It Off...

I used some Minwax Golden Oak stain I had left over in the "paint pantry". This was covered with Zinsser Bulls Eye Spar Varnish for weather resistance. I next mounted the magnetic latch to the inside of the top frame and the accompanying brass plate to the cover. I found a very strong magnet at Ace Hardware that will hold the cover shut even when biking down a reasonably bumpy road / trail.

Step 5: Configuring the Compartment...

Picture of Configuring the Compartment...

This was the most creative step in the process. How to configure the compartment to accommodate two glasses, mini liquor bottles, and a large bottle for mix. I decided to use a Kleen Kanteen stainless steel bicycle water bottle I already had in stock. I like these because they don't change the flavor or taste of whatever liquid you put in them. And they look cool. The tumblers are plastic; broken glass is the main enemy of cyclists! The mini bottles are all plastic as well. My wife came up with the used leather belt "bottle holster" idea. With some trial and error, that worked out great. The bottle cage is a side loading style aluminum cage, with the traditional tabs on the bottom and top cut off to accommodate the clean cylindrical shape of the Kleen Kanteen.

Step 6: Let Happy Hour Commence!

Picture of Let Happy Hour Commence!

After finishing the compartment, I remounted the BAR TAB to the bike. By using a spring clamp, I clamped the cover/table top to the pedal/crank arm to create a resistance between the two. This holds the table top firmly in place and allow a surface on which to mix and set the drinks. This should be large enough for two drinks, and some meat / cheese / cracker snacks as well (carried in the handlebar bag in the picture). Bottoms up!

Step 7:


zahnay made it! (author)2016-01-17

multi purpose, the wine bottle is my water holder but it can be swapped for a full wine bottle (and taken home to recycle easily) I've lined that compartment with thick felt so it doesn't crack the glass (it's a tight fit too).

The compartment can hold my stovetop espresso maker (hence the camp cooker top right) and the hip flask carries the milk for coffee, or something stronger.

I picked up a large framed bike specifically for this project allowing more space to carry things and put a lockable latch on it to keep it closed as I bump along

OddJob (author)zahnay2016-01-17

Nice work! I like your little custom touches within the same basic concept. I hope it brings you many enjoyable, and sociable, bike rides in the future!


zahnay (author)OddJob2016-01-18

Thanks HEAPS for the instructable OddJob! it was easy to follow, a great little project...

cowboyathome (author)2015-12-19

I really didn't know there was so many bike riding alcholics out there!

OddJob (author)cowboyathome2015-12-19

I think you missed the point entirely. And, are dangerously close to not adhering to the "be nice" comment policy. And, you spelled alcoholic wrong, so that puts you way down on the bottom of the food chain in my book.

cowboyathome (author)OddJob2015-12-22

My bad on the typing error.....

Instead of being so condescending, why don't you tell what the point is?

And last but not least, telling me "so that puts you way down on the bottom of the food chain in my book." is not dangerously close to not adhering to the "be nice" comment policy? Try practicing what you preach.

MahroshN (author)2015-07-26

AWESOME ! idea nd its really useful , really !! love it !!!

crazypj (author)2015-06-24

If it was hinged at top instead of bottom you could have a bar as well although a fold out stop could use the pedal at top dead centre to support shelf at lower level.

With a 'fat tyre' bike bottles and cans should fit pretty easy, except things can get real heavy real quick

Angel27551 (author)2015-04-26

AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to build this !!!!!!!!!!

grannyjones (author)2015-03-27

It looks like it would be a good carrier for a first aid kit. As for transporting open booze bottles, they must be using single size and tossing them once finished. We sure find a lot in the park.

OddJob (author)grannyjones2015-03-27

If you read the instructable carefully, you will note that all the bottles are mini, single serve size. And none of them are "open booze bottles".

grannyjones (author)OddJob2015-03-27

And hoping they are disposed of properly, which I am sure you do! We find them quite often, while walking--either under age or transients.

PrivateRyan (author)2015-03-26

I need this!

BenjaminDover (author)2015-03-13

"That's my secret - I'm always drunk." This is the perfect bike for the cold winter. You ride through the snow and then when you get cold, you turn a few shots and you got enough energy to go to the pub.

OddJob (author)BenjaminDover2015-03-13

One of my friends commented that it might not be good to drink and drive. "That's why I always ride, then drink", was my response. Thanks for your comment, I am granting you my signature patch, the bluesnowflake for your sense of humor...

BenjaminDover (author)OddJob2015-03-17

:D I've never had a blue snowflake before. Thank you!

ogremills (author)2015-03-14


MichaelB6 (author)2015-03-12

Brilliant idea! There are almost infinite possibilities for adapting: music box, beer cooler... And for Americans, who must not transport alcohol, maybe they can carry their "self protection gear" in there. This is kind of stupid.

Anyway thank you!

OddJob (author)MichaelB62015-03-13

You must be Irish Michael, your sarcasm is right on! Thanks for the kudos, and yes, lots of creative applications could be done from this design. I am giving you my signature bluesnowflake patch for your positive reinforcement and sense of humor...

VeganJuneDad (author)OddJob2015-03-13

I've taken the snowflake for myself, fyi.

OddJob (author)VeganJuneDad2015-03-14

VeganJuneDad....not sure of your intent on this one. Can you please explain?

MattBruzer (author)2015-03-13

I have read your instructables before OddJob, but you have out done yourself on this one! I wonder what your bike would look like with the wooden fenders and the BAR T.A.B. on the bike at the same time. Great instructable, this one really gets me thinking about making something similar for one of my bikes.

OddJob (author)MattBruzer2015-03-13

Thank you MattBruzer for your kind words. I am currently redoing my wooden fenders just for that very reason! My front fender cracked and I will have to remake that one. I am adding a stronger support for the rear fender. I will send pics when they are ready! Please accept my signature patch for your powers of observation, and positive reinforcement!

ElmarsM (author)2015-03-11

Nice job! Is it comfortable to ride this bicycle? Doesn't your legs hit the box while riding?

OddJob (author)ElmarsM2015-03-13

It isn't wide enough to interfere. And as heavy as it may look, the weight is practically unnoticeable.

Skwurlito (author)2015-03-11

Out of curiosity, what is the advantage of big tires such as those? I know my little cousin used to put thin tires on his bmx for dirt track races. It allowed him to move through the dirt faster. The bike frame bar is an amazing idea though. My buddies and I got a chuckle out of it. I saw the pic and instantly said "this I gotta see!"

OddJob (author)Skwurlito2015-03-12

Hi Skwurlito,
The fat bike tires allow me to ride through snow and sand. They spread out under low pressure (around 5 - 8 psi) and "float" over the snow instead of cutting in and washing out. I have ridden through up to 5" of fresh snow! Great fun! Your cousin's little tires were for light weight, and the track they run on is basically packed as hard as concrete, so no floatation needed there! Speed and acceleration is the key to winning BMX dirt track races.

Skwurlito (author)OddJob2015-03-13

Yeah the super singles are rated for 120psi and those trucks put out insane torque. They do great on ice and wet roads but they suffer in mud and snow. I figured the mud and snow just added to much rolling resistance compared to ice and rain.

Skwurlito (author)OddJob2015-03-12

That's quite strange. At work we have trucks with super singles which are wide tires meant to take up the space of duels. They can keep traction in the snow. I am constantly having to help them get out.

OddJob (author)Skwurlito2015-03-13

It's all physics. Your trucks' torque and weight ratio is probably too high for the size of the tire surface area trying to maintain traction. No need for me to try and explain; get a fat bike, lower the tire pressure to 4-7 lbs, find some sand or snow to ride on, and become a believer. Nothing "strange" about it.

Skwurlito (author)OddJob2015-03-12


WolfgangCanoGuitars (author)2015-03-12

going to build a Cherry Walnut one with high gloss and woodburn for this gem. thanks for the idea! lovin' it!

That's the perfect bike for a BAR TAB! I will look forward to seeing the finished product. Thanks for the kudos, here is my signature patch for your positive reinforcement....

Quanah (author)2015-03-12

Soon as I saw it...I knew this post would get some attention...pedal on rebels!

PrestonW1 (author)Quanah2015-03-12


gare8421 (author)2015-03-12

Very nice! Interesting use of the crank/pedal to prop the "bar" surface. I saw this a few years back with cables, but the cables seem in the way of the work surface:

Knight Lamune (author)2015-03-12

Carrying actual liquor in there is illegal in at least a few states, even if you're not drinking of it fyi. Check local codes before risking a felony, a large fine, and the loss of your driving privileges while cruising around in Freedomland.

acoleman3 (author)Knight Lamune2015-03-12

hell, in some states it's illegal to drink WATER out of a booze bottle! god bless america, right?

tinaciousz (author)2015-03-10

A tight cable would help keep the door from opening all the way. I see that orange clamp ;)

Skwurlito (author)tinaciousz2015-03-11

I see the orange clamp as well but it doesn't seem to be against anything. The right pedal is in the upright position though. This is probably holding the door up.

Skwurlito (author)Skwurlito2015-03-11

oh! der! Didn't see the earlier response....

OddJob (author)tinaciousz2015-03-11

I thought about a cable, but then that has to fit inside the box when it's closed. The clamp is carried in the handlebar bag, along with any snacks to go with the drinks! It's kind of hard to explain, but clamping the table to the pedal / crank arm creates a up/down resistance that completely stabilizes the table; and it doesn't flex whether there is weight on it or not. A cable would only be tight if it had enough weight on the table. Thanks for the comment!

TizianaZ (author)OddJob2015-03-11

Well also 2 cables, one on each side would do it no? The idea of using the pedal as support is not bad either!

spottd (author)2015-03-10

just curious...what frame is that?

OddJob (author)spottd2015-03-10

That is a 3 yr old Surly Pugsley fat bike frame and fork. I bought it as a frameset in white, faux-tina`d it and then built up a wheelset and added a mix of old and new mtb parts. I call it the Fat Rat. You can see somewood fenders I made for it in one of my other `ibles.

spottd (author)OddJob2015-03-11

very nice. been looking at surlys and a frame called 'the butcher'. similar build. thanks mate!

kakashibatosi (author)2015-03-11

I've seen these crop all over the internet. I like your model, it looks nice. Any plans on spiffing up the design? Also, did you consider going with thinner wood to lighten the load?

NathanSellers (author)2015-03-10

While I don't drink, this is a great idea. There is so much you can do by using that space. Thanks for sharing.

OddJob (author)NathanSellers2015-03-11

Thanks sellers.nathan! One of the other commentators said he would use it for fishing tackle....I am giving you my signature patch for your positive reinforcement!

cannalove (author)2015-03-10

This is such a great idea! I would have loved to have on of these back when I still had a bike. Sunset drinks anywhere!!

About This Instructable




More by OddJob:BAR T.A.B. (Take Along Bar)Reclaimed Christmas TreeFire pit Facelift
Add instructable to: