Step 1: Making Your Very Own
I first started by going to My local lumber store and getting 3 1x6" pine 8 foot boards. Pick these carefully with few knots on the edges, and make sure the ends of the boards aren't split. Also gather your hardware. I grabbed 2.5" brass hinges, 4 1.5" eye bolts, "roller clamps" (what I've always called them), to secure the lid in place, a nice handle to match your desired finish, some small chain (rope can also be used), a box of 2.5" wood screws to fasten everything together, and I also decided on some nice 2.25" beautifully routed trim to finish this project with. All together my out the door cost was $60. Which I am perfectly happy with as I will have my mini bar for years to come!
Now for putting it all together, the dimensions I chose for this project are 14" height, 18" width, with 4" wide shelves for the glasses. You can of course leave out the shelves or make them bigger, however you see fit. My arrangement allows for 5 bottles and shelves for a lowball glass, my bourbon glasses, and shot glasses.
For the lid and bar of this project, I used 3 18" length of my 1x6, and trimmed equally to fit my cabinet. The structure that holds these boards together are the barn door style pattern on the front of the cabinet door. To make that pattern, I ripped my 1x6 scraps to 2" on the table saw, and laid them out over the boards, using 1.5" nails to secure for fitting, then flipping it over and using wood screws to permanently hold everything together nice and tight.
I then used MAP gas and slowly burned the lid and cabinet, making sure not to burn the inside portion of the cabinet as I wanted it lighter colored for contrast. Then I applied some "early american" stain to both pieces and sealed everything with Varathane 3x polyurethane! That poly is absolutely amazing! Goes on thick like honey and dries within 20 minutes to the touch. One pass with that is equivalent to 10 coats of traditional polyurethane. Which is perfect to protect your wood from any spills which could occur.
I then brought the lid together with the cabinet, making them one and attaching the hinges to the bottom side as they will be hidden from view when mounted. Add the "roller clamps", and handle, and the hardest part, attaching the chain. I've made 5 of these cabinets for friends and family, and I never get the chain length right the first go around. You want your lid to be held at a perfect 90 degrees when finished, or is it seems to be very noticeable and I don't like that. The chain you can get from any hardware store for a few bucks a foot. I got 4 feet and had one foot left when I was done. All you do for this is open the end link, feed it through the eye bolt, and fasten it to itself via another link (see pictures). Then do the same for the other end and move up or down a link to get your perfect 90 degree angle. The. Repeat for the other side.
For mounting I use 6 6" screws. One in each corner and two in the middle on bottom and top. This holds everything secure, and even with the added weight of liquor and glasses and wine bottles as seen in photos, it gives me no trouble. I'm sure someone will over-engineer that idea though. Lol.
Anyways, I built my first one a few years ago, and then for some reason got kind of frustrated when I got on instructables and saw people making similar cabinets but doing so out of cheap plywood. A plywood cabinet will only ever last so long, as moisture exposure and weight aren't friends to laminated wood. So I thought I'd come here and attempt to show that using affordable actual lumber, you can build a quality piece at a decent price. When woodworking, the saying "you get what you pay for", definitely holds true. If you are investing time into making something, ensure you use quality lumber and hardware, that way 30 years from now you can still enjoy your hard work and creativity. Thank you for looking. Be sure and check out my other (smaller) wall mounted mini bar as well. Happy building, and watch those thumbs!