I have to tell you I was stressing over June’s Power Tool Challenge theme. Summer Fun! Until, I figured out I wanted to make a pallet bar—not just any old pallet bar, but a folding, portable bar-great for a wedding or outdoor event.
See how happy I am that the pallet bar is finished!
Let’s see how it all came together . . .
I forced myself to visit the back of the storage shed to scope out the existing pallets I had in storage. ewwww
The pallets were so gross, I immediately cleaned them off with the hose. I was trying to match up the pallets to see if they were similar because I had a special plan. Rarely do I know what I’m going to do going in. There were some changes that took place, but for the most part, this portable pallet bar ended up just as I saw it in my head.
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The plan was to cut one of the pallets in half. By using a spare 1x board, I was able to only clamp the wood (guide) in place one time. I put it dead center, and slid the circular saw on the right side, then came back the other way. turn over repeat.
When using a circular saw, you need to set the blade depth to prevent kick back. (don’t ask me how I know—it’s a lesson I learned years ago in my 20’s)
After examining all of the boards for nails and or screws, I used the guide to keep the circular saw on track and proceeded cutting the pallet boards. Note the clamps must be on the opposite side of the cutting area.
You can see that I have cut half of the pallet, and am in the process of changing the clamps so I can come back from the other direction. If I were to change the clamps and go in the same direction, the distance between the board and the blade would be much greater, therefore making the halves of the pallet unequal.
As I was coming toward the end, the board and all the scraps fell through. Time to flip it over and do the same on the other side. (not shown)
You can see how it’s going to come together as I’m doing a dry fit.
This is where the portability of the pallet bar comes in to play. I have this old tackle box full of door hinges I got from a friend years and years ago. they changed out the color of their knobs and hinges and I got all the old ones.
I searched and searched online for a similar bar that folds up and I was unable to find anything. Most pallet bars have this shape, and many are made with pallet boards, but I chose to make mine with 1 whole pallet and 1 pallet cut in half (well, a little smaller than half)
I did the left side first and struggled with it, so I’ll show you the right way to add these hinges. Put all three hinges on the full pallet – folding each hinge back as you attach them. I used a quick clamp to help hold the hinge in place. I drilled pilot holes just to be sure the pallet boards didn’t split. Having two drills going at the same time is very helpful for this stage.
Fold each hinge inward, and prepare to attach the side of the pallet bar.
voila! Oh my gosh! It’s just as I had imagined. Look how perfectly it will fold up! Full disclosure: It is very heavy for one old gal to carry by herself.
This is the third pallet shown at the top of this post. I had clearly used it for painting in the past. I used my Duckbill Deck Wrecker to dismantle the pallet quickly and easily. I then de-nailed all the pallet boards. The plan was to use the boards to make the bar top.
While I’m talking about the Duckbill Deck Wrecker that easily takes pallets apart, I want to make sure you know the best way to do so without splitting your boards. When you position your deck wrecker up against the brace board (on the left) the likelihood of your pallet board splitting is much less than if you center your duckbill deck wrecker over the brace board (on the right)
Yeah, that was a wasted hour. I’m not liking how the portable bar top is looking. But, in this image you get a sneak peek at the adjustable shelving that will be included with this folding pallet bar.
Years ago I got a ginormous hutch from my cousin. I cut it in half. I used 1/2 of it to hold my sliding compound miter saw. (seen below) The other half of the hutch became a craft table. This long piece leaning against doors was the top to that monster. I’ve never known what to do with it.
I drug it out and placed it on top of the pallet bar to see if it was going to work.
This is part of said hutch I got from my cutter. (home for my large miter saw) That jaw stand really comes in handy for large jobs like this. I cut half of the top, then flipped it over to do the other half. You could use a jig saw or a circular saw to get the same result.
Flipping the table top over, and being VERY careful to avoid any screws and/or nails I finished cutting the end off of the large plywood hutch top.
To make the cut off end match the other end, I used a scrap 1x that I found.
I cut more fence boards to allow for adjustable shelves in the portable diy pallet bar. At this point I’m really happy with how well it’s coming together, but I wanted to make sure that the top rested on the pallet bar securely.
Using some of the scrap boards from the pallet I dismantled, and another piece of hardwood I made inserts to keep the pallet bar top from shifting once it is placed on the pallet bar. I attached the pieces with my nail gun, checked to make sure they fit okay, then I secured them with some wood screws.
These are the 3 places where the inserts will rest to keep the pallet bar from shifting once it’s in place. They fit very snug.
You’ll see in the video that they need to fit perfectly in order to secure the bar to the top properly.
If you look closely, you can see the insert here in the middle front of the pallet bar.
The portable bar is easy to move on my small furniture dollies. These things are a lifesaver.
I got busy making a diy bar stool out of weathered 2×4’s and some leftover 2×2’s from my porch swing pergola. It’s a really simple build. I used my Kreg Multi-Mark tool to get all the bottom braces placed uniformly.
I painted all the diy portable bar components with my Homeright Finish Max.
I used Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory to give the old bar top a fresh new look.
The bar top is NOT weatherproof, but I did want to make it water resistant because after all, it’s a bar! I attempted to use my favorite Minwax polycrylic for durability—BUT because the gel stain had such a shiny surface, the polycrylic just sat on top of the wood stain.
Luckily, it’s water based, so I was able to wipe it off with a damp rag.
When all else fails, read directions gail! The gel stain recommends Fast Drying Polyurethane. I sanded the top a little with some brown craft paper, wiped it down, then used a cheap chip brush to apply the polyurethane. I did two coats following the directions in between coats.
Are you ready for the reveal? Or have you already scrolled down to see the “after”?
Don’t you want to make your own foldable and portable diy pallet bar? Everything but the top could stay outside in the weather.
Wouldn’t it be perfect for an outdoor wedding, or your next bbq?
I LOVE Amazon Prime. I ordered these rope lights with same day delivery. To get it I had to buy at least $35, no problem for me. I added on some printer ink so I could get them right away.
Here is the portable folding pallet bar all dressed up for a party!
A view of the shelving area of the pallet bar—lots of storage area, completely adjustable to the owners liking.
One more option! The shelves can be placed on the top of the pallet bar for a more rustic and weather proof option.
This bar is so versatile—think weddings, reunions, birthday parties, any outdoor event—even tailgating. Ohh, and move it to the FRONT yard for the kiddos to sell lemonade.
The pallet bar easily folds away for storage, taking up very little room in your garage. Additionally, it’s very transportable in your SUV or pickup truck
I hope I have inspired you to make your own portable pallet bar, it’s so easy to make, put up AND store!
Now, it’s time to check out all the Summer Fun projects from my friends.
My Repurposed Life Portable Folding DIY Pallet Bar
Create and Babble Limbo Game Station
My Love 2 Create Ring Toss Game
The Kim Six Fix Cornhole Game From Cabinet Doors
H2OBungalow DIY Hook and Ring Game Tutorial