My Motivation 

My inspiration for making an industrial-style bar cart initially came from my love for the urban look. Why I chose an industrial style came from me looking around at house designs and coming to the conclusion that it was one of my favorite aesthetics. The industrial theme was also chosen for its raw and utilitarian appeal, offering a unique blend of rugged materials and sleek design elements. The reason I chose a bar cart was that it could be useful.  The bar cart serves as a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to the living space, combining elements of industrial design with the practicality of a mobile beverage station. The industrial style is characterized by the use of materials such as metal, wood, and exposed hardware. These elements were carefully selected to give the bar cart an edgy and robust appearance while maintaining a sense of sophistication. The combination of distressed metal finishes and reclaimed wood contributes to the overall industrial ambiance.

Materials, Planning, and Initial Sketch

The materials that I was looking for for this design were steel pipes, steel flanges, 90-degree steel elbows, reclaimed wood, screws, and wheels for the bottom. I plan to have 4 planks of wood around 24 inches in length and 7-8 inches each and make 2 table tops by screwing 2 support beams under the planks making the total dimension for one table top 14 in x 24 in. Next, I’d make 4 pipe supports each with flanges on both ends, and secure the tables together. Next, I’d make 2 handle fixtures by having small pipes about an inch or 2 long attached to a flange and an elbow which is then connected to a metal pipe attached to a similar structure to make a handle. Finally, attach wheels to the bottom.     

Below is a sketch of the initial idea.   

How I Acquired the Materials

Looking for these materials was quite difficult. Not many people have pipes just lying around. In the end, I resorted to asking my mom for help and luckily one of her friends had some leftover materials lying around. I told him I’d toss him a 20 and a case of beer and he happily took the offer. Unfortunately, he didn’t have some of the material so i had to resort to buying some of the supplies from Home Depot. The materials that were provided were the 12-inch pipes, the wood, and some of the flanges. I bought wheels, elbows, and a few smaller-length pipes from Home Depot.       

The Process and Result 

In the end, the product came out great in my opinion. Throughout the process, there were some difficulties. The pipes were very greasy which if we are using for furnisher is not ideal. To get past this I washed all the pipes lightly with acetone which fixed the problem and gave them a clean look. Drilling in my house created a mess which neither me or my roommate liked. Some of the boards were a lot longer than they needed to be but Home Depot offered to cut them for me. In the end, they were still off by about ⅜ of an inch. Overall the build process went smoothly and the final product looked good! It would function great as a bar cart.

The cart right now does have a touch of industrial aesthetic with the pipes but I think it needs something a little more to make it stand out. At the moment it looks like a wooden table with pipes on it. To help with this I added some handles to use even more pipes but it still looks like it’s missing something. 

Below is without the handles

What I Will Do Next With It

Next, I plan to stain the wood. I think that this will really make it look like a finished product and look even better. I plan on adding glasses and drinks to it so adding a waterproof stain on it might be good in the long run. The wheel base is also tighter than id like it to be so I will widen that too.   


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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Jonathon Gruener
    March 3, 2024 10:45 pm

    Hi Matthew. I absolutely love this project. It turned out so well. I think that some kind of stain or clear coat would get the job done in terms of adding that finishing touch as well as making it stain resistant. You could also play around with charring the surface of the boards for a different look.


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