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Have some questions about building a wet bar

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Forum topic by Steve posted 04-12-2018 07:39 PM 2658 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve

1360 posts in 1004 days


04-12-2018 07:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wet bar

So after getting my basement finished, we have a small area where we want to put a wet bar.

Here is a layout online that I like, but had a few questions on which way to construct the base cabinets.

The area for the wet bar is 74” wide x 16.25” deep x 85.75” tall and is already tiled.

First, do I really need a beverage fridge? I have a full size fridge in a storage room, but not sure about having a small one here. If I didn’t go with one, then I would just do another cabinet.

Base/Toekick – Build 2×4 base, then just build boxes on top of it and let the 2×4 be the toe kick. Or cut out a toe kick out of the end panels of the cabinet? My other option is leveling feet along with the clip that a toekick attaches to.

For the bottom panel, should I dado it in the side panels or just use pocket holes? I think this is probably going to depend on how I’m doing the toe kick.

How deep should I make the base cabinets? I want this bar to seem like it’s always been a part of the house as opposed to an after thought. Should I match the depth and height of the kitchen cabinets? Or for a wet bar, is there another “standard” that I should be following.

With an overall width of 74”, I’m thinking in terms of 2 ft sections for the base. Either I have two cabinets and a fridge, or basically 3 cabinets. If no fridge, than I’m leaning towards a large box for the base with dividers and face frames.

Or should I just go to cabinet discounters and get some cabinets from them?

First, there is already tile down


7 replies so far

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Woodknack

12845 posts in 2802 days


#1 posted 04-12-2018 09:49 PM

If you build the cabinets, it would be worth getting a book like Kitchen Cabinetmaker by Bob Lang. All the problem solving is done for you and you get the benefit of years of experience. There are also books by Greg Paolini and Danny Proulx.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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dhazelton

2838 posts in 2719 days


#2 posted 04-12-2018 10:09 PM

Should be easy enough to just purchase 72 inches worth of upper and lowers and put 1 inch filler strips at each end. Only you (or your wife) know if you need a fridge there. But if you go that route make sure it’s one that’s designed for under counter and not just a dorm fridge – the heat has to vent forward.

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Rich

4575 posts in 1011 days


#3 posted 04-13-2018 12:59 AM

The beverage fridge is nice since a good one has different temperature zones. That way you can keep your beer/soda ice cold and still have your red and white wines at their respective ideal temp. If that matters to you, that is.

The standard depth for the base cabinets is 24” and for the uppers it’s 12”. Generally those don’t include the face frame, but if it’s starting to intrude on the room, 3/4” won’t matter.

You can build a base frame and put the carcasses on it. I wouldn’t make a 2×4 a toe kick, it’s going to look crappy. If you build your base out of plywood, you can maybe get away with it being your toe kick, but only if you’re painting them. If you’re doing hardwood cabinets, I recommend planing a piece of the hardwood down to 1/2” and using that under there. It’ll look nicer. I also don’t go for the black toe kick, I always make mine to match the cabinets, but that’s just me.

I make my carcass sides full height and notch out the toe kick. Sometimes you’ll get better yield out of doing the base frame and just boxes on top for the carcass. You’ll have to play around with those numbers.

If you do make the side like I do, you’ll want to cut a dado for the floor to fit into on each side. Just 1/8” deep is all you need. I still use pocket screws from underneath, so the 1/8” also allows you to use your jig without changing its setup. If you make a base frame and build boxes, the the floor can be rabbeted into the sides.

There are countless resources out there to answer questions. This PDF gives you some great info, but there’s tons more.

Finally, if you’re going Blum hardware, Woodworker Express has the full line at excellent prices, and their customer support staff can walk you through exactly what you need. There are also dynamic spreadsheets on the Blum web site if you have access to Excel.

I’m not affiliated with Blum or Woodworker Express, but I use their hinges and slides exclusively on the cabinets I build. Their Blumotion products are just so sweet. My customers love them.

I could go on, but basically it’s an easy job. I’ve seen your other work and this’ll be a walk in the park for someone with your skill set.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Steve

1360 posts in 1004 days


#4 posted 04-13-2018 02:44 AM

Thanks Rich for the info and also for the book references Rick. I had read the Bob Lang book a long time ago, but it’s probably a good idea to revisit it.

I’m kind of leaning towards not worrying about a beverage fridge. I feel like the decent ones are pretty expensive and I’m trying to keep the costs down.

I’m assuming that I would need a side panel to cover up exposed end panel after I attach the face frame? I was going to use pocket holes to attach it. Or could I attach that side of the face frame with brads? Or should I try to attach the face frame another way?

And should I put on a back? And if so, should I set it in a rabbet or cut a groove to slide it in? Or just attach it to the back and then adjust the depth of the base cabinet accordingly? Was thinking 1/4” for the backs.

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Rich

4575 posts in 1011 days


#5 posted 04-13-2018 03:47 AM


I m assuming that I would need a side panel to cover up exposed end panel after I attach the face frame? I was going to use pocket holes to attach it. Or could I attach that side of the face frame with brads? Or should I try to attach the face frame another way?

I don’t understand what you are describing.


And should I put on a back? And if so, should I set it in a rabbet or cut a groove to slide it in? Or just attach it to the back and then adjust the depth of the base cabinet accordingly? Was thinking 1/4” for the backs.

- Steve

I recommend a back except in situations where it requires re-plumbing, like a vanity. I use 1/4” plywood and slide it in dadoes cut 1/4” in from the back of the sides of the carcass, although you could rabbet it. I also like to dado the floor so the back fits in there nicely. I think it looks better. For the screw plate at the top and back of the carcass, I like to recess it 1/8” from the back of the carcass. That way, if the wall isn’t perfectly flat, it pulls the sides of the carcass tight anyway. I rabbet the screw plate so it fits over the back, again giving a clean look from the inside.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Steve

1360 posts in 1004 days


#6 posted 04-13-2018 03:31 PM


I m assuming that I would need a side panel to cover up exposed end panel after I attach the face frame? I was going to use pocket holes to attach it. Or could I attach that side of the face frame with brads? Or should I try to attach the face frame another way?

I don t understand what you are describing.

And should I put on a back? And if so, should I set it in a rabbet or cut a groove to slide it in? Or just attach it to the back and then adjust the depth of the base cabinet accordingly? Was thinking 1/4” for the backs.

- Steve

I recommend a back except in situations where it requires re-plumbing, like a vanity. I use 1/4” plywood and slide it in dadoes cut 1/4” in from the back of the sides of the carcass, although you could rabbet it. I also like to dado the floor so the back fits in there nicely. I think it looks better. For the screw plate at the top and back of the carcass, I like to recess it 1/8” from the back of the carcass. That way, if the wall isn t perfectly flat, it pulls the sides of the carcass tight anyway. I rabbet the screw plate so it fits over the back, again giving a clean look from the inside.

- Rich

Sorry, was late and bit tired. The base cabinets will have one side exposed, so if I was to attach the face frame with pocket holes, then I imagine I’d need a panel to cover the pocket holes on the exposed side. Since I don’t believe I’d want the pocket holes visible on the inside of the cabinet.

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Rich

4575 posts in 1011 days


#7 posted 04-13-2018 03:55 PM

Yeah, that works perfect. I do that with pocket screws on vanities all the time. I then just screw the panel to the carcass from the inside at the top and down below the floor. One thing to keep in mind is to make the bottom rail taller so that the panel looks like a panel. That probably doesn’t make sense, but here’s the idea:

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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