Turn an Antique Radio into a Bar, Part 147

Stick a fork in this one, it’s done!

Or rather, stick some bottles, glasses and bar tools in it.

About five years ago, I saw this radio at an auction. I had no idea what I would do with such a thing, but I had to have it. So I bid on it and got it for just $25. Apparently they’re no longer a popular item. For a long time, I thought I would fix the radio and make it play again, but after years of trying to source parts and coming up empty-handed, I finally gave up. It became an attractive tall console table that held our keys, extra change and such.

That is, until I saw this on Pinterest via Apartment Therapy:

It’s an antique radio that Pondered Primed Perfected turned into a bar. I thought it was just a great idea for repurposing something that’s not only old technology (vacuum tubes) but also a medium that’s basically extinct thanks to smartphones and satellites. And I already had the radio!

And since we had this situation going on all over our kitchen counters, I figured that might be the perfect solution for us.

I started the project several months ago, but luckily the completely unofficial Spring Pinterest Challenge popped up because I was so intimidated by the rest of the project that the challenge provided just the impetus I needed to (as John and Sherry would say) “get on that already”. This is my first time participating in the challenge, which was dreamed up by Katie Bower of Bower Power and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love to stop pinning and start doing the cool projects that they found on Pinterest. They also included two more bloggers who have done previous challenges, Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop and Renee from Red Bird Blue. So even though I started this project ages ago, it was the challenge that gave me the guts to wade in and finish it.

Anyway, I did a lot over the weekend, which I posted about here, and then did the finishing touches last night.

First I had to install the pull-out tray. I decided to add it because I didn’t want to be making drinks on the top of the radio, which I had painstakingly restored. This gives easy access to a drink-making surface and a spot to store all our cocktail picks and other fun bits and pieces.

This is Doug with the screwdriver. My arms are sore from trying to screw those casters on!

The next step was screwing the glass rack that I found at Goodwill for $5 into place. I had been all prepared to spend the full $30 it would take to get a new one somewhere like Container Store, but as I’ve said before, you never know what you’re going to find at a thrift store.

I was also prepared to cut the rack to size, but I was pleasantly surprised that it fit perfectly. Not bad considering that I hadn’t even measured the radio yet when I bought the rack so I had no idea if it would fit.

The final step was dropping the bottle shelf into place. I considered screwing it down, but the wood was such a tight fit that I just banged it with a hammer until it sat flat in all four corners. And lemme tell you, it ain’t going nowhere.

The only thing left was to put all the barware and bottles into the new bar.

I’ve gotta say, we’re pretty pleased with how it turned out. So all that’s left is to say thanks to Young House Love and Bower Power for sponsoring the challenge that got me moving, Twins Ace Hardware for not laughing at me even though they saw me three times in two days and most importantly, my sweet husband Doug for keeping me calm when stuff didn’t always come together as I thought it should.

Now when is happy hour?

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