Home Bar Framing

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Home Bar Framing

I then added the oak trim pieces, I used a 1×8 on the bottom and 1×4’s to trim it out the rest of the way. The trim gives it detail and depth and hides the seams where the plywood comes together. Pretty simple so far, the next step is to build your bar top, this is where it gets a little more complicated. To give your bar that professional bar look I would go with a Chicago Bar Rail to rest your elbows on when at the bar. It cost about 12 dollars a foot but to me it is worth it. If you decide to build your bar top using a Chicago bar rail this  requires two pieces of  3/4” plywood one on top of each other. I bought regular standard sheet for the bottom and another oak veneer sheet  for the top.As  you can see from the illustration from above how  your bar rail sits on the bar top. Your bottom sheet has to be 1” 9/16” wider then your top sheet where you are going to have your Chicago bar rail. I made sure I cut the bottom sheet so I would have 10  inches of overhang on the bar where people will sit and your bar stools will be. This gives you enough room so your knees don’t hit the front of the bar when you sit on the stool and straddle up to the bar. If you use a foot rail you might go with more of an overhang. You screw the bottom sheet from the top on to the frame. Then you rip your top sheet remembering where the bar rail will have to be 1”  9/16” less then what you cut your bottom sheet. You then screw the top sheet onto the bottom sheet by screwing under the bottom sheet. Use 1 1/4 wood screws so your screws don’t come through the top of the bar. Now you can add your bar rail to your top. You have two options here, you can go with a rounded corners or you can go with mitered corners, or you can do what I did and do one of each. I would suggest you go with mitered corners, because the rounded corner is 125.00 each and is also a more difficult to cut your top to fit on the rounded corner. For a video showing how to cut a mitered corner on the Chicago bar rail (Click Here) Mitering the bar rail is easy, just use a 2×4 and set your bar rail onto the 2×4 where the bar rail sits on the bottom sheet of your bar top. You don’t need a biscuit joiner like in the video, just make sure your screws are long enough to go into the bar rail and short enough so they don’t come through the top of your bar rail.

Home Bar Framing

When you are ready to layout a blueprint for your home bar – the first thing to think about is how much space you're working with. Size The average home bar is 42-inches high and 24-inches deep. Of course you can customize your bar’s size to fit the area that you have available and your preferences. Just remember that most bar stools are 30-inches tall, so your bar should not be much lower than 42-inches high,to allow for comfortable seating for your guests. Shape You’ll also want to think about the shape that you’d like your bar to be. There are several options to consider including L-shaped, horseshoe shaped or rectangular bar designs. If you’re starting your project in an area with a concrete floor, it’s smart and simple to outline your layout on the floor where the bar will be, in chalk. If you’re working in an area with finished floors, it is still important to make an outline – you might consider using string or painters tape to protect your flooring. Remember that your bar will be three-dimensional. The outlines on the floor won’t visually take up as much space as your finished bar will, once height is incorporated. Sinks and Stuff During the planning stages, you should also take anything that will be housed behind the bar into consideration, particularly sinks and refrigeration units. Sinks are usually placed under the front bar but putting them in the back bar is not unheard of. The location of your existing plumbing may play a part in where you decide to build your bar or install the sink and drainage. From simple, shallow one-bowl hand sinks to standard bar sinks (with legs, up to three bowls and a drain board) you’ll have tons of options when selecting a sink to best fit your space, needs and design. Refrigeration needs will depend on whether or not you’re including a draft system and also what kind of entertaining you do. If you are planning on having beer on tap, you’ll need a kegerator or refrigerator to keep your keg cold. Big wine drinkers may also want to install a separate wine refrigeration unit for their favorite bottles. KegWorks suggests that everyone should assess how much refrigeration they will need for bottled beer, malt beverages and mixers. Television placement is also key. You’ll want to position or mount your TV so as many people as possible can have a clear view of what’s on.

Home Bar Framing

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After your bar top has dried is when you brush on your polyurethane to the Chicago bar rail and the rest of the bar. After the first coat dries, sand it down using 0000# steel wool and then put on another coat. That’s it, now that you have a little knowledge on how to build a bar you can build your own. It does take some time to do it right but it is worth it. For more ideas for bar tops and to order your two-part epoxy go to DIY Bar Top Epoxy. All the parts for this bar was purchased at my local Home Depot except the Chicago bar rail. I bought the bar stools at an auction where the restaurant was going out of business, they matched perfectly with the stain and style of bar I chose to build. The rest of the bar signs, lights and mirrors I had been collecting for several years. I have also added photos of the rest of my bar down below. I found it easier to build the bar then to write how to build it. If anyone has any questions on how to build a bar you can ask them here on this post, no matter how old this post is. I will be happy to answer them if I can.

Home Bar Framing

The next step is to sand and stain your bar. I sanded the entire structure using a medium grit sand paper. I then wiped it down using a damp cloth, the damp cloth raises the grain. You do this because the stain will raise the grain in the wood and this step keeps that from happening. I then sanded the entire bar down again this time using a fine grit sand paper. I then stained the entire bar and back bar. Now your ready for your two-part epoxy finish on the bar top. This is what the pro’s use to protect the bar top from spills. First you must make sure your bar top is clean and dry. For a bar the size of mine, I mixed up about a quart with the two equal parts together. They must be of exact equal parts or it will not harden. I then stirred it slowly so to not create bubbles in the epoxy but stirred it very well before pouring it out over the entire top of bar. Then spread it all over with a plastic scraper or use an old credit card like I did. The epoxy is self leveling. This epoxy just goes on the flat part of the top, you will use polyurethane for the Chicago bar rail and the trim and the rest of the bar. One quart was enough to cover my entire bar top. I then let that dry completely and roughed it up with some sand paper and then put down another quart. You could also put down baseball cards or pictures or other memorabilia on your bar top before you pour out the epoxy to have them embedded in the top to give it more of a personalized touch and could show your hobbies or interest. If you do that you will have to add a second layer, and you do that by letting the first application dry completely, then sand the area using a medium grit sand paper and then do another pour. You can keep doing this step if you want to embed something thicker like bottle caps. Here is a video  showing how to apply the two-part epoxy.

Home Bar Framing

If you’re up for the challenge, building your own bar can be a very rewarding experience! If you’re fairly handy or have fairly handy friends who might be willing to work for beer, your home bar project could be a darn good time. Check out some real life bar building advice, learned from experience: Make like a boy scout and be prepared! Get everything you need before you break out the hammers. You should plan, measure and then build. It never hurts to have extra materials on hand. Mistakes and surprises happen and when they do, having extra pieces and parts available can save a lot of headaches. Don’t be ruled by dollars alone. Staying within your budget is important, but quality is pretty important too! Inexpensive components don’t always last and when you’ve gotta fix ’em or replace ’em, you’re losing valuable time that could be spent relaxing in your bar. Give our friends a place to rest! Arm rests and bar footrails give your bar a sleek and professional “finished” look and they’re easy to buy and install yourself. If you are enlisting the help of friends, have them over to check out your drawings. Get everyone on the same page. The masterpiece that you’re envisioning might be different from your buddy’s dream bar—so make sure he knows he’s in for. ‘The more the merrier’ might sound like a good philosophy, but realistically one or two helpers at any given time is plenty. The more people you have helping you at once, the more likely it is to morph from making progress on your project to a Joe-telling-Jeff-about-his-hot-new-secretary party. They can discuss the latest babes over a beer, after the bar is built! If you have a workstation located in another area, keep in mind that you need to be able get every piece of the bar from your shop into the actual bar room. There’s nothing worse than putting something together, only to realize that it won’t fit through the doorway. Don’t crack open too many beers until after you’re done working for the day—especially if you’re using power tools.

Home Bar Framing

Home Bar Framing

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Home Bar Framing