Home Bar Top

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Home Bar Top

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 Top

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 Top

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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 Top

In this post, I want to talk about countertops and bar tops. You need a place to work and a place to serve in your bar. In simple designs, they will be one and the same; in more complex bars, you will have a featured bar top and one or more counters on which to mix and prepare. I’ll get into dimensions and construction in detail in other posts, but I’ll throw out a few rules of thumb here to define the terms I’m using. Your Bar Top is the long counter where drinks sit in between sips. The standard height for most bar tops, in both home and commercial bars, is approximately 42″. This is the rule of thumb because it is a comfortable height for most adults to stand beside and lean against. And even if all your friends look like Shaquille O’Neil or Billy Barty, you probably should stick with this height, since virtually every barstool you can buy is made to work with a 42″ bar top. Also, a bar top that is counter height just looks silly. But a 42″ high surface, while a great place to set your finished drink, it is uncomfortably high as a working surface. If you have the space and budget therefore, you should also put in a second Countertop behind the bar, at regular kitchen counter height (36″). This height is most comfortable for prep work, and the difference in height lets you make your working mess less obtrusive. As it happens, this is the height you will get if you put a standard counter atop standard cabinets. But to get to the meat of this post, out of what do you make these surfaces? You have a lot of choices, and I’m going to spend the rest of this post running down a bunch of them. As we go through them, keep in mind the hard realities of what they will have to put up with. You and your guests will be leaning, banging, moving, eating, drinking, and in some cases smoking, on and around them. There may even be cases where you may even be slightly intoxicated while doing so, shocking as that is to contemplate. There will be spills, sprays, and spots. And lots of the ingredients in a well-stocked bar, like Angustora Bitters or pomegranate juice, will stain very quickly and easily. You need to choose surfaces that not only look good when you first install them, but will still look good years later.

Home Bar Top

I’m building a 16 foot bar in my 3000 square foot barn man cave project. I have a few questions from your build. What size plywood did you use over the frame? 1/4 inch? I know you used 3/4 inch for the bar top, with that said how many inches overhang of your bottom 3/4 inch bar top was it before you added the bar rails, and how wide did you cut the bar top. Last question what is the bar top surface demensions? I’m a little confused regarding cutting the 3/4″ bar top. Sorry for the dumb questions!

Home Bar Top

Home Bar Top

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Home Bar Top