Making A Home Bar

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Making A Home Bar

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.

Making A Home Bar

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.

Making A Home Bar

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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.

Making A Home Bar

Our plans for how to build a bar would be complete without a liquor cabinet now would they! For the inside of the bar where the fish tank sits I cut ½” plywood (2 pieces – 23”x 34 ½”) and attached it to the 2x4s on both sides of the tank area to make walls in the bar. (Picture 6b) I then made shelves using 1×2 pine screwed into the 2x4s to form the base and then ½ plywood to make the shelf itself. (Pictures 6a & 6b) I then used 1×2 pine to make rails so the liquor would not fall out of our home bar from the back of the shelf and ½ x 2 pine to make the front rail that keeps the liquor from falling out when you open the doors. You can see this in Picture 6a; it is of the left side of the bar (liquor cabinet side). Take care when making your shelf for the right side, make sure you line it up so the fish tank will be visible only, and no other space will be showing. Now you need to sand and stain the inside of the bar, and then apply 3 coats of the waterproof sealant to the wood. Finally, put in the window from the backside of the bar, it is just 1/4” thick glass custom cut for the hole in my bar (11”x 19½”) by a local glass shop. It is attached by see-thru calking applied to the back of the glass and plywood to form a tight, waterproof bond all the way around the glass.

Making A Home Bar

Print off one of these free bar plans to help you build the home bar you've always dreamed of. There are free bar plans for indoor bars, outdoor bars, and even tiki bars, to help you get just the style you're looking for.Building a home bar can be a simple project and pretty budget friendly. The free bar plans all include building directions, diagrams, material lists, tool lists, photos, and some even include videos.After you've used these bar plans to build you dream bar, how about using a wine rack plan to give you even more storage space? You may also want to use some free woodworking plans to build a dining room table, farmhouse table, entertainment center, bookcase, coffee table, kitchen islands, shed, pergola, or even a picnic table.

Making A Home Bar

To commemorate our 10 year anniversary, we are making our Official HomeWetBar.com wet bar plans free! Yes, you heard that right! The famous home bar plans  that started it all are now free. It’s our way of saying thanks for the last 10 years of providing you with the most unique and fun items on the internet. Whether you chose to build a basement bar, an indoor bar, or modify these plans into a tiki bar, we hope you have as much fun building your own bar as we had making the original. Cheers!

Making A Home Bar

Making A Home Bar

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