Building a bar

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Blog entry by Mike53E posted 05-14-2012 07:25 AM 1468 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lumberjock community,
I am a Marine helicopter pilot with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 the “hammerheads” out here in North Carolina. We have just gotten some new spaces on the far end of our hangar and are building a historical room to chronicle the history of our squadron. Being Marines, chronicling history means sitting around drinking beer. So we are building a bar to be the center peice.
I am at best a amateur sawdust maker, so I would like to chronicle this project and it’s development, as well as open things up for advice or suggestions from this community. This project will certainly challenge my skills, and any advice you may have to help me build this peice which will honor and chronicle those who have gone before and some amazing people who have done some amazing things.

The bar will be built mostly of dimensional lumber since funds will be limited, the bar top itself will be the center peice and something that will probably eat up most of the cost, also something that won’t need to get decided on right away.
Also since we are a heavy lift squadron, flying the CH-53E the military helicopter in the free world, (that russian one doesn’t count, it needs wings to fly) anything to make this bar heavier beefier and more over engineered the better.
I have a numbe of sketches that will explain things better. Once I get them scanned i’ll put them up and attach them here.

Corner Posts will be 6×6x8. On the front they will be joined by mortise and tenon to 14.5 ft2×6 “joists”
(tenon length will be 3” deep with a ¾” shoulder. 2×6’s will be supported by 2×4 “studs” on 21”
center. These “studs” will be joined by half lap joints reinforced with deck screws from the back of the
bar. “studs” will also have a ½” dado cut in the back to support a 14.5’ 2×4 running the length of the
bar to support the bar back. The front posts and back posts will be connected by a 2×4 (length to be
determined by CO2 can for kegerator) joined by mortise and tenon (tenon length 2” with ¾” shoulder)

The bar back will be 2 6’ 2×6s supported by 3 2×4s joined via half lap. The bar back will have no “floor
joist” each supporting 2×4 will have an additional 2×4 running width wise to join the dadoed 2×4 on the
bar front. This will leave a 21” gap in the center to allow for a 20” Kegerator. Plywood or MDF will be
screwed to the top of this frame to form a table top for the bar top.

Additionally, the inside of each rectangle on the bar front will have a 3/4” wide ½” deep routered slot to
allow for cedar or pine boards to be mitred on a 45 angle to allow for a diagonal stacking to provide a
solid front.

The bar top itself is still tbd. Current suggestion is 4/4 or 5/4 walnut boards jointered and edge joined
via biscuits and lamination to provide a solid 14’x18” slab. In it there will be 2 12”x12” inlays for a lighter
wood such as ash or maple. These inlays will be laser burned to display our squadron patch, and the
EGA. Additionally, beginning at the left side of the bar, will be inlays for squadron coins running the
length of the bar beginning with the squadron coin (2 one front, one back) followed by a coin for each
deployment. (OIF last call, HOA 10-1, OEF 10-2, 22MEU, HOA 11-2, etc…)

Additional supports for the bar top are still under discussion. 2×4 on a 45 on the bar back side mounted
to the “studs” via a dado and a rabbet with a routered slot on the bottom of the bar top. Dimensional
lumber coming out to support the front of the bar seems out of place. Perhaps ¾” dowels bracing the
bottom of the bar on a 45
angle anchored into the “studs.”

3 comments so far

View russde's profile


104 posts in 2866 days

#1 posted 05-14-2012 11:07 AM

Mike, as a former Marine Regs Corpsman…Oorah! Oh, and I like the inlay for the coins too

View chrisstef's profile


17428 posts in 3033 days

#2 posted 05-14-2012 01:01 PM

Sounds like youve got one heck of a detailed plan. Good luck, thank you for your service, and welcome to the gang!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3769 days

#3 posted 05-15-2012 02:33 PM

BZ! Looks like you have a great start planned.
Best of luck Larry
Retired Navy Mustang HM/MSC Officer who spent 13 of my 22 years wearing Marine green.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

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