Cedar Bar Build

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by csamson posted 03-27-2013 07:58 AM 2881 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first woodworking project. Learned a lot on the forum so far and am to a point where I need some advice. I’m a big DIY guy and a home brewer. I’ve decided to build a bar that will hold a chest freezer underneath which will hold about 8 kegs of my home brew. I purchased 2 live edge cedar slabs about 8’ long that will be book matched for the bar top, the draft/tap tower will be made from a hollowed out cedar log, and the siding is going to be done with book matched cedar boards. Got all the wood locally from a guy for about $400.

So far I have stripped the draft tower log down to the heart wood, (PITA!) drilled out holes for the taps to go in, and hollowed out the log enough to fit the beer lines in. I sanded down with 80, 150 then 220 grit with an orbital sander. I thought that i had it just about perfect. After putting on the first coat of Arm-R-Seal (thinned by about 20% with mineral spirits for the first coat) i can see a few nicks that I missed sanding and a few areas where the sander left noticeable marks.

Should I wait for it to dry, and re-sand the problem areas or will additional coats of Arm-R-Seal cover up the mistakes enough for them to not be very noticeable? It’s not as shiny after drying a few hours and the marks don’t stand out as much as they did when wet still not sure what I should do though. It would be a lot easier to start over now rather than get 6 coats on and have to sand down.!

Here is a picture of the rings left by the sander:

I started on the frame last night. The base is finished with an insert for the chest freezer and storage space on the side which will be used for glasses or a mini fridge I’m not sure yet. I attached 6 heavy duty casters to the bottom to allow me to move it.

I need to figure out exactly how I’m going to attach the slab before building up. My best idea so far is to use a 1/2” piece of plywood to cover the entire frame like a lid, and then use door hinges to attach it to the frame. Door hinges will allow me to remove the slab if I ever need to move it. The plywood will sit flush with the top of the freezer without attaching anything to the freezer. In case the freezer craps out I’ll be able to switch it out fairly easy. When the slab is finished I will position it how I want it on top of the plywood and attach it from the bottom.

7 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 03-27-2013 08:22 AM

Fun and great project. I would wait for it to dry and resand. If you like most of us it will drive you crazy over the yrs as you will look at the flaw all the time. Most people won’t see it, Then you would have to try and not point it out as well, which I have a bad habit of Blondie tells me. LOL No hurry just have fun and go with it! Look fwd to seeing more.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 03-27-2013 11:00 AM

Your frist woodworking project? Go big or go home apparently! Good work, keep it up.

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View csamson's profile


10 posts in 1939 days

#3 posted 03-27-2013 03:04 PM

Ok, I will resand it tonight then. Can I just sand that one area of the log or should I resand the whole thing? Should I keep using the orbital sander or hand sand it? I’m running into problems because of the sharper angle on that section of the log. Sorry for all the questions.

Yeah, first project. Could have gone with a basic kegerator but who likes basic! Going out to my uncle’s who has a jointer to put together the slabs this weekend. Should really start to come together at that point.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29553 posts in 2390 days

#4 posted 03-28-2013 06:19 AM

Just sand that spot. Should be fine. I love red cedar. However, I hope you are wearing a dust mask while sanding this.Red CCedar dust is harmful to your lungs.

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View csamson's profile


10 posts in 1939 days

#5 posted 03-28-2013 02:45 PM

I sanded the one spot down and put another coat of Arm-R-Seal on. It looks right when I have it sanded and seems perfectly smooth but when I put the finish on it makes the rings from the orbital sander pop. It looks a lot better than before though and I’m happy with how its turning out.

I have not been wearing a mask but I will make sure to when sanding the slab. Thanks for the heads up.

I have another problem now though. The slab that I bought has some type of worms holes in it. I’m wondering what the best process to do so is? Cut out the brown wood left behind and fill in the hole with some type of epoxy? Leave the wood as is and fill in? Is there a specific product I should be using for this? You can see them in the first and last picture up top.

Thanks again guys for all of your help!

View helluvawreck's profile


31694 posts in 2919 days

#6 posted 03-28-2013 03:10 PM

This is impressive. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View csamson's profile


10 posts in 1939 days

#7 posted 04-04-2013 05:16 PM

Any advice on how to plane the surface of the cedar slab once joined? It will be around 45” at the widest point. I’ve looked at other posts and seen router jigs, hand planes and belt sanders as solutions but not sure which route to go.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics