LumberJocks

Reclaimed wood bar for my restored barn

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Project by Dbhoosier posted 05-31-2015 02:01 AM 958 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While this is certainly not “fine woodworking” and not all made of wood, I thought I would share the bar that I built for my barn. The barn was in rough condition when we bought it and I had it restored last year. I saved as much wood from the original barn that I could, and the actual spot that this bar now resides is in the room where the farmhand (that lived in the barn at some point) had his workshop. The bar and counter top is made from his old workbench tops (6/4 rough sawn oak – about 18” wide slabs).

I tried to flatten and smooth the tops as best I could with my jack plane without totally removing the old bandsaw marks and losing the rustic character. You can see in some of the “build” pics the nail holes and wear on the oak. The only finish on the tops is many, many coats of polyurethane. The bar top is 18” deep and one solid piece of oak. For the counter top, I had to glue up two pieces to achieve the 25” counter depth, and I didn’t have a single piece long enough for the full counter, so I had to get creative with my joinery with scrap pieces to make it all work.

The trim and cabinet doors are made from the old barn siding (I replaced all of the actual barn siding with new rough sawn poplar). I had a couple old beams (I think they are chestnut) that I found in the barn, so I used one as the bar foot rest and one at the end of the bar where I added a light and a switch (just to add some character) – I love to look at the old beams that have multiple huge mortises and imagine how they were once used. I also used parts of a beam for the corbels under the bar top to add some support on the ends and a bit of a decorative touch.

I left one opening under the bar, where I added an undercounted refrigerator. My electrician added the outlets, light and switches, etc. as I am not one to mess with electrical work…

The rusty corrugated roofing is part of the actual old barn roof as well (I had a brand new metal roof put on it). Other than some 2×4s that I used for framing the bar, the entire bar is made of materials I reclaimed from the barn during restoration.

The barn itself was built somewhere around 1850 and I was able to keep the timber frame intact (other than some repairs, straightening, etc.) and the fieldstone foundation (it is a bank barn). Some of the loft joists survived, but otherwise, almost everything else is new materials (roof, windows, lofts, flooring, stairs, etc.). My woodworking shop is in the barn as well, where the cattle stalls used to reside.

Like I said, I know this isn’t fine woodworking, but it was a really fun project and I get real enjoyment out of it. Thanks for letting me share!





14 comments so far

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1195 posts in 1578 days


#1 posted 05-31-2015 01:02 PM

great character and use of the wood!

-- Greg Simon

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#2 posted 05-31-2015 01:09 PM

Thank you, Greg!


great character and use of the wood!

- gsimon


View MadeinMT's profile

MadeinMT

185 posts in 1625 days


#3 posted 05-31-2015 01:28 PM

Beautiful wood. I have a small pile of that sort of thing given to me by a neighbor that repaired his barn and replaced much of the structure. Hope to do something like you have done one day.

-- Ron, Montana

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#4 posted 05-31-2015 01:55 PM

It’s a lot of work to use the reclaimed wood – checking for and removing nails, most have some cupping/warping yet are too wide for a typical jointer or planer (and would be pretty tough on the knives as well), and the old wood is very dense/strong. But I loved doing the hand work – it just felt right with the old lumber! I think you will really enjoy it when you have time and the right project.


Beautiful wood. I have a small pile of that sort of thing given to me by a neighbor that repaired his barn and replaced much of the structure. Hope to do something like you have done one day.

- MadeinMT


View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#5 posted 05-31-2015 03:47 PM

Looks wonderful and rustic, but very nicely rustic!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#6 posted 05-31-2015 04:17 PM

Thank you, Mike!


Looks wonderful and rustic, but very nicely rustic!

- stefang


View leafherder's profile

leafherder

897 posts in 1417 days


#7 posted 05-31-2015 04:34 PM

You say it is not “fine woodworking” But I say it is a fine example of woodworking and an excellent example of recycling. Great job! It looks beautiful and will hopefully inspire others. Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

4092 posts in 1655 days


#8 posted 05-31-2015 10:15 PM

Very cool.Nice work.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5056 posts in 2612 days


#9 posted 05-31-2015 10:34 PM

That’s a great looking barn bar—I’d definitely have a drink there!

And good for you, saving those old timbers. They’re becoming a rare commodity these days.

-- Dean

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#10 posted 06-01-2015 12:33 AM

Thanks, everyone. Here is a (blurry) picture of the space as we found it (the farmhand’s workshop, which is now this bar) and during the renovation when we stripped it down to the frame/joists. Big difference!

View ronstar's profile

ronstar

291 posts in 3175 days


#11 posted 06-02-2015 11:14 AM

Great looking bar and nice restore on the barn!

-- Ron, Northern Illinois

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#12 posted 06-02-2015 01:29 PM

Thank you, Ron!


Great looking bar and nice restore on the barn!

- ronstar


View Josh's profile

Josh

1201 posts in 2034 days


#13 posted 07-05-2015 05:34 PM

Wow. Ok, when can I come over with some beers?

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Dbhoosier's profile

Dbhoosier

28 posts in 697 days


#14 posted 07-06-2015 02:53 AM

Thanks, Josh – you are welcome any time!


Wow. Ok, when can I come over with some beers?

- josh


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