Cypress and Sassafras Bar

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Project by Don Broussard posted 632 days ago 1627 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This a bar designed by my wife’s second cousin. He and I built the bar in my shop then delivered it to his house for final sanding and finishing. He sanded the top and sides and applied BLO. After drying, he applied polyurethane to the sides and top.

WARNING—Before newbies (like me) work on unfamiliar wood, I recommend that you do a little research on the characteristics of the species. Using the website (and I’m sure there are other good ones), my fellow builder and I found that sassafras is one of the worst types of woods for dust. It’s a direct toxin and can affect the lungs and heart. Milky mangrove, mulga, poison walnut, sassafras and yew are the only woods in the database that contain the skull and crossbones to denote toxicity and that special precautions are needed. We used a dust mask any time we milled or sanded the bar top. When possible, we used a hand saw and hand planes versus other tools.

Picture 2—The bar was from with ripped 2×4s and screwed to the cypress posts with coarse thread drywall screws. The plywood bottom was also screwed to the framing from below. One side will have space for a mini-keg with open shelves on the other side.

Picture 3—We cut 1”x1” dadoes in each cypress post, into which we slid (actually pounded) the pecky cypress slats.

Picture 4—We bandsawed the corbels out of cypress and predrilled holes for lag screws to mount the corbels to the front of the cypress posts.

Picture 5—This is the sassafras bar top glue up, with the bottom side up.

Picture 6—Sassafras bar top in place temporarily. We still need to drill one or more holes for the beer taps, and probably add shelves to the other side. The bar owner intends to shellac the sassafras top. I will see if I can get a picture of the project after the finish is applied.

Fun project. We built a bar and built a good working relationship too. I’m sure we’ll collaborate on future projects.

Thanks for looking.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

6 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


870 posts in 1267 days

#1 posted 632 days ago

That’s a great looking bar. That live edge top is going to be really cool.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View StreamDreamer's profile


19 posts in 645 days

#2 posted 632 days ago

Very well done, sir! Inspires me to build a bar for a buddy of mine! Beautiful piece!

View rmoore's profile


312 posts in 1134 days

#3 posted 631 days ago

Love the rustic look! Great job!

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View Don W's profile

Don W

13923 posts in 1067 days

#4 posted 239 days ago

That’s a great looking Bar Don. I like the live edge.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View DanaA1972's profile


68 posts in 174 days

#5 posted 164 days ago


-- Dana

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1344 posts in 751 days

#6 posted 163 days ago

Thanks, Dana!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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