|Project by JamesN||posted 08-01-2012 04:42 AM||1323 views||1 time favorited||3 comments|
This was a very fun project. :)
I was commissioned to build a bar on the patio at the local Joe’s Crab Shack. The materials are as follows:
All wood is pine
3/4” BC ply
3/4” AB ply
The legs and foot rest are made of 1 1/2” galvanized pipe and fittings.
I would have to say the most difficult part of this project (besides the finish) was hand cutting and threading the legs and foot rest pipe pieces. I had to purchase the the piping in 21 foot lengths so that I could get each piece cut to the correct lengths because the big box stores and plumbing supplies don’t sell sections of pipe exactly the length I needed. I broke one pipe threader on about the third day of use, so I took a trip back to the tool store and exchanged it for a new one. Wow! What a difference! Apparently the threader bit that I had been using was dull straight out of the box and the new bit made the cutting so much easier.
In the third picture you can see the skeletal system that I used under the top surface of the bar. I wanted the bar top to be sturdy and not flex while someone was leaning on the inside edge, yet I couldn’t put legs under the inside edge to support it. The double beam gives loads of support and the ribbing is attached with glue and 6 inch ledger screws. This system ended up work great because I can jump up and down on the inside edge and it barely has any deflection at all even before the 2×4 edging board was added.
I laminated the AB ply over the BC ply to give me an 1 1/2 inch thick bar top. This allowed me to stagger the butt joints of the AB and the BC plys as well so that I didn’t have a seam in the bar top that ran from top to bottom. The slight warp in the AC ply was able to provide enough pull against the glue to pull it apart when I came back the next day to keep working. I had to encourage the new coating of contact cement to hold onto the lamination with finish nails shot in from underneath.
And then the finish. I’m going to have to redo it. It looks great from a distance, but when you get up close, there are lots of streaks and uneven spots. I apparently had the wrong squeegee for working with epoxy. I have since learned that a squeegee with a scalloped edge is a much better tool. My other issue was bugs. I had to do the coating outside, next to a lake, at night after the restaurant closed. I put up a bunch of film drop cloths to act as a tent. It kept the bugs away for about 30 minutes, but after that they figured a route and I was inundated with thousand of bugs that were dying to be a part of the finish. So they are.
The GM is extremely happy with the bar, but I’m not, so they are using it currently and I’m waiting on more epoxy material to arrive so I can redo the surface. I’ll use a much heavier tarp and seal it all the way down with velcro next time.