Shop made bar rail

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Blog entry by Bob Areddy posted 01-22-2010 03:36 AM 13495 reads 5 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this is in response to another use who made a bar rail, and I figured I might as well display my own. I’m not going to go through on certain techniques, such as cutting coves on a table saw or cutting angles on the table saw or anything like that.

I needed approximately 18 feet of bar rail, and at around $12/linear foot buying a premade one, I figured I’d give it a shot in making one myself. The rail I made is from 3 separate pieces so that I could stick with 3/4” stock, instead of buying expensive 2” thick stock. The bottom portion of the rail which isn’t normally seen (unless you get on your hands and knees and look from under the rail) is made of oak plywood.

The 3 pieces consist of the top portion of the rail which is 29/32” thick and 5.75” wide, with each edge rounded over, and a cove cut on the table saw. The bottom portion of the rail consists of a 3/4” round over, and the very bottom is a piece of ply about 2.25” wide with one edge cut at a 16 degree bevel. The 16 deg bevel is important because the rail itself slants toward the “patron” at a 16 degree incline.

Now, the bar top is made of two pieces of 3/4” ply. The bottom underlayment is just construction plywood, and the top piece is oak ply which was offset by 2.1149 inches from the bottom layer (lol, that amount was calculated from my autocad drawing). I believe I offset it by 2.125 (2 1/8”)...

The first thing I milled up was the top piece. It is 29/32” by 5.25”. I first cut the 16 deg, 1/4” wide rabbit on the very leading edge. This “lip” hangs over the top piece of the bar top. I cut the cove on the table saw, then rounded over the leading edge (which is the edge that lips over the edge of the bar top) with a 3/4” rad bit, and the trailing edge with a 1” roundover bit.

Then I made a 3/4” quarter round and glued it to the bottom of the top piece, forming a nice curve on the back of the rail.

Then a 2.25” strip of plywood was cut, with the 16 deg bevel on the one side. This 16 deg beveled edge is the edge that butts up against the bottom piece of contruction plywood. That piece was glued up tight against the quarter round.

If your plywood isn’t quite 3/4” thick, you should make the quarter round the same dimensions.

That’s about it! If you have any miter cuts to make like in my pictures (I had a total of 4 miters) I suggest you mock up a bar top to hold the rail in the correct orientation and cut it on the miter saw. I tried cutting a compound angle, and I just couldn’t get a tight fit.

To install the bar rail, it get screwed from underneath, going through the portion of the rail which is 2.1149” wide. I put a screw in about every 16 inches.

After a year installed, my miters broke loose. I would suggest either putting a biscuit in there to hold it tight, or do like I did with my repair and drill hole through one rail and into the other on the edge, screw it together, and plug it.

From Bar Rail

From Bar Rail

From Bar Rail

From Bar Rail

From Bar Rail

-- --Bob

2 comments so far

View kampy's profile


3 posts in 3059 days

#1 posted 01-22-2010 11:01 PM

That is perfect:) Thanks a million. I have found a couple of other home made bar rails but this is exactly what I was looking for since i am doing the work as a volunteer. BTW…I looks spectacular. Thanks for the help.


View kmerkle's profile


33 posts in 2334 days

#2 posted 11-04-2014 03:47 PM

Great design and beautiful result! Thanks! I’ve been planning a bar project and I will sincerely flatter you with my imitation of your project someday.

-- Every project is perfect until it's started.

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