Building a bar/table behind our couch. Thoughts, feedback?

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Forum topic by RyanD posted 10-30-2011 11:05 PM 8166 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2394 days

10-30-2011 11:05 PM

I currently use a table to do work but we want to put a three person bar behind our couch that I can use for my laptop and we can use for snack and drinks when friends are over. Here are some pictures and some initials thoughts.

Going to be all wood, I thought about granite but I’m going to keep it simple with a wood counter top.
I’m worried that since it’s going to be on carpet it’s not going to be very sturdy, what can I do to make it solid?

The chair is a standard stool size there for reference.

11 replies so far

View JayCop's profile


37 posts in 2427 days

#1 posted 10-31-2011 04:50 AM

Looks like it will make your living room a great hangout.

A few questions
1. What wood are you going to use? Plywood/solid wood
2. Dimensions?
3. Cost constraints?

A few suggestions
1. set your long front piece in-between the two outside faces so you could use a plywood front.
2. Consider a thicker counter top if you do wood. Like 6/4 oak.

View tr33surg3on's profile


21 posts in 2418 days

#2 posted 10-31-2011 07:12 AM

You can buy “carpet spikes” at audiophile stores. They are designed screw into the bottoms of floor standing loudspeakers to couple them to the floor.

-- Tim -- Tools to make tools to's tools all the way down.

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5 posts in 2394 days

#3 posted 10-31-2011 01:22 PM

I’m thinking birch plywood for the front/sides and 3/4” maple/red oak for the top. Here are some new plans. It’s 12” deep and I’m still not sure with it being 36” height that it will be sturdy.

It’s 6’ across, 3’ high, 12” deep and the counter is 16” deep.

Materials are looking to be around $140 for the nice wood and maybe another 20-30 for the inside braces. I have no hard budget.

Birch plywood (2’x4’) x 4 – $70
Two 7’ red oak (1”x8”) x 2 – $66

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5 posts in 2394 days

#4 posted 10-31-2011 02:02 PM

Some changes. I added a slight curve on the front and added some extra stuff on the front for decoration. I’m still playing with this though.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7587 posts in 2794 days

#5 posted 10-31-2011 02:04 PM

I built a bar just like that next to the toilet. And one in the bedroom. In fact, I have well stocked bars throughout the house…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View JayCop's profile


37 posts in 2427 days

#6 posted 10-31-2011 05:36 PM

Can you upload the sketchup file? I like the curved front and foe panels. If you up load the file I could show you a few changes I would make. I assume you don’t have access to a joniter and planer do you?

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5 posts in 2394 days

#7 posted 10-31-2011 05:57 PM

Here’s the file. Thanks.

No woodworking tools besides a router, jigsaw, clamps and circular saw. :-)

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37 posts in 2427 days

#8 posted 11-01-2011 01:53 AM

I think it would be cheapest if you did 2 pieces of Oak ply, and a few pieces of solid oak. I would use the ply to cut the front and sides so that the grain was vertical. Then cut the top with that nice curve in it. Make some edge banding 1/8th thick from the solid and glue it on to the ply wood edges to dress them up. ( you can use painters/masking tape to hold the solid wood in place while the wood dries) Then make your foe panel fronts from the rest of your solid wood. Then finish it and enjoy your cool new bar man!

View Bill Burr's profile

Bill Burr

12 posts in 2426 days

#9 posted 11-02-2011 07:50 PM

A 12” wide 36” high 6’ long bar/table will be kind of top heavy. I would look into widening the base somehow. Maybe widen the whole thing to 20”. Also a visitor to my store pointed out the down-fall of doing custom made work. It is only good for that location and function. With that in mind i would make the front as presentable as I could. Some day you may move the couch and the front will be visible.

-- Just another beautiful day in paradise.

View RyanD's profile


5 posts in 2394 days

#10 posted 11-02-2011 07:52 PM

Yeah, I built the frame last night out of 2×4’s and it’s wobbly but I was hoping once it had four sheets of 3/4 plywood attached to it it might be more stable. Would adding more weight on the bottom work, like having a floor that is solid wood?

View scrabby's profile


42 posts in 3180 days

#11 posted 11-02-2011 08:24 PM

Fun project – end result is going to be very useful!

Some ideas I’d suggest:

1) Taper the 12” plywood sides to 16” deep at the bottom;
2) Brace the bottom to the floor with L-brackets at 3 spots (won’t be visible under the couch); and
3) Add a 3” or 4” apron accros the top of the open front – it’ll make the top a bit more rigid, plus add to lateral racking resistance.
4) Frame-style trim, add a bottom rail (although it might not be visible behind the couch) and do a “frame” on the outer sides as well.

-- Jim, North Vancouver, BC

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