Help installing wood bar top

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Forum topic by umbach posted 01-29-2012 04:58 PM 6594 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2853 days

01-29-2012 04:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bar top counter installation solid wood

So this is outta my area of practice. But, I let a long time friend talk me into it. I have built a bar top that is about 6’ long takes a 45 deg turn to a 9’ long section and another 45 deg turn to a 2’ section. I found a counter guy who made the 22.5 deg cuts on each pc and has drilled/bored for the hidden hardware to pull the angles tight. The top is 6/4 cherry and will be stained and protected with a clear coat poly. However, he lives two and a half hoursaway and I will have to deliver it in three pieces and connect the pieces on site. He wants me to finish it though. Is this gonna cause any problems connecting the pieces if they are already finished? Should I plan on another coat or two of poly after the installation to cover the seams?

Basically, I’d like to hear how someone more experienced would approach this.

9 replies so far

View umbach's profile


41 posts in 2853 days

#1 posted 01-29-2012 07:02 PM

There’s gotta be someone out there with countertop experience…

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3271 days

#2 posted 01-29-2012 07:08 PM

When you talk of the, “hidden hardware to pull the angles tight”. I assume you are talking about the hardware people use to pull together pieces of laminate countertops. If I am correct in that assumption, there should be no need to do any additional finishing work after you install it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3538 days

#3 posted 01-29-2012 07:14 PM

if the seams are clean of finish (drips)
some caulking (clear)
in them should be enough
and will keep water/booze spills
from seeping down through

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View umbach's profile


41 posts in 2853 days

#4 posted 01-29-2012 07:30 PM

Yes. The hardware is the same used for pulling laminate tops together. I had planned on placing biscuits n between the hardware to help keep the surface flat and smooth.
I like the idea of preassembly and sanding to make sure the surface is flat and smooth.
Thanks all. I’m wide open for any suggestions so keep them coming if youve got’em.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3184 days

#5 posted 01-29-2012 07:43 PM

Keep in mind that you will probably want to finish the top and bottom equally so that it does not cup between the time you poly it and get it installed.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View umbach's profile


41 posts in 2853 days

#6 posted 01-29-2012 10:03 PM

Thanks SASmith. I was wondering about that too. I figured it would be a mistake to skip that step.

View graywolf's profile


65 posts in 2890 days

#7 posted 01-30-2012 01:05 AM

I have put together countertops of that nature over several years. I would fit the joints with the biscuits and the bolts pulled fairly tight. Adjust the seams after each bolt is put in and work the joint as you go. I use a hammer and a block for wood tops to adjust the joints. Once you have the seam adjust as close as you can then sand or hand plane the seam flush tapering away from the joint. I also would put any profile on the edge after all of this. As far as the install I would use an adhesive latex siliconized clear caulk (you can pick it up at lowes or home depot and it works great and you have plenty of open time it goes on white but dries clear and it will not mildew) work the seams the same way you did before installing one bolt at a time and adjusting the seam as you go. I would suggest you have an extra set of hands with this sized job. I hope this makes sense and not garbuled mess.
If you have any questions please ask. I would glad to help.
Regards and good luck, richard

-- Richard, North Carolina,

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3236 days

#8 posted 01-30-2012 05:07 AM

I would make up my owne biskets for that kind of a job. Stock biskets fit way too loose to give you the alignment you are looking for. I would make them out of cherry like the bar top.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View umbach's profile


41 posts in 2853 days

#9 posted 02-16-2012 06:34 PM

100 board feet of 6/4 cherry

two sections 24 inches wide and 10 feet long were glued up and clamped. I kept them aligned with biscuits. They were then cut to final width of 20 inches. I took them to a local cabinet shop to cut the miters for me. But, they taught me something. Cut the miter within 1/8 of the final line and then use a flush cutter router bit against your straight edge to get them butt perfect and clean.

Clamping and gluing up the miters. There are biscuits keeping them aligned in a 2:1:2:1:2 configuration from outside to inside. The 2 were stacked one above the other. the longer clamping boards were screwed into the bottom of the bar top and the top clamping boards were screwed into the longer bottom clamping boards.

Now that’s one long bar top!

The finished joint! I was very pleased with how these came together.
thanks to all who helped! It’s being delivered and installed this weekend. Post the final pics when it’s completed on saturday!

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