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Forum topic by WHaymaker posted 05-28-2009 02:33 AM 1915 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3483 days

05-28-2009 02:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

First I hope I’m in the right room for this post. You’ll tell I am a rookie very quickly. I have started a bar in my basement. It’s all based on knotty pine theme with a pine log exterior. I find the bar top the most daunting. I have quit working on the bar for a about a month because I can’t decide what to do for the surface. ARRGGHHH

My plan is to build it out of 4” wide pine. I plan to run the grain the full length of my longest section but what would be best when I get to the L? Continue the grain in the same north south direction or go east west. Or should I do a 45 degree cut to match them up?

And also would it be unwise to mix different species of wood for the bar top if I am doing knotty pine everywhere else? I have only recently learned that navy blue and black don’t go together so you can see I have a hard time knowing if a wood species would blend well in this situation.

Any thoughts??

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 05-28-2009 02:44 AM

The direction of the wood is partly a design choice as is the type of wood. depending on how you join the corner together and your method of attaching the counter top to your bar. Part of what new woodworkers don’t think a bout is wood movement . wood grows as it takes on moisture and if you connect the two counter tops together so it will not allow the wood to move then you can have problems like cracking or pulling your corner apart. As far as type of wood you use has to due with cost and durability. Many counter tops are maple but that is more costly than pine. depending on the type of pine your using it may be to soft for use as a counter top.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3629 days

#2 posted 05-28-2009 02:50 AM

Your top doesn’t have to be knotty pine. It’s all really your choice. What looks good to you. I would probably go with the 45 and match the wood. But, that’s just me. You could also do two 22 1/2 cuts just to fancy it up a little. Hang around a little, you’ll probably get a few ideas from some of the other LJ’s. By the way, welcome to the site.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 3592 days

#3 posted 05-28-2009 03:45 AM

First off welcome aboard!! I’m in Gary’s camp on doing a 45 and try to match boards/grain. Jims advice on wood movement is key. You don’t want to ruin all your time and effort with a split, buckled or warped top.
The only bar tops I’ve seen installed are for commercial use and usually large slabs(Spendy!!!!!!) So I don’t have alot of practical advice for you. How are planning on finishing the top? Maybe a resin finish would help out on protecting the soft wood, being a home bar it wont see the abuse of a commercial bar.
Post some pics when you can of the finished Bar.


-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View CaptainSkully's profile


1602 posts in 3755 days

#4 posted 05-29-2009 02:40 AM

Welcome! I haven’t made any bars, but I’ve spent a lot of time in front of them. If wood movement allows, I would think about weaving the 4” boards from either direction to create a herringbone design that spans the corner. Also, there are a lot of self-leveling two-part finishes specifically for bar tops. I have found that if you can’t hide a joint, celebrate it. I was having trouble with a breadboard edge on my dining room table until I used a v-groove router bit down the joint and now it looks phenomenal. My $0.02…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3754 days

#5 posted 05-29-2009 02:46 AM

I like Skullys idea of a herringbone pattern, but the real choice is yours. I do highly recommend the finish he is talking about. It will really protect your top.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View WHaymaker's profile


2 posts in 3483 days

#6 posted 05-29-2009 04:10 AM

Not 1 bad idea in the bunch. I am glad I waited. Thanks everyone for taking the time to help out.

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