Sunday, 15 December 2013

Somer's Oak Bar Project

  I love bars. Not the kind on jail cell windows but the kind you sit or stand at and guzzle some ale with your mates.

 Being a woodworker I marvel at all the framing around the panels. The custom molded trims. The layers of vertical and horizontal boards and how they build upon each other to give it depth. Lets not forget the arm rail that runs the length of the bar with it's ample sweeping asymmetric cove to cradle your forearms.

  I am somewhat of an expert considering that I have spent plenty of time drinking in front of them. Trust me my friends, a well crafted arm rail cradling your arms makes a nice place to put your head down for a little nap.

   I am lucky enough to have someone who has been waiting for a woodworker to build a bar to fit into his rec room. A nice bar to compliment his lovely oak billiard table.

   Taking a cue from the billiard table (pun intended) for the bar's design it was natural to go with oak. The billiard table is somewhat contemporary but has a nice style with lots of visual weight.

  The bar will have the customary frame and panel fronts. The panels will be trimmed with custom made moldings to accentuate the paneled fields. Layers of solid oak boards will be built up at the corners and along the base to add some depth.
There won't be any fancy carved corbels under the bar top as we are sighting along with the billiard tables lines.

  I did want to add some visual interest to the broad grain patterns in the oak as it can become overwhelming (read boring). I carefully selected and cut boards to present the medullary rays and flecking that are present in quarter sawn wood. My planks aren't quarter sawn but paying special attention to the annual rings on the ends of the boards I cut and re-sawed the boards so the faces I wanted would be at a right angle to the rings. This doesn't create a true quarter saw but it has the same effect.

This is how she looks today, just starting on the top. All the trims are done.

  For the bar top I do have a couple of true quarter sawn boards with straight running grain but I haven't made the final decision for that yet.

  It will of course have the arm rail hand crafted in my shop to finish it off and give me a place to lean and enjoy a cold one with the bars owner once it is all done.

Should have an update on the top soon probably be accompanied by the installation in the rec room.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Great job on this! Are you sharing the plans? I'd like to build a bar like this.

  2. Thanks but there were no plans just some details drawn out full scale for the armrest. I often take measurements then transfer to a story stick for layout.