Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
First post. I’ve always had a dream to design and build a bar, one worthy of handing down as an heirloom. Drawing inspiration from old Victorian and English artisanship, I admired how the British treasure their woodworking history. You can see many examples of this in the ancient churches and pub’s throughout England. Although never having visited England, it is my heritage, and it gives me a sense of continuance.
I spent one year purchasing materials and designing this piece, which is actually 13 pieces that connect to each other with screws, and dry dowels, to complete a transportable bar measuring 84”H x 78”D x 118” L . It is made of solid walnut, maple, walnut and maple veneers, Hungarian ply, and Wiggle board. The finish coat is a dark cherry. The doors, trim, bar top and rails are in solid walnut, and the plywood framing trimmed with solid maple.
All curved surface’s were created using two to three layers of ¼”Wiggle board laminated (yellow glue) together in a form. They are veneered both sides with a paper backed maple veneer using contact cement, and topped with a solid walnut trim. The curved doors also have a hardwood trim to give rigidity and strength, and to allow acceptance for the hinges.
The bar top, constructed from a double layer of ¾” plywood glued and screwed flat, with a book matched walnut veneer top. The Elephant bar rail, which was personally the most rewarding piece I made, was coved (top side) on the table saw including the solid round corners. Clamping two ¾” sheets of plywood (cut to the inside and outside radius of the bar rail) to the table saw to use as a fence. Raising the blade 1/16th each pass. The bar rail rises up while passing through the blade, so I used a riser block to allow that transition to happen smoothly. The underside of the bar rail was done with the router and finished with a spoke shave and cabinet scrapers. The bar top also has an acrylic “mirror coat” finish.
The back bar mimics the front bar in design, complete with rosettes made on the drill press and expanded with a router and template guides. The fluted pilasters made with 1/2” round nose bit, sit on 7” plinth blocks made on the TS. The cupboards doors are a five piece solid walnut raised panel construction, complete with European hinges.
I designed the upper showcase around the curve of the bent glass doors, because glass molds are very costly to make. Finding a mold with a close radius to what I wanted was not that difficult.
Canopy: The main idea for the canopy was to give space for glassware, house some pot lights, display a few things and most importantly, marrying the front bar to the back bar, an important element in woodworking!
The canopy is built in two sections. There is a hidden seam down the middle amongst the raised panel rails, and held tightly together with six counter bolts. The subtle lighting inside the canopy illuminates the stained glass and really brings out that old English pub feeling. I turned the two lamps in February. I thought it would give a nice added touch.
Cheers! Tony Brampton, Ontario.