Bar corner joint of oak - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Bar corner joint of oak

Hello everyone,

I'm new here, and have been reading a lot. I have built bar tops for customers before but not of this size or environment and I am trying to decide the joining of this corner.

The bar is 18" wide made of 3 sections to form a "L". The length of the pieces are: 6' butt to a 22.5˚ miter, next piece is 3', mitered on both sides to a 7' long section forming the "L".

The material is 3/4" flat sawn solid oak, 3 1/2" wide planks, alternating grain (smile up, smile down to minimize cupping), glued and joined using biscuits for alignment. There is an apron on the back of the bar to conceal the plywood base and the nose has a beefy apron which I am going about to add a 3'4" round over. The bar will be sitting on top of plywood base with a sheet of rosin paper between the two. I plan on drilling 1/2" holes through the plywood then fastening the bar top down with screws centered through the 1/2" holes with fender washers so the top can move. That's what I am working with. The bottom of the oak will be sealed along with the top. I haven't figured that part out yet.

The bar is going in a coffee shop. Sometimes it is really hot in there, especially when I go for coffee in the morning as the equipment heats up the space quite a lot over night when they are closed and shut off the air.

I am having a hard time deciding on a joint type for the bar corners. I was thinking about doing a blind spline. Not sure if I should glue it.

What do you think? I've read everything from gluing the outside 3" of the corners and bolting the pieces together, to just countertop bolts, biscuits (yuck). I want the corner to stay together if possible due to drink spills and hopefully pull my finish over the joints and not have it crack. I suppose that would be gluing the spline.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom

Here is a picture of where I am at:
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 07:26 PM
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I would suggest giving some details of what you are trying to do and asking the question you want answered.
"The bar is going in a coffee shop. Sometimes it is really hot in there, especially when I go for coffee in the morning as the equipment heats up the space quite a lot over night when they are closed and shut off the air."
After reading all of the post I didn't really know what the question was or cared.I just got bored and tired of trying to take everything in you were saying to answer a simple question.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
I would suggest giving some details of what you are trying to do and asking the question you want answered.
"The bar is going in a coffee shop. Sometimes it is really hot in there, especially when I go for coffee in the morning as the equipment heats up the space quite a lot over night when they are closed and shut off the air."
After reading all of the post I didn't really know what the question was or cared.I just got bored and tired of trying to take everything in you were saying to answer a simple question.
Welcome to the forum.
That's a little uneededly harsh dude. Guy was trying to give all the pertinent details to the project at hand so a good answer could be given that applies to his situation. No need to be so rude because you didn't care to read

To the op: personally I would try a splined miter, but I don't know how well that would hold up through the heat swings and drinks spilled. I'd imagine properly done and with a good finish the join shouldn't really tear itself apart, but I don't have much experience in that area

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post #4 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 09:45 PM
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If it can be assembled first and still delivered (in one piece) vs. if it can only be delivered in sections and then has to be assembled 'on the job' will determine how to best do the joints.

What you got so far looks great.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 10:45 PM
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I made a bartop that was from QSWO and mitered at a 90 (45 x 45). I used biscuits and pocket screws and West System Epoxy to glue the joint. Finished both sides of the bar equally to keep it balanced.


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post #6 of 11 Old 09-19-2014, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
I would suggest giving some details of what you are trying to do and asking the question you want answered.

If you had actually read the original post, you would have seen that he supplied plenty of the details of what he is attempting to do, and specifically asked what the best way to join the mitered corners is considering the information provided.

One critical missing detail, as Oneal pointed out, is whether the top can be built permanently into one piece and still fit thru the door/into the space or if it will have to be assembled on site.

If it can be built solid in the shop, I'd use a blind spline in the miter, glued in with Titebond III. I'd be sure that the lumber is as dry as you can get it before finishing. This way the heat buildup doesn't lead to excessive moisture loss, which can lead to shrinking and joint failure. Finally I would use a poured on 2 part epoxy for the finish, and apply finish equally thick to all sides & edges. No film finish is a perfect vapor barrier, but epoxy is pretty damn good & very durable.

Also, I'd be sure to make the spline(s) by taking crosscuts from the widest board I had available, and resawing to the desired thickness. This way the grain in the spline runs perpendicular to the joint, not parallel to it. This will help keep the joint from pulling apart.

Just my 2 cents worth.


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post #7 of 11 Old 09-20-2014, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
I would suggest giving some details of what you are trying to do and asking the question you want answered.
"The bar is going in a coffee shop. Sometimes it is really hot in there, especially when I go for coffee in the morning as the equipment heats up the space quite a lot over night when they are closed and shut off the air."
After reading all of the post I didn't really know what the question was or cared.I just got bored and tired of trying to take everything in you were saying to answer a simple question.
Welcome to the forum.
Ha! I read that yesterday when you posted it. I didn't take any offense, I thought it was funny actually, being friday and the end of a long week, well, at least it was a long week for me, I could see the boredom of exhaustion of a long week.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-20-2014, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! I was just trying to be full disclosure with my post about the project so we all knew what we were working with.

The bar will be assembled in my shop and finished there too then transported to the site for an after-hours installation.

So the blind spline it is. I actually feel good about it too now that a few have suggested it to me. I am just setting up my guide to cut my miters and have a 1/4" kerf slot cutter for my router with a bearing which will set the depth at 3/8" deep. So the spline will be decent in size.

As far a finish goes, I'm not crazy about epoxy. I know a lot of people dig it, but it just looks so plastic-like. I know it is highly durable, but the look isn't for me and I never liked applying it either because it is so messy. I was considering system three's spar varnish, which is similar to epoxy. The shop owner said that is what he would like me to use. I've never used it before but it seems like a good product. 4-6 hrs curing time, thinnable. Apparently another patron which is also a woodworker turned him on to it. It has uv protection in it too. I suppose I could sway the owner to something, but I really don't want to go epoxy.

Thanks again for the replies and warm welcome!

All the best,

Tom
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-20-2014, 07:08 PM
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I've never used that particular type of spar varnish. Please do update us and let us know what you think about it. Spar varnish is not an easy finish to get perfect.


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post #10 of 11 Old 09-21-2014, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update:

The spline pocket


Splined and joined:

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post #11 of 11 Old 09-25-2014, 05:11 PM
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Looks good so far man


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bar top, corner joint, solid oak

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