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I would like to build a molded bar rail (see pic), but I'm not sure how to get it done. It looks like it is cut out of a 2x8, and I can find some of the radiuses, but I am having a hard time figuring out how to do the big swoop in the middle. Does anybody have an idea how to do this? I figure for the price I paid for this in my current house, I should be able to buy some bits and make it myself.
 

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My suggestion would be to draw the profile in the end of your work and use a table saw to remove wood by varying the angle and blade height.
It is a time consuming task. Start in the middle to keep the ends supported to the table. Finish up with a belt then palm sanders.

Come to think of it Rockler.com sounds pretty good too.

Nailgunner7
 

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For my current house, I bought the moulding from a local mill for about $15/ft for Maple. For the house I am designing now, the bar will be bigger, so I could easily be looking at $300 for the rail. I just figured if I could pick up the right bits/blades to build it for about the same price, I get the rail I want, and have the bits/blades left over to use for other things.

As far as the table saw trick, that would work, but I don't think it is done that way. On the bar I have now, I had to sand out the mill marks, so I know they didn't use a table saw.

Attached is the bar I built in my current house.
 

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Rockler carries a book entitled "Table Saw Techniques" by Roger Cliffe that describes a jig/setup you can make for creating the radius in crown moulding with a table saw. Those would have similar cuts as your project.
 

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I would suggest investigating a wood working shop that deals with very high quality wood and guarantees the quality that you'll get. I'd prefer going with a smaller place than a big outfit like Rockler as you might have a little more personal experience with attention to detail. You might have someone locally that you know of or there are places that will ship your bar rail to you - sometimes for free if you order enough.

There's a little place by me that sells wood bar rail that also offers free shipping. Rino's is pretty good.
 

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I would like to build a molded bar rail (see pic), but I'm not sure how to get it done. It looks like it is cut out of a 2x8, and I can find some of the radiuses, but I am having a hard time figuring out how to do the big swoop in the middle. Does anybody have an idea how to do this? I figure for the price I paid for this in my current house, I should be able to buy some bits and make it myself.

Bar rails are fairly easy to make in your shop. The one pictured below is made from 8/4 Red Oak, and sized for a small residential application.
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The "swoop" as you call it, is actually a cove cut. The width and depth of the cut can be varied by the angle of feed and the blade height. Have a look at THIS SITE. On that site there is a cove calculator chart that you can click on to enlarge. The overall width of the rail can be adjusted with the type of cove you cut.

As for the rounded edges, they can be done with a radius router bit. You would start with your rectangular stock and cut the mounting rabbet on the bottom edge. You can get by with the single rabbet. Then you can run the radius bit on the top and bottom edges. For 8/4 stock a 3/4" radius bit will work fine. You could do it with a hand held router with a radius bit with a bearing, and doing it that way you can set up the lengths to be routed and just walk down the board as you rout it. You get a pretty smooth pass this way. Figure on at least 3 passes, maybe 4, depending on the specie. The multiple passes are depth graduated and the last pass is just a skim pass to clean up.

If you do it on a table router, it's hard to get a smooth pass with the shifting of hands and taking steps, while holding the stock to the fence. Actually, if you had a shaper with a power feeder, bar rails are fast and easy.






 

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I bought some bar mouldings from a local mill shop. How do you cut the mitters. 90 degree corner, cut at 45 it is way off been playing with many cuts but still not close?
 

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I bought some bar mouldings from a local mill shop. How do you cut the mitters. 90 degree corner, cut at 45 it is way off been playing with many cuts but still not close?
Set the rail on the table of the miter saw, propped with a spacer like it would sit on the bar top. Set the cut for 45 degrees.






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I always thought that a bar rail was the thing that you rested your foot on. So I "googled" it. I guess I was thinking of a bar foot rail.

Anyway, there are many suppliers online that sell the bar rail if you do not want to go to the trouble of making it.

George
 

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Cut the concave on the table saw

Google:
Cove cut Table saw

Do the concave cut first.

Cut the large convex radii with hand planes and finish with a stroke sanding tool you make in the profile you want about 6" long to stick abrasive paper to or you can make up a card scraper to do the job too.
 
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