Monday, August 8, 2016

Bar Revise

My rustic bar was one of the first pieces of furniture I built when I moved to Arizona.

And it has been a great bar, but as time goes on and my skills get better, this bar is beginning to feel a bit amateurish.  For starters, it was the first piece of furniture I built with a drawer.  This drawer works well, but it is too big and my measurements were also slightly off, so the face of the drawer protrudes from the face frame of the bar.

I also was not very even when attaching the piece of the face frame between both of the doors.

I was able to cover it up well enough, but if you looked closely at it you can see that its not even.

I also built a glass rack above the bar, which looks nice - but in reality I do not like it much.

The design is alright, but the fact that it hangs on hooks attached to the wall bothers me.

I also painted it an orange color that I do not particularly like - nor does it match the bar.

And there are pocket holes visible - which also bothers me.

Recently I had fixed up and re-stained my other dining room furniture to a nicer, darker color.

So I want to remake the bar and glass rack to match the other furniture.  I was originally going to scrap both the bar and rack to make something new, but I thought it would be more fun revising both, and combining them into one unit.

My sketchup plans show the new pieces in color, with the old bar and rack in white.

This new bar also does not require too much material.

Also, my girlfriend and I visited a furniture warehouse recently, and I saw some nice things from other bars that I may try to incorporate.  Such as a criss-cross wine rack as seen below.

And also an upside-down glass rack hanger.

These things I'll figure out as I'm remaking the bar.  But before I go out and buy all the material I need, I first need to fix up the existing bar.  I started first with removing the glass rack from the wall.
At the time I started this project it was June 30th and I was in no particular rush to finish this project quickly - other than to have a place to put all my glassware that is no just sitting on my dining room table.

...and disassembling it.

This was held together with mostly pocket screws, so it came apart easily for the most part.  The decorative trim on the top, plus the bottom backer had glued-on pieces - which will be difficult to remove.  The trim got destroyed while trying to remove it, but I can easily replace it.

To remove the orange paint from the pieces that came apart easily, I ran them through the surface planer.

Then I gave them a good sanding with my orbital sander.

My good mouse sander broke, so I decided to sand the curved edges with the sanding attachment on my multipurpose tool.

While I had the multipurpose tool out, I switched to a flat cutting blade and began removing the glued on pieces to the other boards.

The wood flourish was the most difficult piece to remove.

Once I could remove what I could, I ran the 2 boards through the surface planer and they turned out nice and level.

Then they too were sanded smooth.

Next it was time to reassemble the rack.  I can't use the pocket screws this time since the boards have been thinned a bit, and a pocket screw will most likely punch out the other end of the wood.  So, using corner clamps, I attached the pieces of the rack using glue and deck screws.

This time I didn't attach the bottom backer piece of wood, since I'll eventually be making these shelves a little deeper.

Next I glued plugs into each of the pocket holes...

...and applied some wood filler into all the leftover holes and imperfections.

While that dried I cut the leftover backer into strips.

I then cut the strips to size and made new trim for the top.  The trim was attached using glue and brad nails.

When the plugs and filler were dry I sanded the whole thing.

With that done, next I went out and bought some wood.  Primarily 1x4's, 1x2's...

...and a sheet of 2'x4' plywood.  But it was late and so I called it a night.

The next morning (July 1st) I brought in the bar from the kitchen.

I started by disassembling the large drawer.

Then I removed the doors and all the hardware.

I then disassembled the doors.  The wood for the doors and drawer will be used again later for this project.

Next I removed the thin plywood backer...

...and the the middle support and face frame.

I removed the middle so that I could put it back it, properly centered.

Although, this took a bit of doing.  I had to remove the bottom and parts of the face frame because they were not level.  In the image above you can see that the middle of the floor is drooping below the edge of the face frame.

So after fixing everything, I reattached the bottom and face frame and now everything is level.

Making careful measurements I marked the exact center.

Then I reattached the middle frame part...

...followed by the middle wall.

And now it's correctly centered and looking good.

For my new bar I want 2 smaller drawers instead of 1 large one, so I cut a piece of wood from the old drawer and made an addition to the face frame.

I also used leftover wood to add a track on the shelf to keep the drawers from sliding around when being opened and closed.

Next I began marking the pieces of wood I bought the evening before.

Then the pieces were cut on the miter saw.

These new pieces of wood will all be attached to both the glass rack and the bar, so many pocket holes had to be drilled.


Once all the drilling was complete, I began attaching some of the pieces to the glass rack first.

Then I attached the sides.

I also began attaching the other pieces to the back of the bar.

Then I attached the bar to the glass rack & sides to make it all one unit.

So far, so good.

Now it was time to measure and cut various pieces of wood.... begin filling up the spaces in the shelves.

Some of these new pieces will be attached to the new bar top, so it was time to trim the plywood to the correct size on the table saw.

Then the new top was attached with screws from underneath.

I measures and cut some 1x2's to make a frame around the new top, which were glued and nailed on.

With the top on, I went back to cutting wood to fill in all the new spaces.  2 pieces were cut to make curved sides.

I cut the curves out using the jigsaw.

Then they were glued and clamped to the new sides.

While that dried, I cut more 1x2's to make bottom trim... trim underneath the new top.

I also used more leftover boards, plus a 1x2 to add a shelf to the right side with a face frame.

At this point I forgot to take several pictures of me adding various supports throughout the whole unit.  The main reason for this that I received a phone call from my family stating that they would like to come to my house for the 4th of July.  Not having my bar inside my house while company is over does not sit well with me, so I began speeding up the process of making this bar.  So in the pictures I forgot to take, I used a few 2x4 pieces to strengthen the bottom corners as well as adding a foot in the back to help support the weight.

Then I added plugs to all the exposed pocket holes.

While all those things were drying I went back to the hardware store and bought some 4x4 sheets of thin plywood for the back of the unit... well as some half inch plywood for new doors.  But I will get to both of those things later.

With everything dry I began a few hours worth of sanding.

I also used my block plane to make champers on all the edges of the new wood.

Then more sanding.

Followed by even more sanding.

I finished sanding by hand, using 220 grit sandpaper.   

Next I began attaching the thin plywood to the back.

Because the width of the shelves is slightly larger than 4-feet, I had some exposed gaps in the corners.

To fix those gaps I cut thin strips of plywood on the table saw, and trimmed them to size on the miter saw.

Then I glued and nailed them to each corner.  No more gap - plus the inside edges now have a decorative trim.

I repeated the process for the storage spaces underneath.

With the back on, this bar is looking even better!

Next I cut some of the leftover pieces of wood on the miter saw to begin making drawers.

I planed each board, removing the paint and making the wood a little thinner.

Then I assembled 2 boxes using screws and glue.

And I now have 2 drawers, sans bottoms and drawer fronts.

But those will be added the next day.  Completely wiped, I moved the bar out of the way so I could fit my car in the garage and went to bed.

Early the next morning (July 2nd) I found 2 sheets of thin plywood that would work for the bottoms of the drawers.  Unfortunately I didn't have pieces that would completely fill each drawer, but this will still work.

I glued and nailed the sheets to the drawers...

...and then I trimmed the bottoms using my trim router.

The seam of the 2 boards can be seen.

So to cover it up I'll use some more leftover wood from the old bar doors.

I cut the wood to size and then glued/nailed it in place.  Now no seam can be seen, plus each drawer has a divider.

The thickness of the bottoms made the drawers a hair too big to fit into the bar, so I shaved off a bit from the sides using a block plane.

Then I decided to round the edges of the drawers on my router table.

Now the drawers fit nicely.

To find the center of the drawers (for the knobs) I drew 2 diagonal lines from each corner.  Then I drilled a hole where those lines meet.

Now it's time to make the drawer fronts.  I cut each front to size on the table saw.

Then I used the table router again to give the fronts nice, rounded edges.

Then I put the drawers in the bar, lined up the drawer fronts the way I wanted them and used my brad nailer to attach the fronts temporarily.

Then I removed each drawer and screwed the drawers to the fronts...

...and attached the knobs.

And the drawers are done!

Next I played around with making the upside-down glass hangers, like what was seen at the furniture warehouse.

These hangers will be made of some more scrap wood cut to size on the miter saw.

I cut each end of the hangers at a 45 degree angle.

4 end pieces and 6 middle pieces.

Next I drilled some pilot holes with countersinks...

...and glued and attached the end pieces.

Then one by one I attached the middle pieces.

I had a little trouble getting everything evenly centered, but it looks good nonetheless.

Because of the thin plywood I added the day before to cover the gaps in the corners, some of the hangers protruded past the shelf above it.

So I decided to use the scrap from the curved pieces I cut the day before.  I cut and sanded each piece...

...and the I glued and nailed it to the shelf, using clamps to hold it in place.

I did this for both sides...

...and for the middle I cut 2 more small curved pieces to cover the center hangers.

While all that dried, I cut the plywood I bought earlier for the doors.

Then I rounded all the edges at the router...

...and hand-sanded all the edges to be smooth.

Next I cut some long strips of thin plywood on the table saw.

I measured and cut those strips into smaller pieces.

These pieces were glued and nailed to the front of the doors to give it a nice border.

I actually cut the edges at 45-degree angles, and covered each edge with some of the leftover triangles to give it a nicer look.

Unfortunately the smallest nails I used were a little too long, and protruded out of the backs of each door.

But these were easily removed with my angle grinder.  

Lastly I added door knobs...

...and attached them to the bar with hinges.

The doors look great.

Then I added some magnetic clasps...

...and the doors now stay closed when shut.

And I think I'm done with construction!

Next I added wood filler to the many spots that needed it.

While the wood filler dried I started another small project - a bottle opener.  I originally had this opener attached to the side of the old bar, but decided I wanted it to be separate.  So I used a scrap piece of wood and drew out a shape.

I then cut out the shape with the jigs saw.

Then I sanded with my not-so-good mouse sander...

...and routed the edges.  I left the bottom area square.  This area will be for the bottle cap holder.

Then I attached the hardware...

...and constructed a small box that attaches to the bottom.

This box is smaller than the older box I had, but taller and holds more caps.

Around the time I finished the opener the wood filler had dried.  So I began sanding.  I must have sanded this thing for hours.  I used a lot of different sanders and a lot of different grit sandpapers.

Then I cleaned the whole thing thoroughly and applied stain.

In addition to stain, I also used some flat black spray paint to various areas of the bar.  

I used spray paint on several of my living room furniture upgrades, and I like the look a lot.  I did it to my new bookshelves and TV stand... end tables...

...and my coffee table.

The flat black spray paint is applied mostly around the edges.

After a few hours when everything felt dry to the touch, I moved the bar so I can fit my car in the garage.  This has got to be one of my more heavier builds.

I'm not quite sure how I'll be able to move it back into the house!

In addition to the bar, I also stained/spray painted the bottle cap opener.

Then I let everything dry overnight.  The next day I began polyurethane (July 3rd).  This could take all day and I am running out of time.

So I cheated a little.  I went out and bought many bottles of Polycrylic spray.  This stuff dries very fast and has no smell.

I sprayed the whole unit, the drawers, doors and bottle opener several times.

After each application I sanded everything with a fine grit sanding sponge and then cleaned up the dust with a tack cloth.

After a few layers of spray-on polycrylic had dried, I then brushed on a heavy layer of polyurethane.

This I had to let sit for a few hours.

But once 2-3 hours passed I sprayed on a few more layers of polycrylic.  This made everything dry faster and also helped cover up the smell of polyurethane.

Then I let it sit and fully dry for a few more hours before reattaching the doors.

For the bottle opener, I decided to attach a second opener we had - that looks like an elephant.  I screwed this into the part the holds the bottle caps.

And this thing is good to go!

At night, I brought the whole thing into the house.  This took some time and some help from my girlfriend.

But it looks great to us!

To the right of the bar I attached the bottle opener to the wall.

Then my girlfriend and I excitedly began putting everything back onto the bar.

The top left shelf holds our (one) Champagne glass, 5 martini glasses, and one Game of Thrones goblet.  Underneath it are 4 no-stem wine glasses.

The right side holes the other goblet, 4 margarita glasses and a weird glass with an angled top.  Underneath are 2 more no-stem glasses and 4 shot glasses.

The bottom right holds 4 wine glasses upside-down and 4 of my girlfriend's Guinness Glasses.

The other side holds 4 more wine glasses upside-down.

The 2 drawers neatle hold various things such as straws, bottle openers, a drink mix books, some 'bar' games and bottle stops.

Behind the bottom left door holds our liquor.
(I know, we are a little low on drinks at the moment)

On the right side we used a wine rack on the bottom to hold some wine.  On the top shelf we simply stored some empty bottles and jars, plus a beer-bottle carrying case.

And I poured all our bottle caps into the holder of the opener.

I did actually have to revise the bottle opener so that there was enough clearance for a tall bottle to use it.  I simply did this but cutting out a small dip from the front, and re-routing, staining, etc.

I don't know how, but I managed to get this done before the 4th of July.  There are a few areas to fix up, plus it will probably need a few new coats of polyurethane at some point, but it's intact and looks great!

Happy 4th of July!

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