I would like to have some advise about pine wood.
I wonder if it is possible to build a large bar for in the clubhouse
length between 5 - 8 meters from Pine wood.
In Holland we call it Grenen. Is it strong enough or might it crack?
Who can give me more advice? Or a URL where I can get more advice?
Albert de Pauly
The question is one of design of structure and spans. If you want to go 8
meters with no support you will have problems, but most bars have plentyof
support under them.
no problem with the wood cracking, assuming that it's properly dried
before construction. pine is on the softer end of the range, so there
could be problems with dinging or denting depending how rambunctious
your drinkers are.
if this is a do it yourself project, I'd recommend you find an
experienced woodworker to look over your plans and make sure you're
not about to make any silly mistakes.
Here in UK, many bars are made from pine. I'm refurbishing one at the
moment. We're keeping the original bar top which is about 7cm thick and the
panelled front which is made from elm. The original under-bar arrangement
of shelves and support for the beer engines wasn't too well designed from a
glass storage standpoint, and the owner had hygiene concerns about all the
odd spaces and cracks. I'm building the new undercarriage in the shop in
modular form. One of the problems is that I need to rip out the old bar and
install the new undercarriage, refit the old bar top and front and the owner
needs to get it all plumbed in between closing time at 10.30 on a Sunday
night and opening time on Monday at 11.30 am! Hopefully the modular
construction will allow me to simply slot the 3 parts in place and screw
them down, but I expect that when I remove the old bar, the floor will have
a few surprises for me.
As for the choice of wood, pine is very variable. Fast-grown stuff from
southern latitudes has very wide spacing between the rings and is very light
and soft - this is the sort of stuff which is normally supplied in UK by
builder's suppliers as redwood or red deal in 5th and 6th grades; you can
easily push your thumbnail into it. Slow grown stuff from northern
latitudes has the rings much more closely-spaced and will be heavier, harder
and stronger. Our old bar top is old-growth stuff.
If I were doing a first-class job, I would select timber from North America,
Scandinavia, or Russia, in that order. As for grades, here in UK our
softwood is graded from 1-6, with 6 being the lowest quality. There is one
higher grade which is "clears" which means that it is clear of knots above a
certain diameter. Normally, grades 1-4 are not sorted and are sold as
"Unsorted" This means that if I wanted the very best, I would go for North
However, some people like the knotty pine look, and if so, you'd go for the
unsorted - it's also less expensive. It's quite difficult these days to
obtain wide boards in UK, so you'll probably end up having to joint several
boards together to obtain the bar width. This is actually quite a good
thing from a stability viewpoint.
Even the very best pine is still relatively soft, and your bar will
inevitable pick up some battle-scars, as has our one. Since the pub is 300
years old, I think that this simply adds to the character of the place.
However, if your club bar is a modern, chrome-and-glass-type place, you
probably wouldn't want a scarred bar, so a harder wood in a lighter colour,
such as maple or beech, might be a better choice for you.
Hope this helps in your decision - let us know how it goes.
Crack? Pine does not crack any more than other woods. Cracking
occurs if a lot of cross-grain distance is restricted. How well pine
(or any other wood) holds up will depend on conditions and the finish
applied. Pine is a little soft for a bar as it will get dented and
banged up over time.
Albert.. here is where you want to get someone experienced to look at your
design. simply laminating one type of wood to another is going to cause you
problems. Wood moves (expands and contracts with as the humidity changes).
This actuall happens in very predictable ways, and good design acommodates
If you laminate different species and they move at significantly different
rates, you may either end up with some splitting in the weaker or more
brittle layer, or cupping.
That I did not think of that.
So you can only laminated let say mahogany onto cheap mahogany wood, and not
onto pine or others?
Because of differrent extention rate?
But what about cheap tables which are laminated with plastic or something like
that. That looks like wood?
Like expansion rates? Ever look at plywood? It's normal practice to
cross-laminate even with thicker veneers.
Helped a product of the old German apprentice system with a couple bars, and
with the finish thickness and toughness he selected, they might as well have
been laminate. Laminates survive because they use flexible bonding
material, and most people use plywood or particle material as a substrate.
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