Bar furniture from Pine wood

Hi there,
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?
Thank you.
Albert de Pauly
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Albert wrote:

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. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Dear Ed,
Yes we have many support under them.
But we are concern about the correct wood choise.
Thanks,
albert
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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.
    Bridger
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Hi, Albert,
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 American clears.
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.
Proost!
Frank

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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.
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At least the softer wood will save some foreheads from bruising.
snipped

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Dents can maybe avoided by placing hard wood on top? But then you have differecences in colors, after finishing, I think.
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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 this.
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.
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Stephen,
Thanks,
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?
Albert
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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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