I am designing / quoting on a bar for a client. For the top of the front
bar he wanted a solid oak panel 31" X112" with a solid oak arm rail
around three sides. I mentioned that because of seasonal RH changes that
we could have a problem with affixing the arm rail to the two ends of
the bar. So we settled on a VC plywood top. As my local supplier will
only bring in a minimum order of ten sheets at a time of 4 X 10 ft
plywood, I have a problem. If I use two pieces from 4 x 8 sheets I think
it will look, well crappy.
So maybe I am back to laying up a solid top and grooving the arm rail
in those places where I screw it to the top. Similar to attaching a
solid top to a table apron.
Any ideas on how I could make the plywood idea look good or any other
ideas. Thanks for your help. JG
How about an inlay of something that contrasts
with the oak - like maple or even a thin brass
strip. Maybe even oak strips that are stained
differently. This could be repeated along the
top so that it looks like it was designed in and
not just a way of joining two sheets of ply.
In my cousin's old restaurant she has a front bar made from solid Oak and
its over 20' long. It's made almost like a workbench. The exception is the
Oak pieces that make up the bar are 3" - 4" wide and a full 6/4 thick but
none of the lengths are shorter than 4' or longer than 6'.
It has an arm rail that wraps around the front and is secured by dowels that
went through the bar into the upper part of the arm rail from underneath.
(They are not plugs, I had to rebuild and refit one damaged section.) The
dowels were 3/4" in diameter and only glued into the lower part of the arm
rail. Think clevis pins. Its over 100 years old and there is not a crack
in it anywhere.
The rail is attached solidly to the front (ok) and the sides of the bar (?). So
there is no provision for expansion (contraction) of the top? Sorry Dave, there
must be something I am missing? Thanks, JG
The holes in the actual bar top are maybe 1". With the 3/4" dowel pin
spaced every 30" +- It make the arm rail very secure and allows for
movement. The end arm rails are mitered and attached the same way.
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