I have been asked by the local minor league baseball team to design
and provide a materials estimate for a bar to be built at the
ballpark. It needs to be about 24 feet long and weatherproof.
Nothing too fancy. Just a place for folks to hang out and hoist a few
barley sodas. Can anyone provide asistance? I need specs for height
of footrail and bar top as well as width of top and what materials to
use. Money is a concern for materials. This bar is to be built with
volunteer labor. There will be not built ins for this bar. Service
will be provided from portable beer coolers. Any info will be
I'm sure someone here will provide good dimensions, but to get a feel
for them, how about going to an existing bar and measuring what they
have. Then put your elbows on the bar, foot on the rail and see how
it feels. If you explain what you want to do and maybe buy a drink,
I'm sure they won't object. Oh, yeah, measure the stools too. Maybe
they don't sell that height at the price you want to pay. (I doubt
that, but it's possible and this would be the kind of mistake people
don't notice until the bar is built.)
It will have to be very sturdy to last well at all under those conditions.
All wood would be PT and all metal, Galvanized. Below for a fairly standard
'walk up and prop your feet, standing bar'. Add stools if desired.
Frame would be either sistered 2x4 or may want to go even to 4x6? For ease,
I would sister 2x4 with metal (galvanized) banding straps. To make it
pretty 'tip proof' you want a fairly substantial depth but you will need
that for the potential kegs anyways. Nominally look at about 3.5ft tall,
with a depth of 32 inches. That should be nicely stable. Can go deeper.
This will make the height for a keg and it's pump and leave room later to
run conduit with electrical at the 'back' of the inside. (beer chiller).
Meantime it would hold coolers with ice easily.
Build frame in 8 foot sections then attach (3 sections). Inside each
section, make 1 4ft long shelf rack with a depth of 2ft from the top.
Things will be stacked there. The bottom shelf under will be handy for
plastic cups and whatnot while above it, ice coolers and such can go. The
other 4ft inside, make a sturdy bottom (may even want to just use cement
cinderblocks or thick paving stones) to support a sizable heavy keg and
leave room for the attachment pump.
The reason for the 4ft shelf inside is to add a strongback post to the
middle all the way to the top to support it so you wont sag. 2x4 again
there. (yes, you will have slightly less than actually 4 ft on each inside
'cabinet' due to the 2x4). Be sure to run 3 of these, back, middle and
front, across that 32 inch or so depth.
Once the frame is built, nail 1x6 PT wood (can use house siding wood) to
sides and 'front'. For the top, you may want to see if you can get some
precut formica type material made for wet outdoor use but failing that,
heavy PT plywood such as used in roofing, will work. The supports under
will keep sagging to minimal over time.
One small trick. You'll need a level. You want a faint slope to the top so
rain runs off. With a 32 inch 'top' you can add as much as 1/4 inch 'thin
slat wood' under one end to make that if the ground is dead even (such as on
a poured cement base). You didnt mention the footing (slab or bare ground).
I would actually make this with 2 sections together then make a V with the
other one so folks can mingle across the bar better, but space to be used
may dictate it be one long bar.
Oh foot step height? Gonna vary with the height of the people. 6T by 4D
inches is a good one. Easy way is if you can find some railroad ties and
just attach them along the front.
Now, last step will be to seal the whole thing. Do this before the top goes
on if 'formica' and after if plywood. Find a buddy with a paint sprayer and
go to town with a thick plastic-like water sealer in a darker (brown will
look nice) color. You want to keep the weather out of the unit for years to
come I assume. This step is critical if so. Otherwise, it will fall apart
in just 3 ;-) Consider a marine supplies store and the paint used for the
hulls and exterior wood of ships.
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