Building a Bar

My house came with a makeshift counter area in the back of the main room of the basement. It had a painted floor, so I started calling it the bar area after we moved in. The counter area had space for fermenting beer, I added a fridge for lagering and serving. This was nice, but I've longed for a traditional bar where neighbors would come to sit and have a cocktail or beer.

My neighbor Jim has a cool set of tools, and is a underemployed carpenter. Time to build a bar! He took some measurements, asked a bunch of questions, made some proposals, then we shopped at Home Depot to start buying stuff. He build the basic frame in his garage, I rolled it home to my garage. It needed to be disassembled and transported to the basement, then reassembled. We installed it, then the real work commenced.

Here's Jim working on fitting the new section of the new bar to match the old counter area. Lots of leveling and measuring. The bar is starting to take shape, and you can see we've applied a few coats of polyurethane.

I saw these counters at Home Depot, and I thought it would look great. We made a U-Shape by combining the old counter area with the newly built section. These damn counters were warped, and it took a lot of time and effort to get them to fit snug, even, and level. Once everything was locked, nailed, and glued into place we saw that it was worth all of the work we put into it. They look damn fine, especially with the perfect miter cut Jim made to mate up two sections.

Jim pays great attention to detail. Here he is adding trim pieces. He saw all the little things I didn't notice, but when I stand back and look at it you can see the complete and total attention to the details. This is why I consider Jim a true professional.

Finally the bar-top itself is installed, and ready for poly. I'm planning on several layers of poly to get a smooth finish. My plan is to layer a coat every day while I set my toddler down for his nap. Allowing a whole day to dry before I sand and reapply.

Here's the bar completed. I have 4 carboys of beer in various stages of fermentation and waiting to be kegged. I never gave up any of the old counter space, and I added 8 feet of new counters. I purchased these chairs 4 years earlier at a lawn sale. It was too good of a deal to pass on.


A view from inside my bar. I still have more pictures to hang and nick knacks to set up. Things are really taking shape. As of this writing I've hosted a couple of parties for neighbors.


Even the boy likes the new bar!