With the days getting warmer and sunnier and the nights bringing out our social side, it's never been a better time to entertain family and friends.
So I decided a rustic-style bar for the man cave would be just the ticket for the holidays. I designed it this way - rather than going with the traditional stand-behind type bar - to maximise the floor space, which is especially important if you have limited space and you want to play pool.
To make a template, place a sheet of MDF against the wall that the bar will go along, (in my case it was two walls, to create a corner bar) and, following the shape of the wall, scribe a pencil line. Then draw a rounded off shape for the two outer ends and mark a 45-degree angle for the internal corners.
Set the skill saw blade to cut just through the MDF and along the waste side of the line including the 45-degree mitres. Then, using a jigsaw, cut around the outside shapes. Now plane or sand to the pencil line as necessary.
With the template looking good when fitted together and with no gaps against the wall or the 45-degree angle, place the template on your work piece, keeping the naturally rustic edge as the showpiece. Trace and cut to shape, following the previous steps.
Remove any outer bark then sand following the natural shape of the outer edge of timber with a sanding wheel fixed to your drill. Using a belt sander, starting with an 80-grit belt, work your way down to 120 grit and finish off using a finishing sander, starting with 120-150 grit.
With the natural edges cleaned and shaped, including shaping the outer ends, place the mitred corners together as a dry run making for a tight fit. Now rebate out about 150mm on the underside on both mitres for the leg fixtures to the thickness of the bracing plate with either a hand router or chisel.
Glue using a two pot epoxy glue on both mitred joints and then fix the joints together by screwing the bracing in place.
For the legs, measure and cut two pieces of rustic timber to length (I cut mine at 1m) and cut down the centre giving you four legs, with the straight edge to go against the wall. Then follow step 4 before fixing the top to the legs to the bracing plate.
Wipe dust and grit off timber with a damp cloth. Then apply a liberal coat of floor finish with a broad brush. When it's dry, lightly rub down with wet and dry paper and clean, then apply the second coat. Repeat this process until you're happy with the finished look.
Fit the bar into place then run a length of 20x20mm beading to the underside of the top and fix to the wall. Now pre-drill on an angle at the base of the leg and fix by screwing into the bottom wall plate.
Tips • Sanding in the same direction means the wood grain won't show sanding marks.
• The more coats of floor finish you use, the deeper the finished look.
Next week I will show you how to make the top shelf for the bar so it all matches.
Rustic milled timber
Two-pot wood glue
80, 100, 120 grit sander belts
120, 150 grit sandpaper
220 wet & dry paper