Bar Building Blog

New Addition to our Curved Bar Rail Molding Line

At Hardwoods Incorporated we’ve recently added two new curved bar rail molding corners. Pictured below are our BR158 – 135 degree radiuses available in a 6” or 12” version, suitable for small commercial bars, home bars and drink rails. We make these bar rail corners from a solid block of hardwood precision machined to match our BR158 Bar rail straight lengths and 90 degree radius corners.

BR158-135 Degree Radius

Our 135 Degree Radius Corners often generate questions from our clients; check out our FAQs to learn more about these radius corners.

Bar Radius Corners w/ 135 Degree Radius

 

 

 

 

 

Also recently added is our BR475-S–135 Degree Radius Corners available in both 6″ and 12″ versions. This “bar top rail” is known as the original “Chicago Bar Rail Molding” used on Commercial bar tops, home bar tops and speakeasies back int he day. We make this 2 piece bar rail molding with a skirt up front giving it a curvy more massive look custom machined to match with our 90 degree radius corners and straight bar rail sections.

Bar Radius CornersBar Rail, Bar Radius Corners & Other Bar Building Supplies

 

We invite you to visit our Bar Building Resources page where you will find Bar Top Cutting Instructions for installation of our entire radius corner line along with finishing instructions, wood selections and helpful information to DIY your home or commercial bar.
Thank you for considering Hardwood Incorporated.

Save

Save

Save

Save

New Addition to our DIY Bar Building Products!

New item just added to our DIY bar building products; 21″ wide Main bar top kits tongue and groove offered in 6′, 8′ and 10′ lengths. This item can be used with or without our glass rail and drip edge option for a wider bar top surface. Suitable for commercial bar tops and home bar tops alike.

bartopkit

Combine various lengths for our 21” wide or 16” wide main bar top kits to make a continuous bar top of any length by simply alternating the joints. See our “How to assemble and install bar top kits” for details.

bartopkit2

Be sure to visit our “Bar building resources” for helpful tips on building and finishing your home or commercial bar.

 

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated

The Hardwoods Incorporated Team

Save

Save

How to Assemble & Install Main Bar Top Kits

Remove the bar top parts from the box and lay them out on your work bench to familiarize yourself with how they go together. Prepare the tools needed to complete the job; a drill, drill bits and countersink, 1-1/4” x #6 or #8 wood screws, wood glue, bar and C clamps and a clean damp cloth. Determine if you want to cut and fit all the planks first or cut, fit and install each plank as you go; whatever way is easier for you.

Next, miter and or cut to size the 6” wide plank and place it 1-9/16” from the front edge of the bar top using C clamps to hold it in place. Trace the perimeter of this plank with a pencil and remove it. Then drill and counter sink holes through the plywood sub top in a zigzag pattern about ¾” inside your pencil mark, remove any wood chips or debris from the sub top and install this plank using 1-1/4” x #6 or #8 wood screws only (NO GLUE).

Cut to length and or miter the 5” wide center plank, tap it into place to check fitment and repeat the drilling process described above. When installing this plank run a small bead of wood glue on top of the tongue only and tap it back into place with a rubber mallet or hammer. Use a small bar clamp across the planks to draw tight any gaps in the seam and install using 1-1/4” x #6 or #8 wood screws as previously described.

Now you are ready to install the third plank and optional fourth plank – if required – by repeating the same process. Once you have done this use the clean damp cloth to remove the excess glue and let it dry several hours. When the glue is dry, sand clean with a random orbit or vibrating sander to remove excess glue finger prints and debris.

You are now ready to install your bar rail molding, inside edge trim or glass rail and drip edge and begin to finish the wood bar top. Please refer to our “How to finish your bar rail molding” for tips on finishing.

It is also possible to attach the bar top planks from the top by counter sinking screws in the planks and installing matching wood plugs over the screw heads. (click on images to enlarge)

1 bar top2 bar top

 

 

 

 

 

If making a 10’ or longer bar top, use multiple kit combinations to achieve the required length by alternating the joints of the planks as shown below. You can use bisquet joints in the ends of the planks where they meet as an option. For customers requiring a wider main bar top or for those not using the glass rail and drip edge option, we offer our main bar top kits with an extra 5” wide plank for a 21” width as shown below. (click on images to enlarge)

3 bar top4 bar top

Save

Save

Bar Rail Molding 101

At Hardwoods Incorporated we’ve been making our bar rail moldings and matching radius bar rail corners to the same design specifications for over 40 years. Our double notch bar rail system accepts (2) layers of ¾” bar top material sandwiched one on top of another for a solid 1-1/2” thick bar top providing stability and strength. (As shown) All of our Chicago style bar rail moldings BR475, BR550, BR650, BR475-3CM and BR475-S lay at a perfect comfortable angle displaying their 3 dimensional qualities ideal for use on home bars, commercial bars and pub rails.

Bar Diagrambr-475s-profile-to-scale

 

 

When choosing a bar rail molding it is important to consider the bar top overhang of 8-1/2” to 10” which is required to accommodate bar stools and people of all sizes to sit comfortably at the bar. Bar rails with a single notch are designed to be installed on a layer of ¾”plywood or lumber making for a very thin bar top especially at the 10” overhang. Bar rail moldings that require “air space” or “filler parts” between layers of bar top material for installation entail a lot of extra work and material. Bar rail moldings that are pre-finished can be problematic as well especially when attempting miter cuts and the unavoidable cleanup of excess glue and sanding of the miter joints.

Bar Top, Drip Edge, Bar Rail & More
When using a solid slab of any thickness for your bar top our bar rail moldings are easily adaptable by either routering a notch in the slab or installing a mini sub top as shown below.

Bar PartsBar Building Parts

 

 

When Installing and finishing our bar rail moldings be sure to visit our bar building resources page where you will find our bar rail installation video, our step by step bar rail finishing guide and other helpful hints on building your home or commercial bar yourself.

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated.

Save

Bar Top Wings | Hardwoods Incorporated

Bar top wings are blocks of solid hardwood made from the same wood type as the bar top and bar rail molding and are used at the junction where the glass rail, drip edge and bar rail molding meet. This situation usually occurs at the end of the bar top or entrance to go behind the bar. They are 1-1/2″ thick x 4-1/2″ wide and 12″ long cut on a 45 degree angle on one end as shown.

Bar Top WingsThe wings are easily attached to the edge of the bar top with bisquets and glue spanning the lamination between the plywood sub top and main bar top. A small filler piece of plywood is required 3/4″ x 2″ x 12″ as shown below.

Bar Top Wings & Bar Parts from Hardwoods IncorporatedBar Top Wings & Bar Parts from Hardwoods Incorporated

New Bar Top Wings from Hardwoods Incorporated

Once attached, the glass rail and drip edge molding are cut at a 45 degree angle and scribed into the angled edge of the wings making a nice clean finished look. Since there are two wings to a set the other wing is used where the bar top attaches to the wall or on the opposite open end of the bar top making for a more balanced look to the glass rail, drip edge and finished bar top.

Bar Top Wings in Poplar, Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany & WalnutBar Top Wings in Poplar, Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany & Walnut

Bar Top Wings are available now in poplar, oak, maple, cherry, mahogany and walnut for timely shipment nationwide. Be sure to visit the Hardwoods Incorporated website Bar Top Parts page to view everything needed to make your DIY home bar or commercial bar top.

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated for all of your bar building needs.

The Hardwoods Incorporated Team

Save

Save

Save

New Bar Rail Moldings & Parts by HWI

We recently launched our new website and webstore which includes a few new bar rail offerings for home and commercial bar building projects.

Pictured below is our

BR475-3CM Bar Rail Molding

BR 475-3cm

BR 475-3cm Diagram

We make our BR475-3CM bar rail molding with a 3CM top notch to fit over standard thickness granite or any other material suitable for a bar top including hardwoods, tile or metal. A 3/4 bottom notch is provided to receive the plywood sub top under the granite necessary for attaching the bar rail. BR475-3CM is available online in our standard wood species and can be customized in a variety of imported and unusual wood grains by request please Contact Us for a quote.

Pictured below is our newest addition to our bar rail offerings:

135 Degree Radius Corners

We now make our entire line of bar rail radius corners in a 135/45 degree version for softening up the corners of your home bar or commercial bar top. Available online in our stock wood types and customizable in most imported and figured wood species. They match up seamlessly with our BR475, BR550, BR475-S and BR158 straight bar rail sections and are pre-trimmed ready to install. Please visit our Bar Building Resources page to download our bar top cutting instructions for radius corner installation pdf.

Drip Edge 3 Packs

drip edge
Drip Edge & Glass Rack Molding

Drip edge now available online in 3 piece bundles milled in our standard wood offerings oak, cherry, poplar, walnut and mahogany; use these on the edge of your glass rail molding as shown to prevent liquids from spilling over the bar or on any ¾” thick surface to trim off the edge. Save on shipping verses single piece purchase.

We are always working on ways to improve the DIY experience for our customers, please visit our newly added FAQ’S page and all the links on bar building resources and Contact Us with any questions or custom requests you may have.

Thank you for considering Hardwoods Incorporated.

Save

Finishing Your Bar Rail Molding

PRE-FINISHING YOUR BAR RAIL MOLDING PRIOR TO INSTALLATION IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

Once you have viewed our installation video and have properly installed the bar rail molding we suggest the following steps.

  1. Mask off and protect the area where the bar rail meets the main bar top and begin the sanding process with 100 grit sand paper moving on up to 180 grit. Higher grits of sandpaper may be used but keep in mind the higher the grit and polish on the wood the less the stain will penetrate. Natural/clear finishes are not affected as much. Remember to keep a cut off piece of bar rail to sand and finish as a test.
  2. Once you have sanded the bar rail and inspected it for left over glue, cross scratches and finger oils be sure to wipe it off using a clean t shirt type cloth to remove all dust and debris. Using compressed air is not recommended as it can add condensation/oil residue to the wood. If you are staining your bar rail a good quality lightly pigmented stain is suggested to be brushed on and the excess wiped off once the desired effect is achieved. Remember to allow the stain to completely dry 24 to 48 hours prior to top coating.
  3. If you are brushing on your finish we recommend a good quality spar varnish or polyurethane as a bar rail finish. Once you are sure the stain is dry, try a small amount of your finish on the test piece and if the stain is not being picked up by the finish coat then you are ready to top coat the bar rail molding. Three to four good coats should be sufficient. If you want to go the extra mile then you can brush on 2 coats of high gloss finish first to get a good build coat and then add 2 or 3 coats of semi-gloss or satin on top to reduce the gloss. You can use the same process when clear coating without stain.
  4. If you are spraying your finish then we suggest using a conversion varnish or a catalyzed lacquer in either case be sure the stain is dry prior to top coating. Several build coats using a high gloss sheen can help build a film that can then be top coated with 3 to 4 coats of satin or semi-gloss.
  5. For all finishing including epoxy resin types be sure to read and follow all material safety data sheets for appropriate handling and disposal of these materials and their bi-products.

How to Build a Bar – Standard Dimensions, Specs & Resources

What are standard bar dimensions? How tall is a standard bar? How wide should you make a bar top? How do you build a home bar? How do you install Chicago bar rail? How do you cut and install curved radius bar rails for corners?

These are the questions we receive all day, every day by wood workers, architects and contractors building home bars and commercial bars alike. Hardwoods Incorporated is now introducing our Bar Building Resources. Visit our new Bar Building Resource Center to learn

Standard Bar Dimensions

Our team has over 40 years of experience in actually building both commercial and home bars, back bars, pub rails and related interior construction. All of our high quality hardwood bar rails, bar parts, and trim are milled here in house by our professionals using high quality lumber. We are passionate about our work and excited to be your authority on building home bars, bar rail, parts & trim.

How to Install Bar Rail

How to Install Bar Rail

A short guide to installing Chicago style bar rail: The tools we will be using to fit and install the bar rail molding are a drill, glue, screws, spoil board, biscuit joiner, and biscuits. The sub top should extend out beyond the main bar top 1 and 9/16″ as shown. We first set up the spoil board to hold the bar rail up in position while cutting. We set the miter box angle at 45 degrees and position the bar rail on the spoil board to make the first cut. Next, we reset the miter box to the opposite 45 degree angle and position the other piece of bar rail for another cut.After making both cuts we check the pieces for proper fitment and make any adjustments, if needed. Now we can drill pilot hols every 12 inches in our sub-top. We decided to make a biscuit joint on the bar rail miter for added strength, but this step is optional. Now we are apply glue to the sub-top and to the top notch of the bar rail. Make sure to brush ou the glue on the sub-top and on the bar rail for a closer fit. After applying the glue we use clamps with blocking to hold the bar rail in position. Finally, using the pilot hols that we drilled earlier, we can secure the bar rail to the bar top from underneath with screws. After some light sanding and applying a finish, the bar top will be ready to use. For more information and to purchase par rail, please call (301) 665-9505 or check out our bar rail store.

 

Save