Bar Building Blog

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.

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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.

 

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The Original Chicago Bar Rail

Are you building a bar, installing and counter in your store, shelving in your home, or finally finishing that man cave? Then you need to know about  BR 475S Chicago Bar Rail!

BR 475-s Chicago Bar Rail made from Walnut

BR 475S Bar Rail is the original style of Chicago Bar Rail. This bar rail style originally appeared in taverns, corner bars, VFW’S, American Legions, firehouses, and pubs throughout the USA in the early 40’s & 50’s. This bar rail style includes a shirt/apron that gives it a much thicker curvy appearance. During that era of bar building the Chicago bar rails were usually made from mahogany and included lots of inside and outside radius corners in their designs giving home bars and commercial bars a finished, custom look.

Commercial bar made with our newest Chicago Bar rail design BR 475S featuring custom radius corners in red oak

The art of making bar rails and curved bar rails that are both appealing and comfortable to sit in front of while enjoying your favorite finger food and beverage has come a long way. Some designs are just cheaper to make in both straight and radius corners paying no attention to grain direction, comfort, or ergonomics. Others, such as our BR 475S, BR475, and BR550, are old-school, time-tested designs that have been in our bar building family for over 60 years with a few minor refinements. These designs are more difficult than others to make and require the use of thicker better quality materials such as our in stock BR 475 & BR 550 6” & 12” radius corners which are machined out of a solid block of 3” thick solid lumber! These are cut out on a 45 degree angle so that the grain wraps around the corner with no glue joints.

BR 475-S Radius Corners

Over the years the use of curved bar rails, original Chicago bar rails, and quality time tested designs disappeared to make way for cheaper, value engineered products except at Hardwoods Incorporated. Here you can still get the original Chicago bar rail in 4 different designs along with matching radius corners. Our bar rail straights and radius corners are in stock in oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, poplar, and maple and available for prompt delivery or pick up Maryland facility. These same bar rails are also available in custom runs milled in exotic and figured wood species such as wenge, leopardwood, purple heart, zebrawood Sapele, Bubinga, Curly Maple, and more. Call 301-665-9505 today for a custom quote!

Diagram of Bar with Drip Edge

We also stock other bar rail, parts and trim such as the mixing tray on the bar tenders side of the bar used to prepare drinks for customers prior to serving this is known as the glass rail (Picture) along with the drip edge (picture) which is the trim piece that attaches to the end of the glass rail to prevent liquids from dripping off the edge of the bar.

Bar Front Fluted Columns from Hardwoods Incorporated

You can trust our bar building experts who have over 40 years’ experience in building bars, bar tops, bar rails, and custom bar fronts for sound advice and customer service. Watch our detailed video on how to build a bar and then visit the Hardwoods Incorporated bar rail parts & trim store for your entire bar building needs. Now shipping NATIONWIDE!

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