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Bar Concept Drawings

The following three images are not complete working drawings of the bar, but instead conceptial, to make sure that the general look is acceptable. There are details that will be added to working drawings and the the finished product that are not reflected here. These images reflect basic shape of the bar itself, the shape of the bar top, under counter lights, and the footrail as well as to some degree an approximation of colors and materials. All have been created using Bryce 3-D.

The three links below will each open an image in it's own window.

Front of the bar in low ambient light, with lights from under the bar top on.

Rear of the bar in bright overhead light, with lights from under the bar top on.

Front of the bar in bright overhead light, with lights from under the bar top on.

Bar Construction Progress

The links below are photos of the bar in progress. The first ones are as it looks as of 05-05-05. These are intentionally shot so that the problem is emphisised by the light across the surface. In reality it does not look as pronounced as the photos indicate. You can, however feel the convex cupping from joint to joint. I had of course intended the final finish to be perfectly flat and smooth as it was all during construction.

View of bar in progress without Glass tiles installed on bottom.

View of bar top Grain alternating

View of bar top Problem

The process for creating this top was as follows:

From the client approved CAD drawings, the shape of the top was sent to a CNC Router where it was cut out of 3/4 birch Ply. An 8 foot section and a 4 foot section were cut then joined with a spline to make to make the full 12 foot length. A duplicate was made and joined in the same fashion except the join was located on the opposite side so that when stacked there would be no weak point.

A frame was welded for the base, using 1 X 2 steel tube with holes drilled into it's top at interval spacing so that the completed bar top could be bolted to the base after being set on top of the base. 5/16 T-nuts were located in the bottom half of the ply blank to match the holes in the base.

A channel was then routed near the front edge of the bottom piece to accomadate the wiring for the 22, 12 volt LED lights. Holes were drilled, in an exact spacing pattern, alternating straight down and back at a 12 degree angle for the illumination of the glass tile on the base, (see concept drawings) and pools of light on the floor. It was then wired, with pigtails protruding through the holes, the channel and T-nuts were covered with clear packing tape to prevent glue in the recesses when the top and bottoms were later glued, mated, nailed and screwed together.

The bottom of the lower blank was them veneered with Honduran Mahogany, and the top and bottom blanks were assembled as described above.

The wood for the finished top is IPE, which had been stacked, stickered and air dried on site for appx. 2 years after purchase. This is material that was left over from when the client had an outdoor deck built, and the bottom interior floors redone with IPE. I had been making cabinets for the house during this 2 years using part of this wood with great success and no problems.

I used a bandsaw with a resaw blade to cut the long 4 1/4 stock down to 5/8 thickness, in order to get bending stock for the edge banding and material for the top. I milled the top material to 4" X 13', thickness planed to 9/16", then used a jointer on the edges. The material for the edge banding was milled to 3-1/2" then thickness planed to 1/8".

The top IPE boards were laid out with a diamond pattern for bisquit joining with #20 bisquits on a 4"-6" center. They were then dry fit for surface match, then the client and I did a "dry run" "mock" assembly to prepair for glue up. The real glue up was then done, two boards at a time, gluing each edge of each board and the Ply blank base, desscribed previously using TiteBond III. Then everything was clamped across itself and down on the blank for 24 hours. The Ipe was then routed to match the edge of the ply blank.

The edge band material was then applied two layers at a time (to hide the ply) and secured with a few staples and TiteBond III, strapped around the perimiter with a truckers strap, and bar clamped with blocks. This was repeated untill a 3/4 thickness was achieved. Each layer drying 24 hours. Then it was sanded to surface levels, routed to round over and leave a lower lip to hide the lighting.

The whole thing was then finish sanded up to 350 grit, tack clothed, and wiped with thinner dampend rag, let dry, stained, wiped and dried and a first coat of Dura Seal Oil based Polyurathane Satin sprayed on the bottom, then 24 hours later on the top. The bottom side (veneer) dried fine but the top side (IPE) took about a week. Consultations with Dura Seal Tech revealed that they were aware of problems with their product and IPE, but that leaving it alone it would eventually dry, which it did. No problem with subsequent coats.

All of the construction and finishing was done in a outdoor enclosure, covered by a roof, and 4 canvas walls with 2 heaters on 24- 7, to keep a relatively small temperature differential day and night. Los Angeles, Valley area climate is mild from January to May though this has been a slightly wetter winter than usual.

After four coats of finish, sanding in between each, with the final coat going up to 1200 grit wet and dry sanding, then buffing with Automobile swirl remover there had been VERY little negative change in the surface and joints. It was beautiful and within what I considered acceptable tolerances and movement. It was ready to move into it's permanant home indoors, bolt to the frame base, acclimate, buff and if needed apply another coat and finish buff. This was on Saturday.

By the next day, Sunday, In the climate controlled (HVAC) house I began to see some cupping shown in the pictures. By today, Thursday when the pictures were taken It seems to have reached It's extent.