Great Grandad's bar

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Blog entry by needshave posted 01-21-2013 11:01 AM 2223 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I thought you might like to see the bar made by my great Grandad. He made the bar for my grandfather in the 1800’s. My grandfather owned a tavern/bar and it was used there for decades. His son, my uncle, took over the bar and inherited the bar with it. It stayed there until the close of the tavern around 1960. My father then took the bar and used it as a back counter in his business. I remember it well. It was painted grey with red trim and and had pressed hardboard on the top. I remember my father talking about how beautiful the bar was originally but just didn’t want to restore it. I remember he telling me and showing me cut nails in the early 60’s and be intrigued with how something like that could work I drove one in the middle of the bar. I received firm punishment for that and remember it to this day.

I inherited and restored the bar, it has a one piece solid walnut top or bar surface and is 22” wide by 16’ long. Birch and cherry trim around the walnut. I have the hand planes, bench mounted crank and wall mounted drill presses great grand dad used to make it. I resurfaced the top with the same hand plane great grand dad used to make it. One picture show the square nail it drove in her. I paid a lot for that nail and did not have the heart to remove it. I love the bar, thought I would share it. This building I restored years ago and I am about to move my wood shop into it. I can show some pictures if there is interest in her. (1896-I love historic building and have restored several)

10 comments so far

View hunter71's profile


3561 posts in 4517 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 11:58 AM

How cool is that!

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3337 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 12:12 PM

I like how you left “YOUR” nail in it. Gives you a real connection to it!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View beavercut's profile


24 posts in 4383 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 01:11 PM

Your restoration is very nice. The story behind it is what makes it fascinating.
Would like to see pictures of your great granddays old tools you used.

-- Beavercut

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4337 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 01:53 PM

i second what beaver has to say. I love the story and love the bar. Ill take a whisky neat barkeep!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View needshave's profile


182 posts in 3290 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 02:17 PM

Beavercut, I’m in the process of moving my shop into the building that houses the bar. I know where both of his drill presses are and his hand augers. I need to find what he called his board and bit (hand Planer), I have them packed away. But, I will get pictures for you. The hand crank drill press is a killer now, you had to be a good man to use that very often, and they used it every day. I actually have pictures of both grandfather and great grandfather above the bar I will grab that as well.

View PeteMoss's profile


214 posts in 4800 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 02:20 PM

Dude, that is just cool.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4092 posts in 3582 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 02:51 PM

Love both the story and the nice restoration. +1 on Joe’s comment about “your” nail.

I repurposed, without restoration, an old shirt counter from my dad’s clothing store to use as a media center in my home. It is a connection to my father that I see daily to remind me of him.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View needshave's profile


182 posts in 3290 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 03:26 PM


Very Nice. I love the connection. it’s great to have them around. Congrats!

I wish the bar was in good enough shape that I would not have had to restore it, but was badly abused in its later years and being painted and ugly and not knowing what it really looked like in “its day” I really had to dive into it. I was told many times, “why don’t you just burn it” Many of the wooden pegs on the side and supporting structure had been removed and lost. So I remade those with his spoke shave, matching those that remained. I also have grand dads desk, that I’m currently working on, but it needs little work. I’ll post some pictures of it when finished.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4857 days

#9 posted 01-22-2013 03:16 AM

Great story and wonderful bar! Pride is there on all accounts!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3603 days

#10 posted 01-24-2013 01:34 AM

Talk about your family heirlooms….this one wins!

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

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