Live Edge Bar Remodel

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Project by BGW posted 09-05-2014 01:09 PM 4233 views 7 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This job has been a long time coming…about a year ago (last November to be precise), I was approached by the owners of my favorite Brew Pub in my home town to remodel their bar. We got creative with ideas, and I came up with the Bourbon Barrel idea with a Black Walnut live edge bar top. They loved it…so over the next several months I set about finding the barrels that would match, and selecting logs to be ripped.

After picking some beautiful walnut at a local mill and having them cut it to 3.5” thick, I then found a kiln. It took about 45 days to adequately dry the lumber. In order to flatten the top surface, I built a sled that would allow each slab to fit. We used a router with a 1” bit (probably should have gotten a bigger bit, but we were taking so much material off in certain spots that I didn’t want to risk damaging the nice top). After the rough-router planing, we belt sanded with 80 grit and finished up with 120 grit on the orbitals.

Finally, it was time to lay out the ‘puzzle’ pieces to match up the grains. This was tedious and required a lot of moving around the big pieces (after drying, they were between 2.25-2.5” thick, and 6’-8’ long). I used a pocket hole process to seam the joints. The finish is a high gloss Epoxy, which makes the bar pop. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product…and the owners are over the moon. Thanks for looking…I may post more pictures of the logs and our milling process below.

You may notice the carving on the half wall too…I carved that logo into the extra barrel tops. There are three such signs in the bar.

-- Bob, Indiana, "Well done is better than well said." -Ben Franklin

14 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3622 days

#1 posted 09-05-2014 01:27 PM

Very beautiful. Love the whole thing.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12436 posts in 4712 days

#2 posted 09-05-2014 01:45 PM

A big job done well. It’s really good looking.
The joints are awesome.
I searched your pics and couldn’t find those barrel top carvings you mentioned.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 3003 days

#3 posted 09-05-2014 02:06 PM

Wow, what an amazing job. I love that you showed how you did the router work.

-- Marty, Ohio

View BGW's profile


165 posts in 3290 days

#4 posted 09-05-2014 02:09 PM

More pictures of the carvings and the rough saw’n logs…Thanks for looking.

-- Bob, Indiana, "Well done is better than well said." -Ben Franklin

View ChrisK's profile


2059 posts in 4365 days

#5 posted 09-05-2014 02:19 PM

Very nice looking bar. The whole thing came together well.

-- Chris K

View drewm873's profile


83 posts in 3813 days

#6 posted 09-05-2014 04:58 PM

That’s awesome! Fantastic job. I want to do my basement bar top like that when I get around the re-finishing it.

-- Http://

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2833 days

#7 posted 09-05-2014 06:20 PM

Beautiful work! Great advertisement for your services.

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4431 days

#8 posted 09-06-2014 12:08 AM

Man that’s a beautiful bar top! Looks like a great place to enjoy a bourbon!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3898 days

#9 posted 09-06-2014 02:21 AM

sweet ,love the lay out and finish

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View MilFlyer's profile


948 posts in 2955 days

#10 posted 09-06-2014 12:11 PM

Absolutely beautiful piece of work!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3177 days

#11 posted 09-06-2014 02:57 PM


-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Norm192's profile


77 posts in 2926 days

#12 posted 09-06-2014 05:55 PM

Outstanding! That’s a first class job.

View mikethetermite's profile


602 posts in 4550 days

#13 posted 09-23-2014 03:56 PM

Bob, we stopped by the Pub to see your work on the bar remodel job. More beautiful piece of work than pictures can ever show. We will stop in again when the remodel job is done.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View BGW's profile


165 posts in 3290 days

#14 posted 09-23-2014 04:45 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Mike. As for my portion of the remodel: it’s done. They hired another company (bar regulars) to complete the vestibule & kitchen remodel. I bid on both as well, but they felt I was too expensive (which was true in that I was more expensive than the competing bids). Anyway, I stuck to my guns on all three portions of the bid, and simply emphasized the ‘You get what you pay for…’ philosophy. They ended up giving me the bar – electing to ‘pay’ for the quality there(which was all I really wanted to do in the first place) & chose the other company for the rest of the remodel.

FWIW – I am confident that the managers are learning about price vs. quality. We finished our complete bar remodel in 3 days…the vestibule (a far more simple task) has been stalled for three weeks now because they didn’t file the correct paperwork for permitting. I used a commercial architect to plan the bar & get it approved, while the other company didn’t. Now the brewery is stuck in a perpetual state of remodel and swimming in permitting paperwork. A word to my LJ friends about the business side of carpentry – always stick to what you know you are worth. You may not get every job, but you’ll get the reputation for doing good work, and those with money will find you…

-- Bob, Indiana, "Well done is better than well said." -Ben Franklin

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