Bar Table

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Project by Blake posted 07-06-2010 04:10 AM 2198 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine had four tall bar chairs for the bar counter in his kitchen. Then he moved to a house without a bar counter. So they needed a bar table to go with the chairs. I told him if he would buy the materials I would build it with my labor as a house warming gift.

The available space for the table provided the first design challenge. There was just barely enough room between the end of the kitchen cabinets and an adjacent wall to fit the table, the chairs on either end, still have enough room to pull out the end chairs to sit in them, and still tuck in the two middle chairs between the legs. I found I couldn’t put the legs on the corners of the table because you wouldn’t be able to swing your legs in or out of the end seats.

I designed the table in Sketchup and then built a full-sized cardboard mock-up in their kitchen to make sure it was comfortable. This is the first project I’ve ever built a 1:1 mockup for, and it was a huge help. I will definitely do it for future projects.

Sketchup design:

Bar Table1

Bar Table2

Cardboard mock-up:


Matching the stain on the chairs was a another challenge all together. I don’t have any experience with stain matching so it was really an interesting process.

The table top and apron is made with 3/4” Mahogany plywood and the legs are solid Mahogany (laminated from two pieces each).

Apron and frame


As far as I could tell the chairs were stained brown and then coated with a yellow-ish tinted lacquer, which gave it a complex multi-layer finish that no off-the-shelf soak-in stain could match. And since I don’t have lacquer spraying capabilities, it took a lot of experimentation.

Finally what worked was sort of the opposite of the original chair finish. I used a yellow aniline dye followed by a red-ish brown stain and another darker brown stain. Finally the table was coated with 6 coats of wipe-on polyurethane.

Yellow dye on, first stain going on:


The seat from one of the chairs next to the stained table:


It took longer to finish the table then it did to build it but in the end I think I nailed the color!

...And by the way, the faux “breadboard” ends were actually a serendipitous last-minute design feature to cover up a mistake. The plywood top was surrounded on all sides by 3/8” thick Mahogany shop-made edge banding. Well the glue on one of the ends of the table made the plywood swell above the solid edge and when I sanded it flat I went right through the veneer. So to get rid of the damaged section of veneer I routed some thickness off the ends and added the 2” wide mahogany strips. I think it looks WAY better with those ends.

-- Happy woodworking!

18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117616 posts in 3938 days

#1 posted 07-06-2010 04:12 AM

Great design and super build Blake

View Gary88's profile


4 posts in 3251 days

#2 posted 07-06-2010 04:29 AM

Beautiful table, Blake, and it does look like you nailed the color.

-- Gary, MN

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3857 days

#3 posted 07-06-2010 04:37 AM

Beautiful job Blake, super design and re-design on the fly…......... I love the breadboard ends…......

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4461 days

#4 posted 07-06-2010 04:38 AM

A great design and well executed. The stain match is a dead-ringer from what I can see.

Hearing the story on matching the stain is a familiar one to me for what I go through on many of my projects. It is great to see you continue to grown in your skill and expertise.

It makes me all the more glad that we have a Blake Weber piece.

Nice job!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

499 posts in 3491 days

#5 posted 07-06-2010 04:55 AM

Very Very nice Great Job.

-- Dale, Ohio

View Karson's profile


35186 posts in 4762 days

#6 posted 07-06-2010 05:21 AM

Blake a great design and construction.

Nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View knackonwood's profile


45 posts in 3802 days

#7 posted 07-06-2010 05:51 AM

Great job on a challenging task. Thanks for sharing

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3482 days

#8 posted 07-06-2010 07:49 AM

Wow, they say a great woodworker is one who can hide their mistakes, yours turned out to be an advantage, nicely done.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Cher's profile


962 posts in 3455 days

#9 posted 07-06-2010 07:59 AM

Blake, you have done an excellent job here, I appreciate your cardboard mock-up, better to put in the extra effort.

Thanks for sharing.

-- When you know better you do better.

View Ken90712's profile


17659 posts in 3550 days

#10 posted 07-06-2010 10:29 AM

Great work and design, we can see you put alot of effort into this table. Well done!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Dusty56's profile


11838 posts in 4049 days

#11 posted 07-06-2010 12:15 PM

I really like that table design and you really did a great job matching the color…it looks original : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4059 days

#12 posted 07-06-2010 01:41 PM

Excellent work. I’ll take one.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4243 days

#13 posted 07-06-2010 02:38 PM

That is so nice. Good for you. Nice design and the finish is a dead ringer.

You da Man,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3284 days

#14 posted 07-06-2010 03:04 PM

Outstanding, very well done

-- Life is good.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4034 days

#15 posted 07-06-2010 04:28 PM

Nice looking table, Blake.

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