Barrel Back Bar

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Project by Mikee posted 10-22-2013 12:49 AM 2198 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my Barrel Back Bar that I built like a 1940’s Chris Craft Barrel Back model. Mine is a little flat/level on top so a drink won’t roll right off. I joined a local antique association and visited a wood boat restoration business for research. The cheeks (ribs) are white oak and the skin is Honduras Mahogany. I built a steamer using the wife’s pressure cooker, weber grill and expandable heating duct which worked quite well. Temps just over 200 degrees for the proper length of time and bend away. There’s a filler stain, 2 coats of sealer, 12 coats of hand brushed spar varnish and 3 coats of sprayed varnish using my HVLP system. Most of the hardware I purchased on eBay and then I had it all re-chromed. The only parts that weren’t re-chromed are the exhaust ports and straight bang rail (which is stainless steel anyway) The rudder just needed to be cleaned up and mounted into it’s stuffing box. I’m currently working on getting the name made for the transom which will be mounted just under the centered 12 volt light. I figure I have approximately 8 months of work in this project. She’s 5’ wide (1 foot short of the real boat) and 43” high (42” is normal bar height)

Thanks for checking it out…

-- Mike

9 comments so far

View nittanylion's profile


59 posts in 4182 days

#1 posted 10-22-2013 01:18 AM

Wow, Someday I’d like to own the real thing, but in the meantime a bar to sit at and remind me of my dream would be nice too!!! Very nice build!!!

View robscastle's profile


6155 posts in 2597 days

#2 posted 10-22-2013 05:29 AM

OK nice work
Its the prohibition police here… what’s that hooch contraption running off the BBQ? cleverly disguised as a steamer !!

I went to check out your workshop for more contraband but couldn’t get in!!

-- Regards Rob

View ccanderson102's profile


34 posts in 2662 days

#3 posted 10-22-2013 01:03 PM

Why stop a stop at the aft cockpit. Keep going until you get to the stem then you have a boat!

View Mikee's profile


55 posts in 3033 days

#4 posted 10-22-2013 01:08 PM

That’s the steamer used for bending the mahogany. Most of the bending was “cupping” to make the curve around both sides.

-- Mike

View NaptownWood's profile


293 posts in 2266 days

#5 posted 10-22-2013 07:15 PM

That is awesome! That thing would sell for like 10k i bet. Take it to an art show on Marthas Vinyard, and it would be sold before you got it off the truck.

-- Witty signature line still pending

View dpow's profile


504 posts in 3237 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 12:13 AM

Nice work, Mike. Your research of the old boats and your attention to detail really show. Thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2112 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 05:56 PM

Very nice. This is a unique idea. Great job!

-- Marty, Ohio

View jeff_williams's profile


13 posts in 2653 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 06:32 PM

When I saw just the image from the project page I thought, “How could someone cut up such a beautiful boat?!” I was relieved when I saw the rest of the pictures. Nice job. I bet I’m not the only one you’ve fooled.

-- Jeff_Williams

View USN_Chief_2017's profile


6 posts in 830 days

#9 posted 03-16-2017 04:53 AM


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