Question on wood for Bar Build

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Forum topic by MRWashkowiak posted 10-20-2020 06:49 PM 373 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 38 days

10-20-2020 06:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak bar build red oak white oak matching finished look


I’m new to the forum here, but I’m currently building a bar in my backyard. The plywood I got for the walls and structural top is White Oak and I’ve got hardwood planks of White Oak for the finished top. I’m going to grab Chicago Bar Rails, but it seems like they are only readily available in Red Oak. Would it look decent to Trim the bar in Red Oak, with White Oak as the main structure or would the two woods clash far too much. I do plan on staining the wood once the bar is completed. I’m fairly novice at any sort of building so any help would be appreciated.


4 replies so far

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213 posts in 102 days

#1 posted 10-20-2020 07:14 PM

It’s probably a matter of taste, or more specifically how OCD you are. I don’t think the two woods would clash, grab a couple cut offs, slap on whatever finish you will end up using, and decide for your own circumstances. If you are going to actually stain it, no problem.

But probably more important is that the white oak is known for rot resistance, the red oak is not. (closed cells/open cells). If it’s in the backyard, a UV resistant, durable, outdoor finish would probable be good.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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John Smith

2776 posts in 1078 days

#2 posted 10-21-2020 12:18 PM

MR – welcome to the forum.
so many questions loom: like, what part of the world are you in,
will the bar be totally out in the open or under a patio.
do you have any plans, sketches, drawings or sample photos to share with us ?
in my past experience, red oak (and some cuts of white oak) with any kind of clear finish will fail quite rapidly.
once the clear coat protective finish is compromised (cracked), moisture has a straight hi-way
into the wood which will form fungal growth and there goes your project.
most clear coatings are not UV tolerant – and will fail quickly in the sun.
marine spar varnish of any value needs periodic maintenance to remain “pretty”.
much more thought should be given to the whole project before you drive the first nail.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View tomsteve's profile


1091 posts in 2135 days

#3 posted 10-22-2020 06:47 PM

you could trim in red oak and have it a different shade of stain.
could keep it natural and just stain the wo.
contrast is nice,imo.

might see a difference in the stain between the white oak ply and solid ehite oak.

View MRWashkowiak's profile


2 posts in 38 days

#4 posted 11-09-2020 04:18 AM

I figured I would share an update as it is getting close to completed. Went with all red oak trim and stained everything with Red Chestnut after testing Golden Oak, Cherry, and Red Chestnut. The difference is not noticeable in the low light, have not seen it in sunlight since the polyurethane has been applied. The top is still waiting on an epoxy coat which I was told to skip the polyurethane for, so it does not shine yet.

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