Easy Home Bar Top (3-Day, 60 Bucks, Good for college students)

Picture of Easy Home Bar Top (3-Day, 60 Bucks, Good for college students)
This is a set of instructions on how to make a simple but very useful home bar top to be mounted on top of a boring existing peice of furniture. (in our case an old product display case from my buddy's co-op)
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Step 1: Human Factors Test-Fitting (Sizing)

Picture of Human Factors Test-Fitting (Sizing)
Grab some cheap bar stools off of craigslist (got 2 for $10) and put them next to your piece of furniture you want to put the bar top on. Then get a test bar top (in this case a vinyl card table) and some risers (if you need them, we used cans) and sit at the bar with a drink. Is it a good hieght? Want it to be larger, smaller? Record your favorite dimensions.

Step 2: Get materials

Picture of Get materials
Our materials list:
-1x board of plywood (3/4") cut to the dimensions you will use from step 1. We used what was called "patch board" plywood that was almost the right size when we bought it (you don't need a HUGE board, look around Home Depot, you will find thick smaller peices)

-2x 2x4's, pick the nicest looking ones, we used them for our frame under the bar top to raise it up. Cut them to size to make a simple frame to be attached to the top of the peice of furniture

-2x 1" Trim (looks like fake wood, extruded foam maybe?) to put around the edges, real cheap like couple bucks a peice

-Minwax wood stain can, we used "Red Chestnut" and it looks swell
-Minwax urethane clear coat can

-Bunch of paintbrushes, the urethane will dry in between coats and if you dont clean the brushes you will have to throw them away

Just a few tips: If you sand (with a very high grit) between coats of urethane, the layers will adhere better and the finish will be smoother. Also, if you put on a thicker coat for your last coat, then take a blow torch and quickly run it over the top of the urethane, it'll pop all of the little bubbles that tend to show up. It'll make the finish look like glass.

Overall though it looks nice. Have fun with the new bar!
idy264 years ago
Thanks for the -ible mate! I made summing similar myself using your ideas. Thanks a bunch! Cheers!
andyvich (author)  idy264 years ago
Hey no problem. Glad to help. You know I wrote this like 3 years ago, and lo and behold three different apartments in three different towns and 6+ large parties and here it is sitting next to me as I type this. You just can't beat durable, cheap, functional furniture.
I like it, you could also use a pourable clear Epoxy to give the extra durablity, and looks like you would see in the upscale bars. Take a look at what these folks sell.

You can find this stuff in Most Big Box Stores.
Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, just to name a few.
Home Depot has it as Super Glaze and another widely seen version is called EnviroTex
andyvich (author)  Robotic_mage8 years ago
hey thanks. Yeah that was one of our thoughts. We are also planning on adding the same siding but on the outer edges, so you dont see the crossection of the plywood. We test-fitted a peice and it looks real slick. When we do it i will post a new pic. So far it has been very durable.
Calltaker8 years ago
Nicely done. For future projects, if you don't want the cross section of the 2x4's showing, you can buy a cheap mitre box at Home Depot for like 6 bux, and mitre the ends to a 45* angle and fit them together. Takes a little longer (like 10 minutes per corner) but the results are worth it.

Honestly, though, this is a great instructable and a great idea for recycling something that you weren't really using to it's full potential. Want to have a Halloween party? Put fluorescent blacklites in the display case with some glowy body parts. Spook on man!!