Step 1: Human Factors Test-Fitting (Sizing)
Step 2: Get Materials
-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
Step 3: Staining Step / First Clearcoat
NOTE: SAND everything well with an electric sander, make sure to get all of the edges and corners, and wipe the sawdust off with an old T-Shirt before staining
Apply Minwax wood stain to the waiting wood peices and let them dry outside! But not in an area that has excessive wind kicking up dust. We used some extra 2x4 as a stand to hold our peices up. Note the wood stain/natural split pic. Night and DAY difference. We only needed one coat of stain on everything to get the look we wanted.
Apply one coat of the urethane to everything and let it dry outdoors fully before the next step.
Step 4: Assembly
Once the frame is on and fastened down, put the plywood board on, and finish nail it (with big finish nails) into the frame wherever the frame is under the board. Keep the finish nails within one inch from the edge, they will be covered by the siding later anyways.
We also put some larger angle brackets under the top as you can see in the picture just for safety's sake. Yes we did over-engineer this a little but for good reason.
Then glue the trim peices down all around the edges of the bar. Our ends were cut to 45-degree angles so they fit together nicely.
Once finished gluing down the trim, put all of your textbooks to their first good use by using them as weights. If you don't have textbooks, I've heard encyclopedia britannica's work well too.
Step 5: Multiple Clearcoats
Step 6: Finished Product
Good luck and have fun!
DISCLAIMER: I'm not liable for bar-break-in party hangover the next day...