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Nov 292012
 

Where to Purchase and How to Use Bar Arm Rail Moldings

cgicago style bar rail

available in four stock wood species in 4, 6, and 8 foot lengths

Chicago Bar Arm Rail Molding:

If you choose to use oak bar rail, also known as Chicago style arm rail, you'll find it's not so cheap. Costs run in the $15 to $30 per foot range. Yes, it's a pricey item, but hardwood arm rail lasts forever, looks great and is a worthwhile investment. Once you complete your bar project, you can start saving money over the local pub prices and that alone will help pay for both your bar stools and arm rail molding in no time.

Save money by using less expensive wood species:

Chicago style arm rail molding is typically sold in 4, 6 and 8 foot sections in a variety of species including Red Oak, Hard Maple and Cherry. Those species of wood tend to be quite expensive. If you really want to save money, you can select from less expensive ash or poplar material. The ash & poplar can be stained in an oak or darker finish but will not have the strong grain pattern of actual oak. Poplar is best if you want a painted arm rail.

We offer suggested arm molding parts at our online Bar store and below.
For large jobs or project material quotes, please feel free to contact us.

Buy it or Build it, that is the question:

If your budget allows, you can purchase arm rail molding online or from a local supplier. If you're on a budget, you have a few other options, one is to manufacture your own bar arm rail using our forum based EMBP-06 DIY Cove Cut Arm Rail Guide. The other option is to just build a simple box arm rail. This consist of two 1"x6" boards connected with a lap joint then rounded over with a router. In addition, you can also build Padded Arm Rail using our forum based EMBP-05 Padded Arm Rail Guide.  See all your bar arm rail options below.

Current Most Affordable Bar Arm Rail

We monitor material prices regularly and the current hands down winner for the lowest price on Chicago arm rail goes to Home Depot and their line of House of Fara bar arm rail moldings.
home depot logoHouse of Fara 1-1/8" x 4 1/2" x 96" Oak Chicago Bar Rail Molding
Lowest price : $64.35 / 8 foot section
BUY NOW

Find the closest Home Depot outlet near you, use the Store Finder on their site.

Buy Manufactured Bar Rail - Rockler:

Rockler Bar Arm Rail:

These models are designed for a two layer bar top design. Using a front lip board, they can be adapted for use with a single layer deign.

5" Small Profile Bar Arm Rail Molding small profile bar arm rail
A shorter profile, slightly expensive (about $99 per 8 foot section) . Red Oak, 8 foot section. Can be butt spliced for longer sections.
Available in Red Oak only. See datasheet.

 

 

Rockler large profile bar arm rail molding6" Large Profile Bar Arm Rail Molding from Rockler
Longer, full profile, more expensive (about $199 per 8 foot section).
Available in red oak, cherry and occasionally maple.
See datasheet.

Other online sources of bar arm rail:

Baird Brothers - Bar Top Rails

DeNoon Lumber - Bar Rail
We recommend DeNoon part #9801 as it is easy to adapt and install to any bar top configuration.

Hardwoods Incorporated - Premium Hardwood Bar Rail

 

Making your own bar arm rail molding:

Build It Yourself:

As a member of our site, you can learn how to make your own Chicago Style Arm Rail with the EMBP-06 DIY Cove Cut Arm Rail Guide.

The guide shows you how to set up your saw and do the basic shaping procedures. It requires considerable skill so it is not for the novice builder, only recommended for those with some previous woodworking experience and a suitable router, appropriate bits and a table saw.

The Simple Option - Box Arm Rail Molding

Any one of our designs can use simple box arm rail molding. This is very easy to make and is recommended for novice builders or if you don't have the budget for prefabricated arm rail molding.  The following plan sets use a simple box arm rail molding:

Padded Arm Rail Option

Taking the box rail option further, you can cover your rail using foam padding. For padded arm rail techniques, we offer the forum based  EMBP-05 Padded Arm Rail Guide to site members. See below for padding supplies. The following project uses padded arm rail:

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