Make your own bar arm rail

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  • #19538 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    I am finishing up my bar and I have read through most of the posts, and looked at all the pics. I decided to put a “chin rest” (arm rail) onto my bar but I didnt want to spend 100 plus dollars buying one. I decided to try to make one and it turned out pretty well, so I thought I would share how I did it with everyone else on the forums.

    I used a 2X6 pine board, made sure it was straight when I bought it (very important). The most important part is to have a table saw, I used a cheap home depot saw with a 10 inch blade. I clamped down 2X4 guides at a 43 degree to the middle of the cutting blade (so the blade will pass down the middle of the board, or just slightly offset from middle).

    Next raise the blade so that it only takes a small (maybe 1/8in) cut out on the first pass. Raise the blade slightly, take another cut, and keep going until you get the depth you desire.

    I wish I would have taken pics of the process but I didnt even think of it. If you have questions just ask and I will answer as best as possible.

    Here are a couple of pics of the rail (if i can get them to work). I will post all my pics of my bar when I am done. (Hopefully real soon)

    [img]https://www.barplan.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18631/normal_7_IMG_1319.JPG[/img]
    This is the unfinished rail.

    [img]https://www.barplan.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18631/normal_9_IMG_1330.JPG[/img]
    Rail on the bar.

    [img]https://www.barplan.com/gallery/albums/userpics/18631/normal_Bar_in_house_with_brass_rail.JPG[/img]
    finished bar rail

    You can also search under tank3467 in the member pics location for all of my pics.

    (recently edited because the pics weren’t working)

    #19994 Score: 0
    brimichm
    1 pt

    Just so I understand properly, you clamped a 2 x4 on both sides (parallel) of the table saw blade. Using them as a guide so the same cut is made each pass at a 43 degree angle. Slightly raising the blade each pass.( the same way people would make the cove in home made water skis etc…)
    To round off the sharp edge created by both ends of the blade where it exited the wood. Did you just use a router or sand by hand ? Very nice job and you saved a lot of money.
    Your right about rsising the blade only 1/8″ or less per pass is the secret. Especially if your trying to do this with a hard wood such as oak.

    #19997 Score: 0
    Anonymous
    probak118 wrote:
    Just so I understand properly, you clamped a 2 x4 on both sides (parallel) of the table saw blade. Using them as a guide so the same cut is made each pass at a 43 degree angle. Slightly raising the blade each pass.( the same way people would make the cove in home made water skis etc…)

    Thats exactly how I did it, using a cove cut.

    I used a router on the top and bottom edges of the board, and sanded the cut area (power, and quite a bit of hand sanding).

    I did save a lot of money but it took quite a bit of time to get it sanded, but if you have the tools it is worth it.

    #19998 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    tank:

    Nice job!

    I’d like to see a profile of your arm rest. How did you notch it for mounting to the bar top?

    Here’s the dimensions I drew up from the Rockler arm rail specs.

    bar_molding.jpg

    If anyone has purchased the Rockler arm rail, can you verify these dimensions?

    This is simply what their sales guy relayed to me over the phone.

    #19999 Score: 0
    brimichm
    1 pt

    That was my next question also. What cuts were made or piece added to the underside / edge to meet the bar top edge at the prpoer angle ? To give you the finished position of the arm rail and at the same time good support and fastening surface.

    #20000 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    Wow, this became a sticky.

    Anyway, I will take some profile pics tomorrow for you.

    As for the cuts on the underside, I didnt actually make any. I was planning on it and was trying to decide what to use (was planning on using the table saw, because I couldnt find a router blade that I thought would work). If you look at the picture with the rail on, the top of the bar is made out of 1/2 inch strips of redwood, ripped from 2x4s. I left 1.75 inches along the whole edge so that the rail angled down from the top of the redwood to the OSB frame under the strips. This gave me the angle of the arm rail I wanted with a small gap at the front of the arm rail over the redwood.. I clamped the rail down at the spot I wanted and drilled pilot holes thru the OSB, just missing the redwood about every five inches (give or take), followed by screws. I also used an air stapler at the edge of the OSB, just because I felt like it. The support is very good, as long as no one tries to stand on it (it still might hold). I plan on using envirotex so the gap in the front didnt bother me. The screws keep the rail tight to the redwood so the envirotex shouldnt leak thru, but just to be sure I filled the gap with wood putty (thanks probak, I probably would have used silicone).

    Bar rail angles:
    If u look again at the picture you will see that I angled the corner. I did this because I would not have had enough railing (or it would have been too close) if I would have cut a 45 degree angle. I cut 5 inches each direction from the corner so that the angle became 22.5 degrees, saving about six inches of wood. One problem with the angle from the redwood to the OSB meant that I also had to make a bevel cut at the corner so that the rail lined up correctly (i am very curious if anyone who bought premade rail also had to do this). Luckily the miter saw I my work parnter brought also tilted for bevel cuts otherwise I would have used the circular saw. (BTW the bevel was at 7.5 degrees, I think I read a post asking about this in the forum).

    Things I would do differently.

    I made an 8 inch overhang with 1/2 inch OSB. The problem is that when you lean on the rail the OSB flexes slightly. I probably should have used plywood just for added strength, but I bought some corbels from home depot that take the stress off the OSB, so no big deal. If you use plywood on top it probably wont flex, so the corbels would be unnecessary ( but i kind of like the way they look anyway).

    Also:

    I built this bar completely outdoors in the garage, because I knew the wife would not be happy with the mess I made inside. I knew that the bar wouldnt fit through the door with the top on so I made the top of the bar removeable. My design is based on the eight foot bar plans, but is only 7 feet long (due to the size of the room). To make the top removeable I put the OSB on and clamped it down exactly where I wanted it. I then screwed 2×4’s underneath the OSB that lined up on all four sides. The 2×4’s slide inside the frame for a perfect fit, and I can screw them on to make it more stable (but I dont think i need too). I can now take the bar with me if I ever move.

    Well my book is over for now, I hope it made sense. Please feel free to ask more questions. I hope to have the bar in the house this week and the brass rail is supposed to get here on monday. I will put pics up as soon as possible.

    tank3467

    BTW, I am by no means an expert woodworker. Putting the rail on took about 2 hours, with about the first 1 1/2 hours testing with scrap 2×6’s to make sure I didnt screw up.

    #20212 Score: 0

    I know you posted this a long time ago but I am hoping to still get a response from you. I was looking at your pictures and I am still not quite sure how you got the shape you did. Picture #7 says that it is not been sanded yet but you have a pretty good curve going on there.
    i was wondering if you could maybe go in detail on how you set up the saw so that it may make a little more sense. Maybe you could set it up and take a picture of it? Any info would be great! I was planning on just using 1x4s or 1x6s to finish the arm rest area but I would love to try this out. Thanks!

    Cheers!
    Dave

    #20217 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    hmdave,

    Sorry it took so long to reply. I would set it up but I actually was using someone else table saw when I did it. Here is a good link on how to do it, there are also some pictures that should help it make sense.

    http://www.rockler.com/articles/display … ory_id=162

    I didnt use any fancy jigs for mine just clamped 2×4’s on the table saw to use as guides. I set the 2x4s at a 43 degree angle (to the blade) and practiced with a small 2×6 to make sure everything was positioned correctly. My guides were slightly offset from center so that the top edge of the 2×4 was slightly larger than the bottom.

    Hope this helps. If you need more help send me a message, I will check more often.

    tank3467

    #20218 Score: 0

    AHHH!!! the pictures make it all make sense. for some reason the original pictures you have on this post didn’t show up for me but the Rockler ones show it very well. I am going to try it this weekend if i get a chance. Thanks for the advice!

    Cheers!
    Dave

    #20219 Score: 0
    Anonymous

    No problem, make sure to post some pics so that I can see how it turns out.

    Good luck

    #20283 Score: 0
    tank3467 wrote:
    Wow, this became a sticky.

    Anyway, I will take some profile pics tomorrow for you.

    As for the cuts on the underside, I didnt actually make any. I was planning on it and was trying to decide what to use (was planning on using the table saw, because I couldnt find a router blade that I thought would work). If you look at the picture with the rail on, the top of the bar is made out of 1/2 inch strips of redwood, ripped from 2x4s. I left 1.75 inches along the whole edge so that the rail angled down from the top of the redwood to the OSB frame under the strips. This gave me the angle of the arm rail I wanted with a small gap at the front of the arm rail over the redwood.. I clamped the rail down at the spot I wanted and drilled pilot holes thru the OSB, just missing the redwood about every five inches (give or take), followed by screws. I also used an air stapler at the edge of the OSB, just because I felt like it. The support is very good, as long as no one tries to stand on it (it still might hold). I plan on using envirotex so the gap in the front didnt bother me. The screws keep the rail tight to the redwood so the envirotex shouldnt leak thru, but just to be sure I filled the gap with wood putty (thanks probak, I probably would have used silicone).

    Bar rail angles:
    If u look again at the picture you will see that I angled the corner. I did this because I would not have had enough railing (or it would have been too close) if I would have cut a 45 degree angle. I cut 5 inches each direction from the corner so that the angle became 22.5 degrees, saving about six inches of wood. One problem with the angle from the redwood to the OSB meant that I also had to make a bevel cut at the corner so that the rail lined up correctly (i am very curious if anyone who bought premade rail also had to do this). Luckily the miter saw I my work parnter brought also tilted for bevel cuts otherwise I would have used the circular saw. (BTW the bevel was at 7.5 degrees, I think I read a post asking about this in the forum).

    Things I would do differently.

    I made an 8 inch overhang with 1/2 inch OSB. The problem is that when you lean on the rail the OSB flexes slightly. I probably should have used plywood just for added strength, but I bought some corbels from home depot that take the stress off the OSB, so no big deal. If you use plywood on top it probably wont flex, so the corbels would be unnecessary ( but i kind of like the way they look anyway).

    Also:

    I built this bar completely outdoors in the garage, because I knew the wife would not be happy with the mess I made inside. I knew that the bar wouldnt fit through the door with the top on so I made the top of the bar removeable. My design is based on the eight foot bar plans, but is only 7 feet long (due to the size of the room). To make the top removeable I put the OSB on and clamped it down exactly where I wanted it. I then screwed 2×4’s underneath the OSB that lined up on all four sides. The 2×4’s slide inside the frame for a perfect fit, and I can screw them on to make it more stable (but I dont think i need too). I can now take the bar with me if I ever move.

    Well my book is over for now, I hope it made sense. Please feel free to ask more questions. I hope to have the bar in the house this week and the brass rail is supposed to get here on monday. I will put pics up as soon as possible.

    tank3467

    BTW, I am by no means an expert woodworker. Putting the rail on took about 2 hours, with about the first 1 1/2 hours testing with scrap 2×6’s to make sure I didnt screw up.

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