Problems and Recommendations for Bar Back

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  • #19459 Score: 0

    If anyone is wanting to build the bar back, I would recommend holding off on it for the time being. That or redesign the plans yourself using the current ones as a guideline. I have several comments to help you with it. Some of the most important issues are dealing with the 4×8’s.

    * The first problem is that the specs call for cutting three 16″ planks from the 4×8 pieces of plywood. The logic here is that 48″/3 = 16″. It seems good in theory, but doesn’t work in practice. Everytime you cut the plywood you’re going to lose 1/8″. So if you try cutting using the provided cut sheets you’ll end up having your last piece thats at least 1/4″ short. When I plan my cut sheets I plan on losing 1/4″ every cut just to be safe.

    * The next issue involves making the actual cuts themselves. If you think you’re going to be able to cut 4×8 sheets using a $90 table saw then you’re out of your mind. Get the cuts done at where ever you’re buying your wood from. Its much easier to get your large cuts done there. And make sure to measure every piece before you leave. If one of the pieces are off, then its much easier to have them correct it or cut another one while you’re still there.

    * The third issue isn’t a problem with the plans, but is something that should be mentioned in the plans as a warning. There’s a couple of things you need to know before dealing with large pieces of plywood. Keep the humidity and temperature the same as where you bought it from. Chances are you’re going to build this in your garage and your garage should match up pretty well. If you try to store the plywood inside your house then the cool, dry air can cause warping. Another VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember is to always lay plywood flat. NEVER lean it against something and leave it there. This is especially important since chances are you’re going to build your project over several weekends. Leaving the wood leaning against the wall over a week will cause some warping. If you have a little bit of warping in your wood you should be able to work around it, and when all your pieces come together, it will work itself out. But more severe warping can leave you with scrapwood.

    * Consider using 3/4″ plywood. Its actually slightly cheaper than 1/2″ and is stronger. The reason for the price difference is that 1/2″ plywood has two good faces and supposedly 3/4″ plywood only has one good face. But the side that isn’t the good face actually has a very high quality veneer on it. On big pieces you might be able to find a couple of dark areas in the grain. Most of the time its difficult to determine which side is the good veneer and which isn’t because the quality is so high. Verify it for yourself with your own eyes at your lumber supply before making a decision. Now 1/4″ plywood is another matter. One side is CLEARLY the good face and one side is CLEARLY the bad face.

    * Get a nailgun! I can’t imagine doing this project with out one. I purchased a Porter Cable nailgun. It works great. Its model FN250B. I use 1 1/4″ finish nails for it (my design uses 3/4″ plywood). Naturally you’ll need an air compressor. I would recommend AGAINST doing this project with out a nailgun.

    I’ll try and post any other ideas I can think of up here.

    #19667 Score: 0

    * Here’s another very important consideration when cutting plywood. If you’re designed your own cutsheet – MAKE SURE that the grain is always going lengthwise on what you cut out. If you’re cutting out a piece thats say 1 foot by 4 feet then make sure the grain is pointing in the direction of 4 feet. Failure to do so makes warped wood more likely.

    #19670 Score: 0


    Good points!

    Yes, CAD does not allow for the cut widths.
    The plywood cut diagram were intended as more of a buying guide. I’ll be revising the drawings in the future to account for the cuts and the 3/4″ thickness.

    #19689 Score: 0

    Hi guys. Thanks for the tips. I just got the plans, and wanted to see what you guys thought about bringing down the 16″ pieces to 15.5″ to account for the cut loss? At $65 a sheet for A1 3/4″ in NJ, I would love to not have to get 2 more sheets?


    #20843 Score: 0
    3 pts

    Good points –
    Glad to see at least one person doesn’t unscrew the top of his head and remove brain then try to rely entirely on the plan instructions. (JK LOL)
    I do hope and expect people to use that noodle a bit. The cut accuracy is really not that critical and I can cut an adequately straight line with a circular saw.
    I also expect people to orient boards with factory edges forward, your cuts to the rear. A sander and front trim also cleans up edges nicely.
    If you do use a table saw, use two people or roller extensions to hold the work as it leaves the back of the saw. Common sense.

    As far as wood moisture….really? I’ve never experienced any issues with kiln dried plywood or lumber.
    It always a good idea to acclimate your wood, but I doubt that precludes use of the plans.

    The thickness for the sides should be 1/2″ plywood, the shelves should be 3/4″.
    The furring strips help secure the corners and act as shelf supports.

    Finally, yes, a nail gun sure does make your life easier. I recommend it on all current plans.
    Get a finish nailer AND a brad nailer, but a framing nailer is a bit too big.
    Always use glue along with the finish or brad nailer.

    This is good info for the Builder’s Tips Document.

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