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Thread: Glued up Bartop Slab Attachment... Help?

  1. #16
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    Just a couple questions/observations. Sorry if I missed the answers but I did look back...

    How thick is the slap that will rest on the plywood/steel base?

    Is there a chance the adhesive this guy is using would be flexible enough to accommodate the maximum wood dimensional change?

    Slots to accommodate wood dimensional change will need to be in both the steel and the layers of plywood on top of it.

    Not it sure I am adding anything but I am curious. 😀
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  2. #17
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    I think the top will be built up from 1" thick boards. (Might end up 3/4" after milling/sanding).
    Well, the guy claims the adhesive he uses has enough flex. But I've just never come across any book mentioning such a technique as valid.

    Yes, the problem with slots is the steel plate. It is already installed and I can't exactly route a slot through it.

    I have to admit dealing with this is stressing me out (and why I am up at 5AM on the forum). Might have been better if I was completely ignorant of wood working. Ignorance is bliss. At this point I just want to do what I can to ensure the top doesn't have problems in the future. Unlike with building tables, or chairs or book cases, I wasn't able to locate books on building a bar/bar top. (So many different DIY articles out there, none of which really I felt were solid).

    I'll also admit, though researching and building this myself might have been a fun project, I don't have any prior experience with a giant slab, and I work full time in a different carrer than owning this business, so I just don't have time. Hence I let the GC hire someone he trusted.

    At this point, I just want to step in enough to insist on whatever I still can to get a good result.
    They carpenter warrants his work, but then people go out of business all the time.

  3. #18
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    OK, so now that I'm starting to second guess everything:
    How should a corner of the bar be handled?

    Meaning for the "L" / 90 degree turn at the end of the bar. Should this be a 45 degree miter of the two slabs? Or should it be "butted" together edge grain to end grain? I need to call today and see what the plan of record is.

    Illustrations on this website: As usual my googling doesn't come up with anything I feel I can definitively point to as the "right way" to do it. And to attach it.
    http://www.devoswoodworking.com/desi...ps/joints.html

    I feel like, if it were me, I'd mitre and glue/domino it together. But as I said previously. I'm out of league here.
    Last edited by Erich Weidner; 05-01-2019 at 7:39 AM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    I think the top will be built up from 1" thick boards. (Might end up 3/4" after milling/sanding).
    Well, the guy claims the adhesive he uses has enough flex. But I've just never come across any book mentioning such a technique as valid.

    Yes, the problem with slots is the steel plate. It is already installed and I can't exactly route a slot through it.

    I have to admit dealing with this is stressing me out (and why I am up at 5AM on the forum). Might have been better if I was completely ignorant of wood working. Ignorance is bliss. At this point I just want to do what I can to ensure the top doesn't have problems in the future. Unlike with building tables, or chairs or book cases, I wasn't able to locate books on building a bar/bar top. (So many different DIY articles out there, none of which really I felt were solid).

    I'll also admit, though researching and building this myself might have been a fun project, I don't have any prior experience with a giant slab, and I work full time in a different carrer than owning this business, so I just don't have time. Hence I let the GC hire someone he trusted.

    At this point, I just want to step in enough to insist on whatever I still can to get a good result.
    They carpenter warrants his work, but then people go out of business all the time.
    Slots in steel can be cut in with a scroll saw with a metal blade, a rat tail file, or just a large round hole with a fender washer under the head of the screw. One of the basic issues you have here is most trim carpenters think they can also be furniture makers, I mean heck it's all just wood right? Norm Abrams went from a carpenter to furniture maker with just a few air nailers and a TV show after all!

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    OK, so now that I'm starting to second guess everything:
    How should a corner of the bar be handled?

    Meaning for the "L" / 90 degree turn at the end of the bar. Should this be a 45 degree miter of the two slabs? Or should it be "butted" together edge grain to end grain? I need to call today and see what the plan of record is.

    Illustrations on this website: As usual my googling doesn't come up with anything I feel I can definitively point to as the "right way" to do it. And to attach it.
    http://www.devoswoodworking.com/desi...ps/joints.html

    I feel like, if it were me, I'd mitre and glue/domino it together. But as I said previously. I'm out of league here.
    I guess it's personal preference, but I can't imagine a bar top that is NOT mitered at the corners. As you mention I would definitely use a loose tenon of some sort (dominos, biscuits, spline, etc) in that joint.

    Glad to hear that your carpenter warrants his work. there is no way I anchor a slab to plywood.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  6. #21
    I sense you are not comfortable with this whole plan, and many here feel the same including me. I would get another quote from another contractor or two.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    Well, the guy claims the adhesive he uses has enough flex. But I've just never come across any book mentioning such a technique as valid.

    Yes, the problem with slots is the steel plate. It is already installed and I can't exactly route a slot through it.
    I've put down stair treads with silicone dots to allow some movement, but for a wide countertop like you are describing, I would stick with screws and washers through oversized holes.

    For enlarging the holes after the fact, why not just drill through the steel and plywood with a larger diameter bit and use a bigger washer?
    JR

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Citerone View Post
    I sense you are not comfortable with this whole plan, and many here feel the same including me. I would get another quote from another contractor or two.
    +1 on that!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. Rutter View Post
    I would stick with screws and washers through oversized holes. For enlarging the holes after the fact, why not just drill through the steel and plywood with a larger diameter bit and use a bigger washer?
    I think that is an excellent suggestion (as are others above). Now I just have to insist he does it my way or fire him. (I don't like conflict, and already had a long conversation with him yesterday. He wouldn't budge from his opinion/method and frankly gave me several bits of data which are just plain wrong.) Sigh... I'm going to met with the GC in about an hour to discuss where to go from here with said carpenter. But I'm not going to be intimidated into accepting junk science from the "pro".

    I frankly wish I had the confidence in my own wood working skills (and the time) to have just done this myself. Kind of feels like my garage full of tools have been betrayed by me hiring this out.

  10. #25
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    Are you wedded to the edge-glued top? Seems like you could put a thick (say, 1/8") veneer on that substrate, add some edge-banding, and you'd have an attractive, solid bar top. Maybe the veneer doesn't even need to be that thick.
    Last edited by Gary Ragatz; 05-02-2019 at 10:55 AM.

  11. #26
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    The way I understand the top as being plywood I see no issue with using a flexible adhesive to attach it. There will be plenty of surface area to bo d it securely and permanently. Miter the top L section for best appearance.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    The way I understand the top as being plywood I see no issue with using a flexible adhesive to attach it. There will be plenty of surface area to bo d it securely and permanently. Miter the top L section for best appearance.
    32" wide solid wood glued to plywood substrate is what the carpenter proposed.
    JR

  13. #28
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    Long miters gap with seasonal change in relative humidity.

    Im with Gary, a veneer with edge of your want would be much better given the bar. I did similar for a job that originally spec’d 3.5” solid slab top 53” wide. After discussing the limits of solid wood the clients agreed with my suggestion.

    Solid wood is something I enjoy but it doesn’t work in every instance, I think it’s being used here outside of its best use.

    Consider using a cabinet shop that specializes in veneer work for this kind of job. Considering the budget you should be getting something exceptional. You’re not far from Phillip Morley, he does very nice work and I do believe he works with shop sawn veneers.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 05-02-2019 at 1:06 PM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #29
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    Maybe a bit late to this party ...??... but on the matter of slotting the 1/4" plate and ply above it:

    I'll assume you could/can/will use a 'fixed' row of holes on 'your' side of the bar top. Then to get a row of slotted holes on the patron's side, you could rent a (small) magnetic base drill press. It would probably take two people to position it on the steel from below, then drill 1-2 more holes adjacent to and properly aligned with any existing holes - - then use a grinder to smooth the edges into the desired slot shape.

    It is possible you could get the mag-base drill to grab to the steel from the top. This makes positioning and operating MUCH easier, but I wouldn't count on it. Another option might be to borrow a 36"x24" piece of 1/2" plate, clamp it to the ply/steel substrate, then magnetically attach the drill from the top..?

    And if push comes to shove, just use an offset grinder on edge thru the 1/4" steel, then match that slot with a mortice in the plywood, cut with a router.

    Hope it helps, and good luck!
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 05-02-2019 at 1:42 PM. Reason: clarity
    Molann an obair an saor.

  15. #30
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    Well. I've parted ways amicably with the trim carpenter. However it now looks like I'm taking on the task of finishing the bartop.
    There is already a plywood substrate. I don't want to start over, I just want to build a glued up slab on top of it.

    Now, the question is... what is the best way to glue up said slab when it is longer than the length of a single board. That is, the longest section is about 20' long. If I'm using boards which are less than that.. do I stagger them? It is late, and I'm out of town until Friday so don't have access to my wood working books. Though I don't recall this coming up in them.

    My coffee table was purchased and is glued up of finger jointed short pieces to create "long" boards. which are edge glued. That is not the look I'm going for. I'm fine if the boards are staggered, but should the ends of the boards be dominoed as well as the edge joints? (I know the dominoes/biscuits are strictly necessary for edge gluing. Not sure if I'm going to bother with that or not.)

    Here is the current state of the bar w/substrate of metal and plywood.

    2019-05-04 14.58.09-1.jpg2019-05-04 14.58.04.jpg2019-05-04 14.58.20.jpg2019-05-04 14.58.24-1.jpg

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