Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tiki build-along, pt. 5

Tikifying my outdoor speakers isn't the only thing I've been up to. Progress on the back bar continues. Once I had the frame put together, it came time to waterproof it. I didn't use more durable, pressure-treated wood, because 1) the chemicals in such wood doesn't always interact nicely with metal, such as that found in nails, screws, fasteners, etc. and 2) the chemicals in such wood doesn't always interact nicely with human bodies (even though copper-based preservatives have largely replaced arsenic-based ones). Considering the fact that this would be a food preparation area, more or less, I wanted to go with something slightly less worry-inducing. In the end I went with Flood CWF-UV, not because it's food-safe (it isn't) but because I had some on hand. Budget-conscious, I am. But it's less threatening than arsenic/copper, so let's go with that.

Up and down, I coated the entire frame. The bar will be sheltered from direct exposure to the elements, but I don't want to have to worry about rot or mold. There's already a water spigot here, and I plan to make it a wet bar, so the potential for constant moisture and spills is not something to dismiss. The fact that the Flood is cedar-tinted made it easy to keep track of my progress--and see if I'd missed any spots.

Once I finished connecting all the legs, I realized that the pebble-concrete floor was not level. I didn't really want the wooden legs to stay in constant contact with the concrete because of the potential for wicking up moisture, but this clinched it. I needed to put leveling feet on the bar legs. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the heavy-duty all-metal ones I've seen in the past (just call me Mr. Over-engineering) so had to settle for some plastic anchor ones. You can see where I drilled out the hole to accept the footing anchor.

And here is the adjustable leveling foot inserted. I'm happy to report that the plastic anchor is holding up, and the leveling function is working properly. No unstable bar for me!

With the legs taken care of, it was time to tackle the bar top. If you'll recall from the start of this project, the size of the bar was determined by a 20" x 8' piece of plywood I had leftover. After coating it with the Flood weatherproofer, I positioned it atop the bar frame so that there was a 4" overhang on three sides, resting flush against the backing wall. I then used my drill--which I've had for close to 30 years and gets more use than any other power too I own--to make pilot holes and then fasten the plywood bar top to the frame with 2" outdoor wood screws.

And this is what it looks like. It's starting to be identifiable as a bar, no? I should add that somewhere along the line I attached the cabinet doors with hinges, screws and magnetic closures. They were all coated with Flood as well. I didn't take any photos of that, but I'll trust your imagination to fill in any gaps.

The plywood wasn't high-grade finish. I could have tried to sand it down and build it up to a smooth finish by applying many coats of polyurethane, but I did some of that with the initial tiki bar build last summer, and discovered it's a whole lot of work for minimal returns. That's why I went with laminate flooring for the bar top in that build. Following that route again had the added bonus of matching the back bar top to the tiki bar top, making the two look of a set, like I cleverly planned all this out from the start. Using the glue I had on hand, I spread Titebond III (the really, really strong stuff) along the corners and edges of the plywood surface, and filled in everywhere else with Titebond II (which is merely really strong). It's not my desire for the bar top to separate, you see.

Our entire house is floored in this crummy faux-pine hardwood laminate. Since I'm in the middle of my office build-along and replacing the floor (from whence the tiki bar top came) it was a straighforward matter to cannibalize more flooring from the office. I was able to pull up a section that was almost exactly 9'x4' which was plenty big to cut out a top for my back bar. A quick side note--one of the big reasons we hate this flooring so much (and we generally like laminate) is that it has very little texture and is very, very noisy. Not at all like the laminate we installed in our previous home. I've since discovered that this is actually a thing called "laminate tile" or somesuch, which is much thinner than traditional laminate flooring. It's also unpadded. Those factors combine to give it all the traits we dislike about it. But it makes for a decent bar top. I'll mix a drink on it, but I wouldn't want to walk on it. But it cuts easily enough with a jig saw, so that's what I did.

Then I used clamps and boards and random heavy things I had lying around to secure the laminate to the glue-coated surface of the plywood top. And squeezed it on real tight. The fit was just about perfect. I wiped up any oozing glue and left it secured that way for 24 hours.

And here it is without the clamps and assorted dead weight. The mini-fridge is about 21" deep, so once the trim is in place, everything should fit just about perfectly. It still doesn't look like much, I know, but I'm about to start prettying it up. It's going to look good--trust me on this.

Now Playing: Christopher Franke Babylon 5: Messages from Earth
Chicken Ranch Central

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