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Old 03-28-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Bar Top Advice

I am working on refinishing a bar my grandfather built about 25 years ago. It's an odd shape and I'm working on the bar top. I bought some gorgeous reclaimed oak flooring to use. It's already sanded and stained. My thought was to get a nice piece of 11/32" plywood and cut to about 2" wider than the frame to use as a base and install the flooring on top of that. My question is whether I need to do anything to the wood to allow for expansion and contraction. Should I leave a small gap between boards? Should I fix to the plywood or leave "floating"? I live in Colorado - dry - but usually have a/c in the summer and of course heat in the winter, but it's pretty dry in the basement most of the time. Any thoughts on sealing it or finishing it? I was thinking polyurethane, but seem to be finding lots of other options. I've never done anything like this, so am flying a little blind. Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Bar Top Advice

Fasten the ply to the bar (if you ever plan to remove the top...engineer some screw type fastening system, if not, glue it all together) then glue the flooring to the plywood (screw from the bottom??) finish with polyurethane on all sides, that will seal the whole shabang...once sealed, it should not move

I would apply many coats of poly-u, sanding and leveling between coats...... Apply a couple of coats, then wait a couple of days....block sand with something decent, 180/220 apply a couple more coats.....build yourself a long sanding block....chunk of wood with a cut/open belt sander belt (120) fastened to the bottom of the board....sand till the finish is level, try not to sand back to the wood, if it looks like you are going to get close.....block sand the gloss away and add a few more coats.....

When you get an even coat all over everything, making sure there is no exposed wood!!! wet sand with 220/240 W/D silicon carbide paper with enough water on the surface to keep it all moving. When you have the big scratches out, wipe it all dry let it sit for a day to dry good....now get ready...put as much poly-u as you think it will take to make one final coat....put it in a sturdy glass container (mason jar)
PUT IT IN THE MICROWAVE (might want to wait until the little lady is busy and away from home) and heat it (open jar) just until it is a little to hot to hold...
get the pot holder and your best brush, dip and brush...the hot poly will level amazingly fast and will dry really really quick......If you would rather not go the way of Stradavarius (that's where the hot coat idea came from) you can wet sand to 600 and then polish (polyurethane varnish is not a whole lot different from polyurethane automobile finishes, maybe a little less UV protection) polish with white polishing compound from the auto parts store....

The hot coat, yes, been there done that...
"how old would you be if you didn't know how old you are??"
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Bar Top Advice

Great advise! I have put as many as 10 coats of poly-u on a coffee table 40 years ago and it still looks gorgeous! I never heard of the hot method! I am going to try it asap!
Nancy, graphicgranny
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