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Thread: Home Bar Top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Home Bar Top

    Hi Everyone,
    Hope you all are well. This is my first forum and naturly my first post.
    Never ever marrry a carpenter's daughter! Only kidding.
    I could use help on the best indestructible finish for the bar top. It has to go over Oak wood. I have experimented with small peaces of wood with Polyurethan, Polyester Resin, Acrylic Polymer and Epoxy Resin.
    The Polyurethan- gets too many nicks and scratches.
    The Polyester Resin- Scratches
    Acrylic Polymer- I use it at my real job for hair products (water will wear it away.
    The Epoxy Resin- Might be the best one but it seems to be ok with scratches and it is hard but I think it can dent and then smooths out over time. What I wanted to emulate was the hardness and the toughness of quartz countertops where one can put hot pots on it and cut on it.
    If anyone ideas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    42,667
    Welcome to SMC!

    There is no "indestructible" finish...only compromises. One of our resident pros who does a lot of bar installations. You can see some pictures of his work in this thread, this thread and this article at the Festool site. Per and Bob use both epoxy and Behlen's Rock Hard varnish, depending on the job, etc., and often in a multi-step finishing process.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Shoreline, CT
    Posts
    2,822
    If you want indestructible get granite or stainless steel. (The so called quartz materials is plastic filled with quartz minerals and if you get really hot--smoking frying pan hot--it can melt under the heat.) Epoxy will breakdown at lower temperatures than that.

    I'd start with a pore filler, tinted to be just a hair darker than the oak. This will also act as a stain if you don't first seal the wood with a thinned coat of finish. Then after this has cured a week, I'd apply about 4 coats of Behlen Rockhard varnish and rub it out to what ever sheen you want. Sure it will scratch if you abuse it, as will all finishes over wood, but is easier to repair than polyurethane varnish. Use hot plates, and a cutting board.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Home Bar Type

    Wow lots of good stuff and thanks so much.
    I'm going to try this on a small sample, The Oak wood with golden oak stain then a thin seal coat of "Kleer Koat" (Epoxy Resin) from www.mrfiberglass.com since I have a qt of it. Then a pour coat of the same stuff. Then to top it off with a few layers of th Behlen Rockhard Table Top Varnish being sent as I type from www.woodcraft.com
    Sounds crazy? Maybe I should stick to my day job.
    Brian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Kleer Koat

    Hi everyone hope all are well. I was trying small pours of the Kleer Koat Clear Epoxy Resin and after a few days the top layer would remain soft. I was thinking since I have 2 qt. of the stuff (Resin and Hardner) I would weight out a few grams. They measure it by volume and not percent weight. Got the Specific Gravity of the 2 chemicals so I could weight it out in grams. Also the manufacturer told me it has to be above 70F for a few days. He said he gets a lot of phone calls during the winter time of people having the same problem. So on my little trial run I have a heat lamp on in. Let you know. Got some pics of the bar so far. "Remember I'm not a carpenter".


  6. #6
    I used the pourable epoxy for my bar top, it looks great. But as Jim said, you have to make compromises ... the resin gives the depth and beauty, but its NOT heat resistant and it wont take alot of cutting abuse.

    Depending on your intended use, mine is strictly a bar, so if I have something hot, coaster or trivet. If I cut, cutting board.

    I can dig up a picture if you would like to see mine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Bar top

    I was thinking of adding Behlen's Rockard Table Top Varnish to cover the epoxy resin. Do you think that would be ok? Send a pic of your bar

  8. #8
    Here is what mine ended up like. I havent seen the need for the RockHard finish yet.

    ( some other pics if you are bored )

    http://http://s260.photobucket.com/a...tjuly07011.jpg




  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Bar top

    Hi Lee,
    Looks great. Two things. The beavege cooler you got we got a floor model from home depot so it was not that bad for price but it only goes down to 41F. I included a pic of it. Next what temp. did you pour the Epoxy at, did you keep it at that temp. and how long did it take to get hard?
    Thanks Brian

  10. #10
    I got my beer fridge from sams. its a HAIER and it keeps "the coldest beer in town" !!!

    My basement is pretty consistent temp for each season. I did that pour in spring, so it was 65-70 and 35% ish humidity. It went real easy, except it will find ANY little hole.

    My bar top made is 10X more difficult with tounge and groove pine. I had to put many coats of poly on to seal the voids.

    It went by the book, it was tacky to the touch in 24 hrs and durable and stable 48 hrs ish. I left a fan blowing overnight to make sure the finish cured evenly, distributing the heat load. I have a few little bubbles I couldnt get out, but everyone is a harsher critic of their own work. Then I let it set for one full week before I put anything on it.

    My was a 2 part epoxy system from an online source.

  11. #11
    Pics of my bar. I used 2 part epoxy. So far it has held up well.
    A little glossy for my taste,but it really added a nice amber
    tone to the spalted maple top.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Bar Top

    Hey Rick,
    Looks great! I'm going to use the 2 part epoxy, my small trial run with a heat lamp came out alot harder than my first run. Can't keep the house above 70F for a week. (Cost at Con-Ed too much). I guess I'll have to just cover it and pour it in the spring. Then put the Behlen's rock hard table varnish on top of the epoxy.
    Brian

  13. #13
    Hi Yah,

    We recommend slow cure Mas epoxy for the least amount of bubble problems.

    http://www.masepoxies.com/public/

    You chase the bubbles with a heat gun.

    We then use Behlens table top, 4 coats plus.

    Then polish after 4 to 6 weeks.

    Per
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    White Plains NY
    Posts
    41

    Home Bar Top

    Hey Per,
    How goes it? My last trial run with the Kleer Koat went good on a 1ft x 1ft piece of wood. Just as long as I kept above 70F for a week. I thought the few bubbles that I had came out easly with a pass of a hand held blow torch. On Sunday I'm going to put the Belhen's varinish on it and keep it above 70F.
    Brian

  15. #15
    Brian,

    Nice, but a few things.

    This is a true trial and error deal.

    There is no formula that works for all woods and and climate conditions.

    That being said it is a good Idea to also let the epoxy gas out for 30 days or so. The Behlens may Fog it if it is not fully cured.

    Also, impurities do rise to the top of the epoxy cure, so rinse it
    with denatured alchohol and then tooth it with 320.

    The surface must be dust free, bubbles form around any dust particles.

    Do not use a tack rag.

    Good luck and don't be disappointed.

    We make at least three test pieces and check temps with a infrared gun.

    Per
    "all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
    T.E. Lawrence

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