Build-A-Bar

I've been meaning to build this bar for a while. The plywood and 2x4s were bought in the beginning of the semester. I just didn't have time and mental capacity to squeeze in a full-day project. Today I finally got to build it!

Motivation

My room has this awkward structure in the middle of the room (seen in the first image below, click to see more photos). Without further explanation, I'll just say that it is useless to me. Beginning of the semester, a friend nudged me to build a bar, which I thought was a fun idea, so building it on top of this structure seemed like the perfect thing to do.

Process

We used plywood and 2x4s previously bought and cut to dimension from Home Depot. 40' 2x4s served as pillars and plywood covered the top and sides. Drilling and building with wood is not too hard if you have the right screws and angles for the job (I had to go for a quick run to the local hardware store to buy 3/4' screws that would fit our steel angles). We (Greg & I) built the two tops and supporting structures first, then put the sides in and finalized the structure. Figuring things out in the beginning took a while, so getting things done structurally took about 3-4 hours. We went out for a late lunch, came back and started working on sanding and staining, this part also with the help of Danny. 

Sanding is straight forward. Staining is slightly trickier. If you are not familiar, staining is the process of treating the wood with a paint-ish substance to give it a better color (also some protection). Before you stain, you need to pre-stain, with a different substance that allows the later stain to be absorbed evenly, to avoid blotchiness. Then you stain, by painting stain on top of the wood then rubbing off the right amount with cloth. If you want a darker color, which in this case I do, you must first wait for it to dry (about 10 hours) then apply another coating. After staining, you can add some additional water-resistant protection by applying something like polyurethane. The second round of staining and the application of polyurethane will need to happen tomorrow.

Regrets

I did not know that plywood had a good side and a worse side. An "AC grade plywood" means that one side is A (good quality) and the other is C (mediocre). We consistently used the C side by happenchance. While I'm happy that we were at least consistent, I wish we had used the A side.

Special Thanks To

Greg and Danny who built it with me. Greg especially for all the tools.