I dedicate this article to my Dog Rufus who passed away only a few weeks after the completion of this project. Rufus was a great friend always there with me reviewing cigars and just hanging out listening to my stories. Here’s to you Rufus as you cross the rainbow bridge.
I do a lot of travel and when I get home I like to have a place to relax and enjoy a good stogie. I also like to have a place to relax with friends and have a few drinks. It only made sense that the Stogie Press Gar Cave should have a bar in it to complete the look and feel of a personal cigar lounge. So after a long weekend before this past Thanksgiving we built a bar for the cave. yea that’s about all it took , a good solid two days with a few hours after to complete the finishing touches.
In this article we outline the step by step approach we took so if you are interested in building your own you have some heads up knowledge.
1. First decide where you plan to put the bar. This is important because you will need to make sure you have the space. Mark out the area with blue carpenters tape and make sure you include both the outline and the overhang.
2. Determine the height and width. This is important as you will want bar stools that fit. The normal height is about 42 inches and I chose a width of 24 inches.
3. Now you need to make some drawings to visualize the structure. These can be simple sketches, but are key to figuring out the dimensions and later the wood to buy.
4. Once you have the dimensions understood, you need to decide the lumber required. We used a red oak veneered 5/8 inch ply wood for the bar top and a 1/8 inch red oak veneered ply wood for the fascia . The basic structure was made with simple one 2×4’s and we used clear pine 1×4 for the finish. The bar top was molded with a 1 inch L molding.
5. So you now know what lumber you want to use, the next step is to decide how much. So back to the drawing/sketch. If you are building an “L” shape bar like we did you will need to build 2 box structures out of 2×4’s . So you will need to measure that out and keep in mind 2×4 comes in 8 foot lengths usually.
6. Ok so you got the dimensions and now you need to buy the lumber. I went to Home Depot to get mine. They will even cut all the lumber for you so you don’t have to mess with that. I chose to have them cut the large pieces of plywood and cut the rest myself.
7. So you got the lumber you will also need wood screws, finish nails, wood glue, sand paper, wood filler, stain brush, fine grit sand paper, mitre box and saw, Decoupage (this is special glue that dries clear, get this at craft store like Hobby Lobby), stain and polyurethane. (I actually used a Minwax stain and poly in one can which makes application easier).
8. Now that you have the supplies it is time to start the fun. You will need to build out the box frame. Screw the 2×4’s together (use a an electric drill it will be easy) and make sure you have enough to support the front fascia so it does not bow.
9. Once the frame is done, screw the top of the bar top onto the box frame. Be sure to countersink the screw heads.
10. To apply the front fascia, you will need to glue the fascia board to the 2×4’s and then use finish nails to secure it in place. Be sure to use a nail set to gently tap the nail heads below the wood surface.
11.One the basic structure is complete, you will need to finish the edges and front, I used a clear pine 1×4 board for this. Again use wood glue and then secure the boards with finish nails.
12. Here is the fun part. Applying a moulding on the bar top. I chose to us a 1 inch “L” shaped moulding. You will need to have a mitre box and saw to cut the mitre edges. This can be tricky so be careful. We created a template cut by cutting the two angles on a small piece of moulding to make sure we got the angles right. Apply the moulding with wood glue and use finish nails to secure it.
13. Now that you have the construction complete, sit back and enjoy a stogie. you earned it.
14. Use wood filler to cover all the countersink screws and nail heads and then sand it down even with the wood. Use a light weight sandpaper to gently sand the raw wood. Vacuum the wood dust and then use a tack cloth to get all the remaining dust off the wood.
15. You are ready to stain the bar. Gently stir the stain/poly (don’t shake the can). Use a 2 inch stain brush and run along the grain. After a couple of hours gently sand the first coat and apply another coat and repeat. We used 3 coats of stain/poly. After the stain is complete it should have a nice shine to it and I strongly suggest sitting back and enjoying another cigar while observing your masterwork.
16. The last step is applying your collection of cigar bands. To do this you will use the Decoupage. You simply pour it out on the bar top and spread it with a 2 inch brush. Work in small areas about 2 feet by the width of the bar top at time. Once you brush the Decoupage on apply the bands where you want them and then work another section. The Decoupage will look white when you apply it, but don’t fear it will dry clear. After you have completed the application of the bands and Decoupage on the top, let it dry about an hour and then pour another coat of Decoupage and brush it out. Apply about 4 -5 coats of the Decoupage waiting about an hour between each coat.
17. Your done. Now sit down at your new bar with an ashtray and your best stogie and smile, you have done it. Invite your neighbors and fellow cigar lovers over.
18. You can add shelves behind the bar for liquor bottles and glasses and add shelves under the bar in the back for storage if you like.
19. You can always add more bands to the bar top with more Decoupage. If you are happy with the amount of bands you can apply a clear epoxy to the bar top to seal it all in. This part I have not done but someday I will.
If you are ever in the Melbourne Florida area let us know the Stogie Press Smoking Lounge welcomes all.