What I Did With My Weekend

Monday, September 29, 2008

From September until some time in January, my saturdays and Sundays are normally filled with football. My wife and kids are football widowed and orphaned.

But this weekend was different. I took a break from constant football action. I barely watched any (of course I watched the Spartans). But it wasn't like I took a break to do silly shit like "spend quality time with my family" or "be a good dad to my sons" or "volunteer in a soup kitchen." No.

This weekend, I finished the bar in my basement. Out of beer labels.
Here you'll see that we are covering the bartop in beer labels of various Michigan-brewed beers and coasters of beers from all over the world (you'll see a Rogue and a Speakeasy in this pic).

Many of the labels were stickers and thus stuck reasonably well to the top of the bar, which we had just painted with Killz white primer. Also, the bar rail itself formed a lip, and we finished a lip all the way around the rest of the bar using 1" trim. We caulked the whole thing before painting it.

The caulking was an important step because instead of Polyurethane, which is highly-toxic, causes caustic fumes and requires both mulitple coats and sanding, we used a cool substance called Envirotex Lite. It is less toxic, the fumes dissipate in about 2 hours and do not require a respirator as you use it, and it only takes 1 coat if you do your math right. It dries in a high gloss like glass and hardens like polyurethane. There is, in fact, nothing to hate about this substance.

After mixing the 3 gallons of it I was using, I had about 25 minutes of workable time, which was plenty to smooth this out and deal with any air bubbles that rose to the surface. 4 hours later, it was merely tacky to the touch. The next morning, it was rock-solid and smooth as glass.As you can see in the pic, it gives the bartop a beautiful lustre. There are a few spots that are a bit wavy and in one spot, there was an abberrant label that just wouldn't stay the heck down, but all-in-all, for a total amatuer, I am thrilled with the outcome.

Even after placing and taping-down all the labels, pouring goop over the whole thing and smoothing it out, I still get a kick out of staring at it. I notice some new label or favorite beer every time.

I must thank Mrs. Smitty. She placed all the labels like a puzzle over the entire bar top, and helped me tape them all down before I got to play in the plastic stuff with my buddy Greg and my Father-in-Law. She also patiently watched the herd of kids and assured they were fed as I dicked-off in the basement with this project. Couldn't do it without ya, Mrs. S!


Bob 9:24 AM  

That's not a bar, it's an alter for worshipping beer.

Mrs. Smitty,  9:30 AM  

It's the least I could do. I haven't done anything else to finish the basement with the whole growing babies and stuff =) Now, let's crack open a beer and celebrate!

Sopor 10:21 AM  

That's absolutely badass!

But you know what your bar is missing? A 3-tap Corny Kegerator!! ;-)

Anonymous,  10:54 AM  

I'm glad that it came out so well.

My only reget was somehow dripping it on my shin...Of course I couldn't wipe it off, but I was able to rip it off my skin after it dried, of course it took all the associated hair with it. VERY pleasant.

Once again, congrats on the WAY cool looking bar!

(I would have logged in, but I have no idea what my user name is or my password, or hell, maybe I forgot both of them. - Greg)

George 1:22 PM  

Congrats--it looks great!

steves 2:16 PM  

That looks very nice. My BIL did a similar bar and I can say that I really like that kind of surface.

Bob 4:37 PM  

Where did you buy the elbow rest trim pieces?..or did you make them?

Smitty 6:37 PM  

The elbow rest/bar rail was hand-carved out of red oak from my brother.

There is a specialty lumber yeard in downtown detroit that has a kind of saw that can cut a bar rail. Dunno the price.

The trim is simple 1 1/2" foam/wood trim I bought at Lowe's. Nothing fancy...just used it to cover the ugly edge of the MDF, which gave it about a 1/4" lip all the way around so I could pour the Envirotex.

Mike 6:13 AM  

Very cool.

Rickey Henderson 7:06 AM  

awesome work Smitty, hot damn.

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