The Eloquent Barman
We like to name all our projects with a title that can somewhat some up the product in a word or short sentence. It might be all madness but it is fun trying to come up with something catchy.
This is 'Build with the Gents' blog post No.1 in what will hopefully be an ever-expanding series of more daring projects, better insights into how things are made and the techniques behind the details. You learn as we make.
The eloquent barman was designed by Paul while travelling and working in Vancouver. The home-bar come credenza is built from solid ash with inset walnut splines. The ash staves are between 50 mm t0 70 mm in width. This is to eliminate any warping throughout 500 mm wide solid frame.
The minimal curved front is coated with a lime whitewash, giving the unit a refreshing textured passageway to the hidden treasures behind. The entire unit is then sprayed with 3 coats of lacquer for a robust durable finish. The beauty of ash is the deep grain and wide growth rings. This allows for a textured feel even after spraying with lacquer.
Far from an easy build and it certainly not a light piece to lift, the project took time to perfect the lines, equal gaps and ever so slight curvatures. Each door and drawer is assisted with a push to open latch. The doors flow smoothly down with ease on the cam actuated levers. The drawers open with a touch of a finger with hidden under mounted, touch to open, heavy duty drawer runners.
The elegant credenza sits on a sleek 15mm polished steel frame adding to the lustrous slimline design.
It would not be a bar without some fine wines and enticing liqours.
The alluring benefit to the closed unit and sideboard shape of this bar is that you can hide your delicacies in plain sight. The in-obtrusive layout allows the credenza to sink into the background and yet can be the focal point of a minimalists room or the social point for an evenings entertainment.
The length and height of the bar give an ideal surface for entrees, finger foods, glasses and of course more drinks.
The drawers come with bottle stays which can hold 6 bottles of your favourite wines and whiskies. The stays are removable and interchangeable. Personally, we like to have two drawers for bottles and one for bar accessories and tools with a custom built tray.
True beauty is in the Details
Build, rebuild and rebuild again until every last detail is perfect.
It's all in the details:
Not as easy as they may look and in another manner not as difficult as they look to all you woodworkers reading. These dovetail walnut splines add so much character to the bar. In a certain aspect, they give the illusion the corners have been stitched together.
Detail secrets: Sorry to say that no pictures were taken when we were cutting for these splines but we will hopefully get some good shots in the next build. The splines on the drawer are done by creating a jig to hold the drawer on its corner edge at a 45-degree angle while resting on the bed of the table saw. After marking where we need to cut, we tilt the blade to around 15 degrees, raise the blade to the desired height and line the jig up to the blade. Make the cuts where marked and hey presto, you have your slots for the splines.
The spline rebates on the body of the bar is a different story however as it is impossible to hold the entire unit up on its edge on a table saw and make all the cuts perfectly. We will be showing you a video on Maks' guide to: 'woodworking' blog later in the year on how to achieve these. It involves jigs, rails saws and patience.
For all the photographers out there.
It is a simple guideline for taking the perfect picture. Likewise in this design. The equally divided unit and straight symmetric lines allow the eye to flow easily along its path.
The ever so modest curvature of the front can be hard to see in pictures but in person, it is an elegant addition that adds to the level of detail we put into each part. This curve is created by moulding each stave individually to the correct curvature. Only a slight hardship getting them all lined up, glued and sanded but so worth it in the end.
The beauty the lies within.
The raw edge: ash
Ash is steeped in Irish history. It is Ireland's most common and largest tree and is most commonly known for its use in the construction of Hurley's which is used in the game of GAA Hurling.
We used Ash for this project for its rich colour, deep texture and durability. This particular solid ash credenza was made in Vancouver using American Ash.
Captivate your audience
At the end of the day, this home bar is for you, to use as you wish, for quiet evening drinks or to host a cocktail party, the choice is yours. One thing is for sure, however, it will always catch an eye, always turn heads and leave people wanting to know more. Enjoy it and remember to drink elegantly.