Google+ Nine Red: Backyard Bar Progress

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Backyard Bar Progress

Backyard Brick Patio Bar Progress... say that ten times fast, huh?  We do actually call this area the brick patio, because in our house - there are so many doors (6!) that it's really hard to say where the "back" yard is, this area is more of a side yard. Anyways, a ways back I started a project (you can read about it here) to fancy up this area of our life:

We've learned a lot since buying the house. What looks like a random curve shaped deck surrounding redwoods is actually someone's giant cover up of an old unused jacuzzi. Yep, there is a really old jacuzzi shell under there. They would have gotten away with it if we hadn't seen the pipes coming out the other side, but I think a deck is better anyway. Have you ever owned a jacuzzi? Cha-ching....$$$...hello maintenance!

So I'm back with a post to prove that we aren't total slackers and that we've made progress. The bar is up, and here's a fancy play by play of just how it was done:
Lucky for us there was a fence there already, and it was surprisingly sturdy. That was a fantastic shortcut!  We had a lot of extra redwood on hand from our retaining wall project, and decided to just give it a go.  Luckily all was level, and this was pretty much just a cut & attach project.
A little 45 degree angle edge work will protect us from dangerous corners, this is a bar after all & I'm 100% sure there will be drinks around it. Safety first!  If you notice that weird corner, yea.... oops! Saw got a little wild on me, but we'll be beveling the heck out of it.  At least we had, this:
A flat surface!
Using clamps (oh and now you get a REAL nice shot of that error area) I secured our new bar to the top of the existing sturdy railing, and drove some standard exterior wood screws up from the bottom:
Yep, those ones.
And up from the bottom, see? Isn't that nice & clean....  no screw holes upstairs. Horrible picture, but it gets the point across.
From here on out it was pretty much a bracing, sanding, staining & sealing issue. Things went surprisingly well, which is lucky for us because we jumped into the project with little to no planning. Sometimes, I gotta say, things work nicely on the fly.  You break out all your tools & supplies, and you just roll with it until you figure out how in the heck you are going to get your end result. 

Bracing: The thing felt pretty sturdy, but I'm paranoid & like I said, it's a bar.  People get careless. We used some leftover 2x2's from our Impromptu Pergola project along with my handsome miter-saw to cut out some brackets.  These are easy, just 45 degrees in opposite directions, attach and feel the brawn...
I love you Miter Saw.
For a while now we've been looking to incorporate one of my favorite hexagon patterns back into our lives, since we gave a friend our favorite Hexagon Coffee table.  (Loved that thing, but we had no spot for it!). This was the perfect canvas, and brought a little contrast to the surrounding green.

We sanded the bar starting with a coarse 80 grit paper, and gradually used finer paper with each layer. 120, then 220. Once it was smooth, we taped our pattern (using this handy hexagon ruler) & painted our design.
So shiny... I sealed it with 3 coats of High Gloss Spar Urethane. (Here's a link if it's new to you) I pretty much just asked the clerk for the strongest stuff ever, and he delivered. This stuff is SHINY!

Close up of Hexy:
After painting the hexagons (and before sealing) we decided to rough them up a bit.  I love the wood grain showing through..
Do you see those lovely beveled edges? Delightful...
Let's stand back....
Here's a sneak peak to the bench we are building on that stump:
A lovely before & after:
So clearly we aren't done, but we're kinda close.  Really I just need to figure out a rug, a gigantic pad for that seat, armrests & backrests (not really sure how that's gonna happen....ha!) and accessories. 

While we are out here, look who bloomed - our ultimate deer proof plant, Clerodendrum:

Thanks for stopping in & seeing our progress, stay tuned - I'm so excited to get this area up & running.  Happy Wednesday!

-Jesse

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