DIY Live Edge Wood Bar & An Easy Way to Join Wood Planks Using Basic Tools (Video Tutorial)
One of the things the cottage shed guest house needed was an eating area that didn’t take up much space. Instead of placing a table in the room, we decided to build a DIY live edge bar countertop that will fit the entire width of the window.
The really cool part of this project is how the wood planks for the bar top are joined together!
Here’s a short video showing you how it’s done.
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Update: 03/19/19 It’s been almost 2 years since we made the DIY live edge countertop for our guest (tiny) house and it has held up well under fluctuations in temperature since we don’t heat and cool the room 24/7.
The method I’m getting ready to show you is similar to using biscuit joinery (aka plate joinery) without having to buy a biscuit joiner. We’re calling it the Biscuit Cheater Method For Joining Boards Together.
The only supplies you’ll need are a skill saw, bar clamps, paint sticks, a razor knife, and wood glue.
But this method is quicker, easier, and more than likely you already have the supplies and tools you need in your workshop.
Steps for joining boards together with basic tools (aka The Biscuit Cheater Method For Joining Boards Together):
1. First, apply a liberal amount of wood glue to the entire edge of both boards. It helps to use a small paintbrush or your finger. Allow the glue to set a few minutes
2. Then, clamp the boards together using bar clamps.
3. After that, set the depth of the skill saw blade to 1/2 the depth of the wood. For example, our boards are 1″ thick so we set the depth of the blade to 1/2″.
4. The next step is to use your circular saw to cut the center of the clamped boards 1/2 of the total width of the 2 boards you’re joining. For example, the total width of our bar is approximately 14″ so the cut it 7″ long.
5. Make 2 passes with the blade so the cuts will be approximately 3/16″ (enough width to fit a paint stick).
6. Make cuts in your boards spaced about every 10″ apart.
7. After that, take a paint stick and cut it slightly shorter than the length of your cut in the board.
8. Using a razor knife, make the paint stick into the shape of a boat. This follows the curve that the round blade has made in the planks. Make sure you always cut away from yourself.
9. Then, whittle the paint stick until it’s thin enough to fit into the gap. It’s ok if it’s too high because that can be shaved off with the razor later.
10. Next, place glue in the cut and then your paint stick.
11. Allow the glue to dry and then shave the paint stick with the razor till it’s level with your planks.
The finished bar is 7 feet long. We spaced seven paint stick joiners approximately every 10 inches apart.
12. Lastly, flip the bar over, sand it, give it a coat of stain, and give it a couple of coats of polyurethane.
I hope this tutorial and video has been helpful to you! If you give it a try let me know.