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 live edge bar that will fit the entire width of the window. The really cool part of this project is how the boards for the bar are joined together!
Here’s a short video showing you how it’s done.
The oak planks we used to make the table top in our foyer from my Seasonal Simplicity Spring Home Tour are joined the same way.
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Before Jason showed me this method, I would’ve used a Kreg Jig to make pocket holes like I did when I built the DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Balustrade Coffee Table.
Another way you could join planks of wood together is using wooden biscuits.
The only supplies you’ll need are a skill saw, bar clamps, paint sticks, a razor knife and some glue.
Steps for joining boards together with basic tools (aka The Biscuit Cheater Method For Joining Boards Together):
1. Apply a liberal amount of wood glue to the entire edge of both boards. It helps to use a small paint brush or your finger. Allow the glue to set a few minutes
2. Clamp the boards together using bar clamps.
3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 coats of polyurethane.
I hope this tutorial and video has been helpful to you! If you give it a try let me know. The next post will be how we made the industrial brackets that hold the bar up. Click the picture below to see the tutorial.
You can see how I used the Kreg Jig for pocket holes when I made the coffee table in this post: