Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm on top!

Wow I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. I will try to make it up with this extra long post detailing the construction and finishing of the kegerator's bar top.

I explored many options including using ceramic tile, vinyl tile, hardwood flooring, epoxying bottle caps, paint, and counter tops just to name a few. Ended up going with the following design due to weight, budget, durability, and ease of installation and future repair.

My design called for increasing the height of the bar top by about 1 1/2" to allow for a drip tray reservoir, to bring the overall kegerator height up to that of a standard bar, 42", and to provide a sturdy backing for the trim that will hide the freezer lid. To do this I started by gluing and screwing two sheets of 3/4" plywood together then gluing a sheet of 1/8" hardboard to that for a smooth flat finish.

Then I drilled the hole for the beer tower lines and cooling fan and cut the rectangle hole for the drip tray reservoir.

I settled on Krylon's Make It Stone! for the finish. Picked it up at Canadian Tire for about $8.

This stuff worked great and after just the first coat I was very impressed.

After two it looked almost like a professional job. A little prickly so once it dried I lightly scrubbed it with a damp cloth to smooth out the sharper bits.

Test fitted the bar top to make sure it was slightly larger than the freezer lid. Also needed to make sure there would be clearance for the trim to overlap the freezer body.

Cut, glued, and nailed the trim to the bar top. My air finishing nailer made this a breeze. Countersunk the nails and filled with a stain-able wood filler. The bar-top is looking a little dull, but a lot of that is dust from sanding the trim. I cleaned that off before final clear-coating.

I used a narrower piece of trim for the back to allow for the lid to swing open and cut notches for the hinges. The bar top also overlaps the back about an inch more to also allow for the top to open easier. I was quite impressed with how this turned out, nice and tight and still allows it to open perfectly.

Stained the trim. This was tricky trying to get as little stain as possible on the bar top. What little I did get on it wiped off easily.

Applied three or four coats of clear-coat in total. It really evened up and darkened the bar top nicely and brought a shine to the trim. I should probably add a couple more coats for protection. That's it for now. Next post I will show how I attached this bar top to the freezer top, and attaching the wheeled base. Thanks for reading.