DIY Projects · Outdoor Space

Building an Industrial (sized) Bar Table

While it’s not yet officially summer, the weather is telling us otherwise. And as long of a winter as we had, that’s how quickly the warm weather has graced us with its presence. Which means I also quickly transitioned from hibernating in the house to spending my free time playing in the gardens. And while I’m outside getting my hands dirty, Dan’s in his workshop, getting the garage ready for another fun summer.

With the bar all set up and the outdoor furniture back in place, we’re close to having everything we want in our garage space. But there’s one thing missing that Dan’s been envisioning for a long time, and that’s a large gathering table for family and friends to share drinks, meals, and each other’s company. And with that in mind, this project is another perfect example of Dan’s vision being translated to paper and then brought to life.


The concept for this project was to include both metal and wood elements to create a long, pub-style table that could fit 10+ people. The base would be made up of welded black metal (I told you, he’s really getting into this welding thing) with a featured wood beam down the middle.The tabletop brings in more wood elements, made up of wide, red oak boards. The ends of the table would be capped off with the same 2×6 red oak, known as bread boards. Here’s a peak at the design:


Building the Base

Welding the base involved frequent trips to the metal shop, where Dan is now known on a first name basis. It also took a lot of time and a lot of sparks flying in our garage.


20180505_115354 (1)The base was made up of two legs that featured a rectangular design with wide, sturdy feet. A smaller rectangle was added to each leg, holding the wooden beam in place which sprawls from one end of the table to the next. Dan also had a late add to the base of the table –  two metal rods that spanned from the top of one leg to the next, providing unseen, additional support to the tabletop itself.

After many long nights of welding, the base was finished off with a high-gloss black paint. The wood beam, finished with dark walnut stain, was then secured in place, adding a rustic feature to the base.



Topping it Off

While Dan became friends with the guys at the metal shop, I made friends of my own at the lumber yard, picking up 6 boards of 2x6x8 red oak. The beautiful lines in red oak make it my absolute favorite wood to work with. I had fun mix and matching the lines in each slab of wood to creat the perfect design for the table.

The table itself would be made up of 5 boards across, with the 6th board being cut down as the end caps, or bread boards, for the table. With each board measuring 8 feet, and the 6 inches of each bread board, this table was on track to be 9 feet long. To connect each piece to each other, Dan used a dowel joiner (a new tool that was recently added to his ever-growing collection). The bread boards were a bit trickier, as you have to leave extra room for the dowels because red oak is known to expand/contract depending on the temperature.


Bread board assembly.

Sanding away.

The finished product.


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With the table assembled and sanded smooth, Dan finished it off with Minwax Dark Walnut, a perfect stain for red oak that truly makes the wood grain pop. We also finally perfected our polyurethane finish, as Dan applied the smoothest coat yet, with not a spec of dust in sight.

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Can’t Forget the Barstools

What’s a pub-style dining table without the barstools? My sister gifted us with 4 used bar stools from a local establishment that she frequently visits. I started to pull apart the seats to refinish them, only to realize that they were too far gone, and there was a much easier solution for us to purchase new seats to attach to the original stools. After adding the new seats, and a new layer of paint to the legs, we had a good starting point on our seating around the table. To round out our collection of bar stool seating, we took the easy route and purchased industrial, black metal stools.

Bringing It All Together

With the metal base welded and the red oak top complete, its easy to envision how this all comes together.

I’ve said it a lot lately, but after each project I’m more and more impressed with Dan’s work, and it’s probably my favorite project to date. It’s amazing to watch him work and see how his vision comes to life. And this one’s not just a table, but a place for us to gather and make memories with our family and friends. Something we’ve already started to do. With a music fest and family brunch celebrated around this table, there’s plenty of memories already made, and plenty more to make.

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