How to Properly Cut a Bar Rail


bar-railSo you’re in the midst of creating your bar and need to know how to cut a bar rail. As with any woodworking job, it is important to know what you are doing and what you are getting yourself into before taking on the job. The old saying “measure twice and cut once” has never been more true than when working with a project such as cutting a bar rail.

Getting the right cut depends on the style you are working with. Some bar rails come with the cuts you need and then you need to simply fit them into place securely. Anything that requires cutting the bar rail has basically been compared to cutting crown molding but upside down.

So, here are some things to keep in mind in order to get the cut you want for the rail for your bar:

  • The miter cut should be done with the rail at the angle it will be staying at once secured into place for good on the bar top. In other words, having it flat on the saw table will not give you the results you need. 
  • You should use a level to determine the difference for height from the top to the bottom. Then, by fashioning a shim, you can get the cut at the angle you need for the rail.
  • Of course you have to consider the size of the lip the lower groove will be fitting against. When placing the bar rail in place, it should be fitted around the top groove. The lower groove is what needs to be adjusted in order to get the rail to fit into place and to keep it secure. If the fit isn’t tight enough, any weight on this lower part of the rail can cause it to weaken or even break free from the bar top.
  • If you cut too much away, it will mean you will need to create a wedge or extension to fill in this gap. The common mistake people make is thinking that having that extra space isn’t a big deal and leaving it there. Of course after some regular use of the bar rail, it quickly becomes obvious that isn’t true. It is a great deal easier to spend the initial time cutting and fitting the rail properly than to try to fix it later.
  • Finally you may also need to make a jig so that the miter joint matches up. The idea is to make sure the groove in the rail ends up parallel to the base of the miter saw so that everything lines up the way it should in the end result.

Of course there are plenty of other tips to take into consideration in order to make the bar rail and bar top all come together properly. If this is your first time tackling this type of project, be sure to use patience and double check everything before setting it in place so the end result will be exactly what you wanted.


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