Bending around the bar

While Jeff was busy making dust, Sean welded the curved bar pieces into a frame and I cut pieces of bender board to wrap around the corners. Bender board comes in two thickness, 1/8” and 3/8”. The straight walls of the bar are faced in 1/4” MDF so in order to get the curves to the same thickness I had to laminate two pieces of 1/8”. The bender board would have been difficult to attach using any of the fasteners at my disposal so instead I slathered the frame with construction adhesive and monopolized every clamp in the shop until the glue dried. Then I repeated the process with the second layer replacing the construction adhesive with wood glue.

This is what it looked like when I finished wrapping the frame with wood but before any of the moulding was affixed.

It was a little bit like a fort so of course I had to set a timer and take a picture of myself inside once I’d finished wrapping it. At this point we disassembled the frame and moved the pieces into the paint shop so that Mona could woodgrain the large panels before we buried them in many layers of moulding. It’s a little difficult to see in this picture but there were 13 separate layers that went onto the bar some of which required multiple steps to create before we even applied them to the bar.

When we received the bar back from paint the madness of curved moulding began. I don’t really have any photos from this part of the process because I felt a little like I was sprinting toward a finish line that always seemed a bit closer than it actually was.

My experience of this process went from, “Well this is novel.” to “Goodness there is rather a lot of curved moulding.” and finally ended with “Oh please, oh please make it stop!” But it did look lovely when we finished it. Then we sent the bar back to paint for the final woodgraining. I can’t say that this was its final step though since the painters are still down on the set in the mornings giving the bar details like scratches and cup rings, and the show opens on Thursday.

I snuck into the paint shop after the painters left for the night and took some pictures of the woodgraining in process.

Here are the woodgraining tools. I meant to show you that this is an instance of art imitating life but I failed to scan the Sears Catalog from 1908 that contains very similar tools.

The set is not just a bar, there is also a beautifully aged Hotel sign complete with custom neon letters that Nick had a lot of fun acquiring, a header that matches the bar and various other bar paraphernalia which I will show you in the next post.

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