Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Raising The Bar

Do you have bar stools?

How about an abnormally high bar or counter?

Yep, I've got one of those.  A high bar.  It's one of those things in this house that befuddles me.  Like no door to our bathroom, misplaced light fixtures, our large shower entrance, and the giantly tall counters. 

Giantly tall.  Can I say giantly?  I guess I just did.  Really tall.  Super duper tall.  For reference, I'm 5'5" and I can barely rest my chest on our bar/counter thing.  Giant bar or counter thing.

This is what it looked like when we moved in.  Then I started measuring for bar stools and realized how tall they would need to be.  Not 24 inches, not 30 inches, not even 32 inches.  At least 33 -34 inches is what I would need for someone to comfortably sit at the counter.  Yikes. 

The high counters do have the benefit of blocking all kitchen counter clutter and messy sites from eyes in the rest of our open concept home.  Except everyone always likes to sit at bar stools at the tall counter.  On our 24 inch counter height stools with a 45.5 inch tall counter.  I can barely see their heads when I'm in the kitchen and they're sitting on a stool.  Nice. 

So I perused stores and online for extra tall bar stools.  Many times.  Yowzaa.  Expensive.  And ornate.  Not quite my taste.  Did I say expensive?!

I contemplated building bar stools for a long time.  Then one night while the miter saw was out and I was cutting wood for some end tables, I penciled out a design for a bar stool and began cutting wood.  Biker Boy didn't realize what he was in for until he saw the extra wood and I asked him about the design of the side of the bar stool. 

Let's just say that Biker Boy and I spent a lot of time out in the garage screwing.  Literally.  Come on people.  I'm talking about screwing screws into wood.  It took both Biker Boy and I to make sure we got things really square.  There were a few errors along the way, a few mismeasurements, a few wrong holes, and a few wrongs cuts.  But it came out better than I expected in the end.  I'm not quite sure how we got this finished amidst the other projects.  Why do I always start more than one project at a time?  Now that befuddles Biker Boy.

I had deemed this the "Bar Stool Experiment" because I wasn't sure it was going to work.

Check it out:

It's tall.  Freakishly tall.  It's a wee bit scary to sit that high, but the bar stool is super sturdy.  Even on our uneven floor. 

I used cheap pine 2x2's and 2x3's and added a backrest.  With that high of a bar stool, I don't want anyone going over backwards.  (*hee, hee* remembering the many times my little sister fell backwards off a bar stool during the summer at our cabin when we were little.) 

The seat is just a large 18" wide board that was cut to size.  In total this bar stool has less than $15 in materials.  Not bad considering you can hardly find a built one for less than $100. 

I used a 45 degree side brace to sturdy it up.  I was so proud of myself for using math, cutting the wood, and getting that right the first time!  But I've got my Biker Boy to thank for helping me glue, square, and screw everything. 

I've still got to finish this one off.  Some wood putty, primer, sanding, and paint is needed.  Then we might attempt 3 or 4 more.  And if anyone is interested, I can post some plans later on too. 

I've gotta's much better than our old stools.

Biker Boy says we should add a sign on the back of the bar stool that says, "Use at your own risk."  You practically need a step stool to get up on the bar stool.  But I still like it!  I've been sitting on it every day.  Biker Boy told me not to bring it in the house, he was worried I might not actually finish it if I did.  The rough farmhouse look and unfinished wood is growing on me.  Who needs wood putty and paint?!

And that's one thing we've been up to lately.....building extra high bar stools out of wood.  And procrastinating on my continuing education credits.  *sigh*   What have you been up to?

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