How to build a foot rail on a bar

Written by kelli shaw
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How to build a foot rail on a bar
Adding comfort and class to your home bar is easy with a foot rail. (a bar sign image by agno_agnus from Fotolia.com)

Adding a foot rail to a bar can instantly transform the look and feel of your home bar, giving it more of a traditional pub feel. It adds class and a bit of sophistication to a bar. The foot rail has more benefits then just aesthetics---it adds comfort for your guests, which is the ultimate bonus for a home bar. Installation of a foot rail is simple and can be completed with basic tools.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Electric drill or screwdriver
  • Drill bit
  • Hacksaw with mitre box
  • Measuring tape
  • File
  • Foot rail tube (in brass, stainless steel or wood)
  • Brackets
  • End caps
  • Self-tapping wood screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Plan out your foot rail; there are three main components you will need: the bar railing (tubing), the brackets and the end caps. You may need elbow joints for your railing as well if your foot rail is going to turn a corner. Make a sketch of your bar with exact measurements or use masking tape to draw out the proposed foot rail onto the bar. Determine what finish you would like for your rail; options include brass, stainless steel and wood.

  2. 2

    Calculate the linear feet of tubing needed for your rail based on your diagram; round up to the nearest foot. Determine the number of brackets you will need, figuring one bracket for each end as well as one every 4 feet on the rail. For example, an 8-foot bar would require three brackets. For very long lengths, tube rail splicers are available. Tubing can be purchased from home improvement stores or directly from a supplier.

  3. 3

    Cut the tubing to the correct length. Use a hacksaw with a mitre box to cut brass and wood tubing. Stainless steel tubing is harder and will require a radial saw and a fine-tooth blade. Mark the length on the tube and cut to size. File the cut end to smooth out rough edges.

  4. 4

    Fit together the rail loosely with the brackets and the elbows (if you are using them). Do not install the brackets yet; this is a loose fit to check the length of the rail. Hold the rail up to the bar and mark with a pencil where the brackets will be mounted on the bar face. This is best completed with the assistance of another person to help hold the rail. Brackets must be mounted into at least a 3/4-inch solid backing to be stable. Remove the brackets from the rail assembly.

  5. 5

    Attach the brackets to the bar using the screws and the electric drill. Self-tapping screws do not require that you pre-drill a hole before installation. Set the tubing into the brackets and tighten the set screws in place with a screwdriver, making them snug against the tube. Install the end caps by pushing them into place and, if provided, tightening their set screws with a screwdriver.

Tips and warnings

  • Your tubing may come with a protective coating on it. You should keep this on as long as possible when installing the rail to protect the rail from damage.
  • Round up to the nearest foot when purchasing the tubing.
  • If you are mounting the end of the rail into the wall, make sure the bracket mounts into a stud. If it does not, use a wall anchor for stability.

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