Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Steampunk Bar Ledge Tutorial

Easy Steampunk Bar Ledge Tutorial

Hello all! 

I built this ledge (bar) for my church about a month or so ago. It was sooo easy. At the time I did not plan on doing a tutorial for this but looking back I can go through the steps pretty easily so it won't be a problem if I don't have a picture of every single step.

This is a before of the empty wall at the church:

They wanted a ledge for the teens to "check-in" to the church service on iPads. I decided to build a "bar" or "ledge" for the wall. 

First things first- if you don't know what the design style "Steampunk" is... look it up here. Essentially it is a style that includes pipes, machinery, very industrial, stripped down looking, lots of hardware, inner workings of clocks, trains etc. I never knew this design style existed until I came across this tutorial from Epbot for a steampunk laundry room . I initially wanted to build a bar with brackets made of metal but did not want to have to get them welded etc. Too much hassle. Then I asked, why can't I use pipes as brackets? They can form a 90 degree angle.... 

So after finding the Epbot tutorial on the pipes and where to get them, I went to work on building the ledge. 

For ledge you will need: 

Ledge final size is  12 inches deep x 3.5 inches high x 6 feet long

4 pine (also called "number 2's")
2x4's x 6 feet long (they may come in 8 foot length just have them cut or cut yourself)

3 large clamps

Very strong wood glue

L brackets with hexscrews


Liquid Polyacrilic

To start: 

Cut 2x4's to 6 feet in length. 

Lay 3 2x4's side to side together and apply a generous amount of glue on the edges, use your clamps and clamp in 3 places very tight. But not sooo tight that the wood begins to "curl". Leave clamps overnight. 

The next day remove clamps and add your fourth 2x4 to the back of the pre glued boards. 

Allow glue and clamps to work their magic overnight. 

The next day remove clamps and sand, sand, sand... using 120 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander then 220 sandpaper with orbital sander to make it smooth. 

Next, vacuum ledge and wipe down with a damp rag. Then stain using your choice of stain. I mix my stains usually. 

My stain was a 3 part to one part mix of natural and golden oak by Minwax. 
Then brush on the polyacrylic.

Minwax in semigloss.

Use a clean paintbrush. 
Allow poly to dry 2 or 3 hours then re- poly. I think this ledge had 4 coats of poly on it. 

Lastly add the L brackets to the corners to give it the industrial look. 

Note: I did not use the screws that came with the L brackets. I purchased separately
hex screws to make it look more industrial. They were cheap. 
Now for the pipe brackets:

This part was soooo easy. I followed Epbots tutorial on the pipe brackets and ordered them from the pipe dealer in California on Ebay. This is the least expensive way to purchase these. If you go to HD or Lowes in the plumbing section you will end up spending a fortune on galvanized pipe pieces. The pieces I purchased are called Malleable pipe fittings. They are cheaper. Get the pipe info here . Please note I did not use the same pipe sizes Epbot has listed. Here is what I purchased from the same ebay dealer. 

Please note funny names to follow:

I made 3 brackets

For EACH bracket I purchased...

2 flanges for 1 inch pipe (pipes are measured by the INSIDE measurement of pipe not outside) 
2 1 inch by 6 inch pipe nipples
1 1 inch elbow bracket
8 hexscrews to attach flanges to wall and ledge. 

Then I put together the brackets and went to the church to install. To install: I spaced the brackets to screw into the wall studs. The studs were 24 inches apart. 

**I also added 3 more hexscrews to attach the back part of the ledge to the studs. This made the bar very sturdy. 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Drop me a line. Like me on Facebook!



  1. We need to build some shelves like this for our cafe. Is this wide enough for people to use their lap tops?

    1. Well the ledge is 12 inches deep so you will need to measure for work space comfort. You could always build this with 3 2x6’s to add some depth you could add an additional 2x6 or keep the 2x4 as the back ledge. Hope this helps!

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