For this home bar I used a mahogany plywood and pine framing. I continued with the laminated bar top, but this time I used only pine from some left over 2 x 4’s instead of the blend of pine and redwood I used for the first cabinet bar. These pictures are of the cabinet bar without any finish or stain. As of today (4/22/12) I am planning to forego staining and just apply a spar-polyurethane finish in high gloss. My reasoning for this is primarily due to how pine absorbs stain. The white western pine I used, and most pine, tends to absorb stains in an uneven way that leads to an uneven tone and dark areas. Using a lighter stain can help some, and there are a few other options, but these will be discussed more fully in the wood finishing section of this site. Also, notice the dark strip inlays. These are strips of Indian Laurel…a strong and dense wood. The simple polyurethane finish (probably 4 coats with very gentle sanding with 800 grit paper between coats) should allow the natural beauty of each of the woods to shine through.
The cabinet strength if fairly good, but better mortise-tenon joints would have been a good idea to make the main cabinet more rigid. To help compensate for the less sturdy joints, I will glue and secure one or two of the shelves to the cabinet frame. I could claim that I used basic butt-joints while rushing or to save precious time, but in fact I intentionally chose to use the butt-joints as an experiment to determine the overall strength of a cabinet made in this way with thin plywood. Thicker plywood may have enhanced the rigidity, but the best plywood I could get locally was the 1/4 inch size with mahogany surface. I think this cabinet is still a solid build and will last many, many years. However, without a shelf or two being glued and secured inside the cabinet, it does have a little flex under moderate force.