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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

    Default "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    Hi -

    In process of finishing my basement; in one end of the room I have space for a pool table. As I am planning out paint colors and trim work, I got to thinking that it would be nice to have a shelf that would run the border of the room where a person could set down a bottle or drink glass when playing a game of pool. It seems that I have seen something like this in bars that have pool tables. I was thinking I could construct it out of 1x3's and spruce it up with some crown moulding.

    So my questions are:

    1. Any examples of someone else doing this?
    2. What height should it be at?
    3. If I do build something like this, how do I tie it into the rest of the room in terms of traditional chair rail? The room is basically one large space, though I could break the shelf at entry ways or doorways.

    Thanks!

    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    first off, i'd use 1x4 stock, 1x3 is a little small, only 2 1/2" deep. you can buy decorative brackets at any home improvement store and i'd attach one to every other stud. as for the height of it, a nice comfortable height would be elbow height for the average guy so that they could rest an arm on it while standing around. also, after you get the shelf installed you could use some decorative molding on the edge of it to give it a little more depth and make it look a little more finished. also, you might want to consider only putting it around the pool table area unless you plan on having people standing around the entire basement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    Thanks MLBSF - you are right, 1x4 would be better...and elbow height sounds good...basically bar height (our bar in our kitchen is at 42" which feels about right)

    Regarding putting it just in the area where the pool table is, that was my plan but I am wondering if it will look disjointed from the rest of the basement. I was planning on putting in a traditional chair rail in the rest of the room...trying to visualize how it all would tie together. I just put in chair rail in our dining room, the top of that is 37.5" (we did a bit higher than normal as our dining room chairs have high backs and I wanted it to be functional and protect the wall). I am wondering if I could do the traditional chair rail in the pool area and then add in this shelf above it and tie it together with paint and trim...in other words it would look like a big beefy unified piece of trim.

    thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    1. Any examples of someone else doing this?
    I've seen it, but don't have an example to show you.
    2. What height should it be at?
    42" would be where I'd start. Another option would be to measure from your elbow to the floor, and your wife's elbow to the floor and find a happy medium between the two.
    3. If I do build something like this, how do I tie it into the rest of the room in terms of traditional chair rail? The room is basically one large space, though I could break the shelf at entry ways or doorways.
    It will depend upon the height you set the "table" at. If you go with 42", that's only 4-1/2" higher than the chair rail that your installing. You could easily be within the same height area with the two, depending on how you build and install the table. For instance, if you make an upside down "L" shape and use corner blocks (triangular support blocks ) for strength, the "skirt" could easily interfere with the chair rail. Even if you use corbels, the corbels themselves will stick down into the chair rail space. This may or may not be an issue, depending on the length of the corbel and the width of the chair rail.

    I would recommend building a mock-up of the table so that you can see just how large it's going to be. As earlier stated, a 1x3 is only 2-1/2" wide, a 1x4 is only 3-1/2", neither one is hardly large enough to comfortably rest against nor set a drink, ashtray, snack plate, etc. If it were me I would look at at least a 1x6 which is 5-1/2" wide, maybe even a little more, depends on the room size and how much room you've got around the pool table, which brings me to another problem.

    You really need a minimum of 4 feet of clear space all the way around a pool table for ease and comfort of making cushion shots, either that or you need an extra short cue or contort yourself when making these shots. Any obstruction into this space quickly become a huge annoyance. When I built my rec room and wet bar, the bar was always an obstacle because it was right at that 4' perimeter. There were actually several points around the room where the distance was within 4' and as you played around the table, every one of these points was an issue. A good rule of thumb for "clear space" around the pool table is to put one of your cue sticks against the side of the table and it should not be able to touch anything. That sounds like a lot, but when you get to playing it gets cramped real quick.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    If it were me I would build 3 box rails 6 or 8 feet long. The top would be a 1 X 6 with plastic cup holders set in. On one box rail I would mount the stick rack in the center, on the other two box rails I would build a frame like the stick rack but have a large clock in one and a neon light in the other. Then connect them all together with chair rail.Jack
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    JLMcDaniel and A Spruce -

    Thanks for the ideas...looks like I have some planning to do. I appreciate all of the thoughts

    thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: "chair rail" shelf for drinks in billard / pool room

    I think a craftsman-style plate rail setup would look really good. It would involve creating a paneled wainscot up to the 5' height, capped by the ledge. That way it won't interfere with the cue rack, and be high enough so that the rail and the drinks are out of the play area. In a medium-height room, a rail right through the middle makes the ceiling look lower; so going a lot lower or a lot higher than expectation seems to de-emphasize the lowness of the ceiling. Considering the function, you can't go lower. And a craftsman style wainscot is really appropriate for the mancave/billiard room, esp. if in a dark wood.
    S_M
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

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