Concrete Coffee Table from Recycled Materials

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Picture of Concrete Coffee Table from Recycled Materials

My kids and I had long wanted to play around with concrete and when we moved into our new house, I thought it was time for a concrete coffee table. I have to admit, when I made the table I didn’t have making an Instructable in mind, so my photos of making the base leave a little to the imagination. My apologies. Fortunately, the concrete top is pretty well documented.

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Step 1: Building the table base

Picture of Building the table base

I decided to make the frame out of a cedar 2 x 4 and an armload of hardwood scraps, mostly to justify having moved them from the old house. First, I cut the cedar down to 1 x 2 strips. Then I cut the legs 18”, the cross-pieces 46”, and the side pieces 14”. I set my kids to work hand sanding these while I cut the hardwood slats for the storage deck. I had a mixture of pecan, oak, cherry, and black walnut scraps, so I cut 23 of them 1” square and added them to my kids sanding pile.

Step 2: Screwing it together

Picture of Screwing it together

Since I only had a handful of 3” deck screws on hand, and they were not exactly furniture grade, I decided to countersink the screw holes and hide the evidence with wood plugs. After the frame was together, I built the storage deck by randomly placing the mismatched wood types and spacing them 1” apart.

pondhopper5 months ago

Wow. That is BEAUTIFUL. I have seen this type of work done in eco remodeling stores. Now I think I could try it!

Oldbear10 months ago

An orbital sander with no sandpaper works well to dislodge air bubbles

gwrober10 months ago

Beautiful table - great job!

All in all, I think it looks pretty sweet!

poofrabbit11 months ago

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

water rat11 months ago

That's beautiful!

estrella5511 months ago

Great job! Nice placement of the accent pieces! All three of you should be very proud!

Eh Lie Us!11 months ago

Wow. Great work and double points for involving the kids.

goyo81 (author)  Eh Lie Us!11 months ago

It was a lot of fun!

inklayer11 months ago

First thing I had to do was to vote for this project! This table is absolutely gorgeous - great job!

goyo81 (author)  inklayer11 months ago

I'm glad you like it!

CHENG Concrete11 months ago

This is really nice! The glass aggregate and the inlays look great. I like the bowed edges and the way you built it to fit onto the table base. Enter it in the Concrete and Casting Contest if you haven't already!

goyo81 (author)  CHENG Concrete11 months ago

Thanks for the feedback! I had the same idea! ;)

rmac704 goyo8111 months ago
It's very honorable to receive a compliment from Cheng Concrete. Mr. Cheng is a guru in decorative concrete countertops and his teachings and advice is most respectable. For one with an idea and imagination, your project turned out excellent. Enter the contest and good luck!
goyo81 (author)  rmac70411 months ago

I feel very honored indeed. Thanks you!

mastersoncraft11 months ago

Very nice. I love the inlays.

goyo81 (author)  mastersoncraft11 months ago

Thank you. I like your pebble concrete, too!

This is awesome! Can't wait to try it with some of my own wood scraps and mementos!
goyo81 (author)  BrookvalleyFarm11 months ago

Yes, i really have no shortage of momentos to put in concrete, either. :)

Absolutely gorgeous! I think I may start planning something like this for our backyard...
goyo81 (author)  counterillusion11 months ago

Thanks! Good luck!

Wow, this is gorgeous! I love the agate and projector lenses embedded in it!

goyo81 (author)  Danger is my middle name11 months ago

Thanks! I've expanded on the lens idea by cutting up old lenses from inside rear projection TVs and imbedding slices of them.

ooohlaa11 months ago

fabulous looking, very cosmic feel ... your lucky daughters to have you role modeling creativity along with assorted tools. I don't quite get how you got the plexiglass off so easily, is it because of the wax? I have worked with concrete and very tenacious. Do you remember what brand cement? I have used quickset and had big aggregate in there and made lots of lumps in the stepping stones so had to use my own formula with sand aggregate for refined look. But I didn't polish mine nor did they have the stone like beauty yours do. Can you elaborate on the S shape process? I have a ton of crockery and would love to do a mosaic but was trying to figure out how to make the mold and could not. A little daunting what else can you use instead of panelling? I have no way of getting panelling stips ripped.

Lindie11 months ago

Very nice!

fixfireleo11 months ago

awesome dude...i could make about 50 of these with all the agate and other rock slabs i have! i could use cut gems instead of glass. it would be one expensive but awesome table!!

rfoster411 months ago

Awsome table top!

Did you use just the regular quickset concrete you can get at Home Depot? Where do you get marble dust from?

pi52611 months ago

This summer we are converting our unused basement into my garden workshop, using our old kitchen cabinets. I've been looking for ideas for the workbench top surface and I think I just found it, especially since I was thinking about using concrete. I can't wait to try this! Beautiful, functional and fun!

goyo81 (author)  pi52611 months ago

Sounds like the perfect place to try this out. Have fun!

crank_girl11 months ago
Loves it! How easy would it be to manufacture kitchen work surfaces in this way?
goyo81 (author)  crank_girl11 months ago

Not hard at all, especially if you are thinking of an island. Pouring countertops in place is a bit more complicated. Good luck!