Instructables
Picture of DIY CONCRETE:: 5 Gallon Stool
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This Instructable will show you how to make a versatile two-part stool, side table, or planter using (2) 5-gallon buckets, 80lbs. of sacked concrete and CHENG Outdoor Pro-Formula.

Materials + Supplies: Tools:
  • Hand Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Screw Gun + Pre-drill / Countersink bit
  • Drill + 7/16" Drill Bit
  • Caulking Gun + 100% Silicone
  • Sanding Block + Sandpaper (60,100,220 grit)
  • File / Rasp
Concrete Mixing:
  • Bucket / Wheel Barrow
  • Shovel / Trowel
  • Particle Mask
  • Rubber Gloves
Concrete Finishing:
 
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Step 1: Construct Lid Form

Picture of Construct Lid Form
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Construct Lid Form:
  • Take one 5 gallon bucket and saw the rim off 2-3" below the top edge. This is done easily with a handsaw. How much you cut will determine the thickness of the lid.
  • Put the top of the bucket on the base board (rim facing up) and surround it with the support blocks (3-1/2" x 4"). Pre-drill and screw supports in place through the base board using 1-1/2" screws.
  • Caulk the inside edge to make the form water tight. Allow the silicone to fully cure and then remove the excess.
  • Cut a ring out of 3/4" melamine coated particle board with a jig saw. The ring should fit tightly and needs to be close in size to the inside diameter of the rim. Slide the ring down into the bucket section until it's flush with the rim.
  • Install four small wood blocks over the top of the rim to hold it down during casting.
  • Clean out the form and it's ready to pour.
danzo3211 year ago
Or, find a 2-3 gal similar bucket with lid to be a core mold. Fill with sand and water. After pouring a couple inches into an uncut 5-gal bucket, place the core-mold bucket in the middle. Then pour concrete around the edge up to the top of the core bucket. When it hardens, open core bucket and pour out wet sand. Either replace lid and pour lid over it or place a styro plug in the core bucket. See where I'm going?
CHENG Concrete (author)  danzo3211 year ago
Great suggestion danzo, one of the easiest ways to create the void is by using a smaller bucket. The downside is that it leaves the bottom being about 4" thick (heavy) and the walls a bit thin at the top. It also makes it hard to get a clean top edge without grinding. When you cast it upside down, like in the instructable, the top is perfectly smooth and flat, while the bottom can stay rough.

Here's a picture of how to use a smaller bucket as a knockout. I'll take some pictures of the planter I made using this method and post them up.

I also use wastebaskets [filled with sand/rox/water] and where I want the lid to start, paint top level of hardening concrete with form oil. Your results are good, obviously.
CHENG Concrete (author)  danzo3211 year ago
Wastebaskets make perfect molds and knockouts too. With all of these plastic forms it really helps if they're flexible plastic, then the concrete can usually be removed without destroying the form. Something more rigid will have to be broken away, and that can be a lot of work.
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Ive found the best way to remove the buckets and liners is to coat the inside of the bucket with old fashioned car wax a thin coat will make the bucket slide right off and a thin coat on the sleeve bucket will make it pull out very easy as well

Not liquid car wax it has to be paste wax you can use paste wax for floors as well just coat the inside just before you pour the concrete !
CHENG Concrete (author)  fretted1 year ago
NICE tip about waxing the inside of the form. Does this change the color of the concrete at all?
No, the wax does not transfer off the waxed surface. Paste wax, not necessarily car wax.
dlebryk1 year ago
Really great idea. I also love the idea of relief designs around the concrete, like fossils.

One improvement I'd love to see, I had to read the whole thing to figure out where you were going with each step. A nice overview drawing or explanation would be super helpful. Something along the lines of, you'll cast a lid with one bucket using a wooden backing, and the body will be cast with a second bucket and a sonotube inside.

You can't cover all the details, but the importance of tamping or vibrating, mixing the concrete completely, and a little more about how to grind the concrete (that looked so darn cool in your later steps) would be helpful.

This is an awesome cool idea.
CHENG Concrete (author)  dlebryk1 year ago
Thank you for the suggestions, I've made some edits based on your input and hope to break some of these necessary steps out as Individual Instructables in the future (Mixing, Pouring, Grinding, Polishing, etc.)
chrwei1 year ago
how many stools will 80lbs of mix make?
CHENG Concrete (author)  chrwei1 year ago
80lbs. is enough to make 1 base and lid. The base piece is right at 50 lbs, and the lid weighs about 15-20 depending on the thickness you decide to make it.
Dr.Bill1 year ago
With 2 different size Sono Tubes and some Modifications to the ends you could make your own Drain Pipes. Cool.
DeeRilee1 year ago
This is great! Thanks for the instructions, every easy to follow & understand!
cjraabe1 year ago
These look so classy! Thanks for the great lid instructions.
criggie1 year ago
Honestly I expected this to be sales fluff piece promoting a commercial outfit.

I'm pleasantly surprised to find it a generic set of instructions - thank you for doing it right and not abusing instructables with advertising.
chuckyd1 year ago
This is a great tutorial!

One thing you did not mention is to tamp down the concrete to eliminate voids. It appears you did that, though. When casting concrete countertops some people place the form on a vibrating table and fill it with concrete, then vibrate for a few minutes.

I think I may try this.
Absolutely stunning! Especially the ones with the leaf reliefs!
I agree with danzo, tho, for making it easier.
teotsin1 year ago
Awesome idea!
derek_eide1 year ago
Very nice!