Introduction: DIY Concrete and Steel Outdoor End Table | How to Build - Welding

In this Instructables project, I’ll show you how to build a DIY concrete and steel outdoor end table. This design could be scaled to be a coffee table, side table, and more. The tools needed for this kind of build are relatively simple, and you could certainly make a wooden base if you don't have a welder.

DON'T MISS THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR A LOT MORE DETAILS!

Step 1: Gather Tools & Materials

Picture of Gather Tools & Materials

As I said previously, the tooling required for this kind of project isn't super crazy. You can adjust this build to fit the tools you have available very easily.

Materials Used On The DIY Concrete and Steel Outdoor End Table :

Tools Used On The DIY Concrete and Steel Outdoor End Table:

Step 2: Cut Concrete Form Pieces to Size

Picture of Cut Concrete Form Pieces to Size

For the form, I used melamine, which is a great choice since the concrete won't stick to it. I ripped a 2 ½" wide strip from one edge of the 2' x 4' piece of melamine on the table saw. This strip will form the sides of the form.

Next, I set my table saw blade to 60 degrees and cut roughly 7" long pieces to make up the sides of the form. Since I was going for a hexagonal shape, I cut six total side pieces at identical lengths.

Step 3: Assemble Concrete Form

Picture of Assemble Concrete Form

With all of the side pieces cut, I temporarily connected them with a strap clamp and then used a brad nailer to attach the pieces to each other. You want whatever method you use to attach the pieces to be fairly easy to separate, which is why brad nailers were a great choice.

After getting the hexagon-shaped sides connected, I used hot glue to attach the sides to the base.

With the form created, I added silicone caulk to all of the inside edges of the form and then used a caulk tool to smooth out the caulk. Doing this will create beveled edges on the surface of the concrete, giving it a cleaner look and removing any sharp sections.You can also add painter's tape to catch any excess caulk.

Step 4: Mix & Pour the Concrete

Picture of Mix & Pour the Concrete

For this project, I used Quikrete Pro Finish 5000, which is available at most home centers for about $5 for an 80 lb bag. I needed less than half the bag to create this table top.

I added a liquid cement color to my water before mixing it in with the concrete, as I wanted a darker color to my table top.

When adding the water, it's best to take it slow and add it in small increments. It's very easy to overdo and end up with watery concrete. You want the final texture to be similar to a thick oatmeal.

After mixing thoroughly, I added the concrete to the form in two layers, vibrating the first layer with a reciprocating saw with the blade removed to remove the air bubbles. After getting out as many bubbles as I could, I added another layer of concrete, totally filling the form, and used a straight piece of wood to screed, or level out, the surface. I finished it off by vibrating the form again to remove the last of the air bubbles.

Step 5: Remove Concrete Form, Sand, & Seal

Picture of Remove Concrete Form, Sand, & Seal

I let the concrete cure in the form for 48 hours before removing it. After removing it, I gave it another few days to cure before moving on to sanding.

The surface of the table looked great right out of the form, but some of the edges weren't perfect due to my sloppy silicone work. I used a file and some 120 grit sandpaper to smooth this out.

Once the edges were smooth, I removed the dust and then applied two coats of a concrete sealer.

Step 6: Cut Metal Base Pieces to Length & Weld Base Hexagon

Picture of Cut Metal Base Pieces to Length & Weld Base Hexagon

I used standard ½" rebar for this project, which I picked up from my local home center. If I had planned better, I could have bought the pieces in pre-cut lengths and avoided the cutting.

I cut six pieces to form another hexagon, just like the top, and then added a bevel to the ends of the pieces using a belt grinder.

I used a MIG welder to attach the pieces to each other, first tacking them in place and then coming back and filling in the welds with more weld material.

Step 7: Cut Base Sides & Top, Weld, and Grind

Picture of Cut Base Sides & Top, Weld, and Grind

The shape I chose for the top part of the base was a triangle, as it fit within the shape of the hexagonal concrete top well. If I had thought ahead, I could have made this base and just put it directly in the concrete form while pouring the concrete, but I didn't think of that idea for some reason.

To connect the top and bottom of the base, I used a few more pieces of rebar and formed long triangular sections to span the area between these sections. I welded them in place, and then reinforced all of the welds before grinding the welds smooth using an angle grinder.

Step 8: Paint Base & Attach Base to Concrete Top

Picture of Paint Base & Attach Base to Concrete Top

I applied a few coats of a rust inhibiting primer to the base, then added a few coats of white enamel paint.

After letting the paint dry overnight, I attached the base to the top using ½" conduit straps and masonry screws. Make sure to pre-drill the holes using a specializing masonry bit and make sure your drill is on hammer mode.

With the base attached, the table is finished!

Step 9: Enjoy Your Concrete & Steel Table!

Picture of Enjoy Your Concrete & Steel Table!

Hopefully you enjoyed this project! This was my first time working with concrete and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I also think the rebar adds a nice texture to the base while the white paint gives it a clean, modern look.

If you liked this project, make sure to check out my YouTube channel and website, where I put out weekly how-to projects just like this. Thanks and, until next time, happy building!

- Johnny Brooke

@craftedworkshop

Comments

mlduffy (author)2017-09-26

brilliant idea on the blade-less jigsaw for the vibration/bubbles!

sdbranam (author)2017-09-24

What is the saw and blade you used to cut the rebar?

Yonatan24 (author)sdbranam2017-09-25

I think it's an Evolution miter saw.

FlorinJ (author)2017-09-24

How about making the stand first, attaching it rigidly to the form so that the top part is embedded in concrete, and then pouring? You could use thinner rebar, maybe some thick wire mesh, at the top, providing some reinforcement for the concrete. Would that work? If yes, I think it would be less work overall.

Dr Stan (author)2017-09-24

I could see building the frame first, putting it in in the mold with standoffs to place it in the middle of the thickness of the concrete. This would eliminate mounting it to the bottom of the concrete and make it once piece to move.

aCuriousCreator (author)2017-09-24

Real nice project. I'm getting ready to try and teach myself welding. This is a cool looking project. Thanks for sharing!

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Bio: Weekly how-to project videos about #woodworking, metalworking, and more. #Maker. Created by Johnny Brooke.
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