A friend of mine wanted a patio built using pallets and also (naturally) wanted a patio bar to go with it. I looked online and found quite a few pictures of pallet patio bars but very few instructions on how to build them so I decided to document my build and make an Instructable.
x3 Similar Sized Pallets and x1 Plywood Pallet
Deck Screws (various sizes)
x2 Heavy 5" Bolts and Hardware
For Concrete Top:
x3 Bags of 60 lb Concrete
x1 Tube of Silicone Caulk
One 4x8 Sheet of Melamine
One 4x8 Wire Reinforcement
x1 Bag of Portland Cement
Saw (Almost any will do but I used a circular saw, miter saw, and jig saw)
Step 1: The Right Pallets
I wanted the bar to be about 40" high and about 6' long and as luck would have it I found three similar sized pallets, two for the front and one split in half for the sides.
I started by cutting off the parts of the boards that overlapped the stringers then aligned the two pallets that would make up the front of the bar. For the sides I cut a pallet in half with a jig saw then cut the boards down to the size I wanted (about 18")
Step 2: Attaching the Pallets
After cutting the pallets here and there to make them level I attached the front two with two 5" bolts and wood glue. Then I attached the sides using deck screws and wood glue. To make sure the top was level and uniform, and to provided more surface for the concrete top to rest on, I lined it with 1x3's.
Step 3: The Center Leg
To make the bar more stable and support the weight of the concrete, I built a leg in the center out of 2x4's. I glued and screwed the center leg post so it would match the thickness of the two pallet stringers which it is aligned with. Then its simply a matter of attaching the side pieces of 2x4's at the top and middle. I also added 2x4's to the inner sides to support a shelf and add to the overall structure.
Step 4: Shelves
I found a plywood pallet and used it for the shelves, measuring and cutting out the areas with a jigsaw where they would rest on the 2x4's. I decided not to permanently attach the shelves so I could remove them to add space if desired.
Step 5: Concrete Top
There are many great resources on pouring concrete tabletops, including many on Instructables so I won't go too into detail on this step.
To start I made the form of the counter top out of melamine, the final form would be 74x18x1.5 so the melamine is cut a half inch longer on the sides to accommodate the thickness of the melamine board.
Once the form is secured with screws, I ran a line of silicone caulk along the corners so the top would have smooth edges. I also cut the wire reinforcement about an inch shorter on all sides.
Mix the concrete per the instructions on the bag and begin filling the form. At a little more than half way full, add the wire reinforcement then fill in the rest. After screeding and smoothing the concrete with a trowel I tapped and vibrated out the bubbles and let the concrete cure for about 4 days.
Next I sanded the concrete and filled in the bug holes with Portland Cement, sanding again before applying the concrete sealer.
Step 6: Conclusion
I'm very happy with how the patio bar turned out and I wouldn't change much about it (although I could add lights, a bottle opener and some other fun stuff). The concrete is secured to the bar with only its own weight and friction but that seems to be enough (it doesn't move at all).
Hope you enjoyed my build and Instructable and feel free to vote for me in the pallet, before and after, and summer contests!