How to Make a Concrete Cocktail Table & Light

Introduction: How to Make a Concrete Cocktail Table & Light

About: I’M A SELF-TAUGHT MAKER, DESIGNER, AND CONTENT CREATOR. WHILE I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO LEARN AND WORK WITH NEW MEDIUMS AND TECHNIQUES, MOST OF MY CURRENT WORK FOCUSES ON LEATHER WORK AND WOOD WORKING. WHEN I’M N…

I have a guitar corner in my house where I play guitar, but I never had anywhere to set my drink while I was playing, so I made this low profile concrete cocktail table with a built in light to fix that issue. With it's small footprint, it was the perfect solution for the tight corner and I’m really happy with the design!

Supplies

Tools &Equipment I Used:

Online Pipe Supplies: https://www.supplyhouse.com/Black-Fittings-173000

Light Socket & Cord Supplies: https://www.grandbrass.com/

Concrete: https://www.quikrete.com/productlines/quikrete500...

Fondant Metal Ball Tool (Affiliate Link): https://www.grandbrass.com/

Ryobi Glue Gun (Affiliate Link): https://amzn.to/33FR8rU

Ryobi Jig Saw (Affiliate Link): https://amzn.to/3gMuku9

Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig (Affiliate Link): https://amzn.to/3iqdeTb

E6000 Adhesive (Affiliate Link): https://amzn.to/33KMwkk

Maker Brand Simple Finish - https://makerbrandco.com/products/simple-finish-hardening-finish-with-wax-sealer-for-wood

Recording/Filming Equipment (Affiliate Links):

• Nikon D500 - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ

• Tripod - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ

• Studio Backdrop Stand - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ

• Lav Mic - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ

• LED Video Studio Light - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ • Voice Over Mic - https://amzn.to/2Zz5bgZ

Step 1: Cutting the Form Sides

I started by breaking down some melamine to make the form for the concrete base

I planned to embed a threaded rod in the concrete for the lamp cord to run through, so I used that to set the height of the base

I wanted the base to have a slight pyramid shape, so I first decided the base footprint should be 8 inches long

Then for the top, I found the center and then measured out 2 ½ inches on either side of center to get the taper from the base to the top that I thought would look good

Next, I cut both side pieces and then drew the taper cut line by connecting the bottom edge to the top mark

Then, using a spare piece of wood as a straight edge, I cut the taper with my jig saw

And then I used that piece to draw cut lines on the other side

Now, this will make more sense later, but for the other two sides, I used the taper to set the blade angle so the other two sides would sit flush when the form was assembled

Step 2: Creating the Form Base

Next, I found the center of what will be the base of the form, and then used a Forstner bit to cut a hole for the flange’s raised center to sit down in so it would sit flat on the base during the concrete pour

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to secure the flange and threaded rod to the base during the pour, so I messed around with different washers and nuts until I found a combo that worked

Step 3: Assembling the Form

To assemble the form, I started by adding a few pocket holes

to all the sides

Then I used some hot glue and clamps to hold the sides in place while I drilled the screws into the pocket holes

As I mentioned earlier, you can now see how using the angle of the taper to cut the base for the other two sides allowed those pieces to rest flush against the tapered sides

Tyo connect the sides to each other I added some screws through one side and into the edge of the other

To seal the form, I laid a bead of silicone caulk across every seam and then used a metal fondant ball tool to push the excess to the sides

Once the caulk dried, I simply pealed up the excess lines leaving a perfect caulk line

Next, I superglued screws into the slots on the flange to give the concrete something to grab onto and then used that washer and nut system I figured out earlier to mount the threaded rod to the form’s base

Then I attached the last side and the form was ready for the concrete pour

Step 4: Pouring the Concrete

I made sure the form was level and then mixed up some Quikrete 5000 and water and poured it into the form – you’ll want the concrete to have an oatmeal type consistency

As I poured the concrete, I periodically poked the concrete to get rid of air bubbles

I also used my palm sander without a sanding disc on it to vibrate the form to also help bring any air bubbles to the top

I let the concrete cure for a couple of days and then took it out of the form to see how we did

As you can see, I didn’t get all of the air bubbles out and had some small imperfections

I could have made a very thin concrete mix to act as a slurry coat to spread on the surface to get rid of those, but I ended up liking the imperfect look for this project and left it as is

I was a little nervous about it, but the embedded flange ended up working perfectly

With the base complete, I moved onto the table portion of the build

Step 5: Making the Tabletop

Using my jointer, I started by getting one flat edge on a beautiful piece of Sapele

Next, I marked out the width I wanted the table to be and ripped it down on the table saw

I decided I wanted to add a couple, let’s call them racing stripes, of walnut down each side, so I set my fence to the right width, ripped one side, flipped the board and ripped the other.

Doing it this way ensured I had equal spacing from side to side

To make sure I lined up the correct grain pattern, I added a mark on both pieces that I could line up during the glue up

Next, I cut the half inch strips of walnut

I then brought all the pieces back to my shop for glue up

As you can see, I am not shy when it comes to using clamps

Step 6: Adding Chamfers and Finish the Tabletop

Once the piece had dried, I brought it back outside to clean up the edges on the table saw and then used my palm router to add a nice chamfer to the top and bottom

I decided to add the chamfer to both the top and bottom because I felt like it gave the table a little more shape and presence

Next, I gave it a quick sand and also cleaned up the chamfer edge with a file

To prep for finish, I first popped the grain with some water and then gave it one last sand with some 400-grit sandpaper

For finish, I went Maker Brand’s Simple Finish with Wax because, well it’s like the name suggests, it’s simple

All you do is wipe it on, let it penetrate for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess…that’s it.

Step 7: Adding Feet and Figuring Out the Pipe Configuration

To protect the floor and also provide a space for the lamp cord to run through, I added some feet to the bottom of the base using some E6000 adhesive

To attach the table to the base and to create the built-in light, I used a combination of pipes and fittings

I knew the approximate shape and combination I wanted, so I just combined different pieces until I got it right

Step 8: Attaching the Flange to the Tabletop

To figure out where to drill the pilot holes to mount the table to the flange I added some blue tape to the bottom, clamped it to the flange, and then marked the hole alignment on the blue tape with a marker

Then I simply drilled some pilot holes using the tape trick to make sure I didn’t drill too deep, and then attached the flange to the table

With the flange mounted, I moved on to final assembly

Step 9: Wiring the Lamp and Final Assembly

I started by feeding the lamp cord through the threaded rod in the base and then through the pipe configuration

To be able to thread it through all of the pipes, I had to assemble the pieces as I went

Once it was threaded through the maze of pipe, I attached the socket at the very top

Next, I attached the table to the base which simply required screwing the mounted flange to the pipe

Then I could attach the top lamp portion and pull the lamp cord tight

Instead of using something really permanent to secure the socket to the pipe, I used some hot glue

This will allow me to separate them later if I need to fix something

And with that, the concrete cocktail table was done!

Thanks so much for following along with this project! I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below and don’t forget to watch the video on my channel!

See you on the next project!

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    2 Comments

    0
    Works by Solo
    Works by Solo

    1 year ago on Step 9

    This is really sweet project Ethan. Nice work on the build, and I also like the story behind why you decided to make this.

    0
    Ethan Carter Designs
    Ethan Carter Designs

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you so much Bernie! It definitely was one of those "have a need" how to I over complicate solving that need for a cool design haha.