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!
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Step 1: 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 :
- 2’ x 4’ sheet of melamine
- 80 lb bag of concrete
- Liquid Cement Color : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
- Concrete Sealer : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
- ½” Rebar : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
- Enamel Spray Paint : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
- Conduit Straps : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
- Masonry Screws : http://amzn.to/2wEfWMU
Tools Used On The DIY Concrete and Steel Outdoor End Table:
- Arrow PT18G Brad Nailer : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Arrow TR400DT Hot Glue Gun : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- INCRA Miter1000/HD Miter Gauge : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- SawStop Table Saw : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Strap Clamp : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Black Welding Helmet : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Welding Pliers : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Welding Gloves : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Welding Jacket : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Cordless Angle Grinder : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
- Belt Grinder : http://amzn.to/2wtKo0O
Step 2: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
- Johnny Brooke