So we've been living at a place with a sweet balcony for most of the year and have been sitting out there many times at a regular table with bench seats. Don't get me wrong, we love that, but there is an awesome view just sitting there, above the brick at eye level... We originally tried to look for a table that we could buy, but didn't have any luck finding something suitable, so we decided to build our own table! Now we can sit a bit higher up and actually get to enjoy the view of the neighbourhood and not just the brick wall!
I worked on this project together with my partner Craig who features in some of the photos.
So here it is, another instructable, but a little bit different to my usual style this time... We're going to build a moveable hanging balcony bar table! (with LED underlighting to soon follow....)
Step 1: Design the Table
I did the original design work and then consulted with Craig for the final build. First thing I did was to measure the brick wall depth so I could find a suitable hook to latch over it.
I had a brief scouting for parts on the Bunnings website and found some parts that might be suitable for building the table and I mocked up a Solidworks model with my first conceptual design.
After a little bit more consideration and further searching the Bunnings website, Craig and I came up with a second revised design that we ended up going with for the build. Find attached the Solidworks model for the final design.
Step 2: Gather Your Materials
A spare pair of hands! Get someone to help you out with this build.
7 slats of wood to make up the table top, we used 42x28mm cross section Merbau hardwood (1.8m length) (https://www.bunnings.com.au/42-x-28mm-1-8m-finger-...)
1 slat of wood to join the table top sections, we used 42x18mm cross section Merbau hardwood (1.8m length) (
2 hooks to secure the table to the brick balcony wall (https://www.bunnings.com.au/pfeiffer-250mm-black-s...
2 L angle brackets to attach the table to the brick hooks (https://www.bunnings.com.au/carinya-200-x-250-x-25...)
M6 nut and bolt set (4*nut/bolts) (https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-m6-x-19mm-316-s...)
8G Wood screws (https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-8g-x-35mm-tufco...)
6G Wood screws (https://www.bunnings.com.au/zenith-6g-x-20mm-tufco...)
2 mm thick rubber sheet
Step 3: Prepare Your Working Area
Since we were dealing with 1.8m lengths of hardwood we needed a generous work area to begin with. Luckily the balcony we have is big and we could work on this outside. Find a suitable area to lay everything out - remembering that you'll have to do some sawing of the wood too.
Step 4: Prepare the Table Base
Lay down the 7 slats of the 42x28 mm wood on a flat surface, side by side so the overall depth measurement is 7*42 = 294 mm. As you can see from my pictures, it's most likely that the wood is a bit warped, so you'll need to get those spare pair of hands to squeeze together the 7 wood slats whilst you measure the required length of the 42x18mm wood that will hold the base of the table together. The depth of the table should be roughly 300 mm, with some slight spacing between the slats, but it'll be different for each table depending on the wood.
Take this measurement and cut two lengths of the 42x18 mm hardwood. These two lengths will be used to hold the 7 slats together and will also serve as a mounting point for the brackets.We made ours slightly smaller than the total depth of the table (283 mm). Sand off the edges that you cut so they're nice and smooth. Position these two lengths of the 42x18mm hardwood about 255 mm from both ends of the table as shown in the images and then get ready to pre-drill some holes so you can join the base slats together.
Get those spare pair of hands working again to squeeze together the 7 base slats while the other person pre-drills some 2.5mm holes in the base join slat at one end of the table while they are positioned on top of the 7 base slats. Try and alternate the positions of the holes as shown in the image, this is important as the brackets will mount on these pieces of wood using wood screws too, and you obviously can't have these overlapping!
Once the 2.5mm holes have been drilled, use the 8G 35 mm wood screws to secure the join slats to the 7 table base slats. You'll need to get those spare pair of hands to squeeze the 7 slats together once again, and then screw the first and last slats to the base join slat so that the other person doesn't have to stand there squeezing for the whole time! Screw in the remaining 5 8G screws to join the base slats to the join slat. Repeat for the other end of the table.
Step 5: Prepare the Mounting Brackets
The two mounting brackets need to be joined together before mounting to the table base. One of the brackets mounts to the table, while the other hooks over the brick wall.
Unfortunately, the holes on the brackets didn't really line up that well, so we only had one hole that we could directly use to join the brackets together. We ended up drilling out another M6 hole in one of the brackets so that we could have two bolts to join the brackets together instead of one. Once you've drilled the hole you can use the M6 bolt and nut combo to secure the two brackets together and the assembly should look like the attached image. Note that the length that attaches to the table is the longer length of the bracket (250 mm side). Now you're ready to mount the brackets to the table base.
Step 6: Mount the Brackets to the Table Base
Take the joined brackets and line them up on the base join slats as centrally as you can. With these brackets lined up, pre-drill the mounting holes with a 2.5mm drill bit. Now, take some of the 6G 20 mm wood screws and washers to secure the brackets to the base join slats as shown in the images.
Now your table is almost complete!
Step 7: Test Hang the Table and Make Any Necessary Adjustments
Try hanging the table on the brick wall and you might find you need to make some adjustments.
We tried hanging the table but found that it wasn't sitting flat against the wall. This is because the brick depth measures 230 mm and the hooks we bought were roughly 250 mm, we had to add some buffering blocks of wood (offcuts of the 42x18 mm hardwood) to ensure that the table top would sit relatively level and would be as close to perpendicular to the wall face. The buffering block was mounted to the bracket with double-sided tape and the surface that touches the brick has a 2 mm thick section of rubber sheet, cut to size.
To protect the inner surfaces of the brackets from damage as well, we used some double-sided tape to attach some sections of 2 mm thick rubber sheet to the inner surfaces of the brackets. See the attached images which show their location.
Once you've made these adjustments, your table is good to go and ready to be used!
Step 8: Enjoy a Beer Out There, You've Worked Hard!
The best part about this build is that you can move the table wherever you want along your brick wall, find a good spot to set it up, grab a beer and enjoy your hard work!