It’s April 30th and finally starting to warm up around here. Which means I can finally stop hibernating and get back to enjoying the outdoors. I recently told Dan that I’m only as productive as the weather is nice, and it really couldn’t be a more accurate statement. While Dan works on projects throughout the year, braving the cold in his garage workshop, it’s much tougher for me to find motivation when the sun sets before I even get home from work. But now that the warmth is creeping in, so is my after-work energy level. We spent a lot of this past weekend cleaning out the garage and starting to set it up for summer. Next up will be getting all the outdoor furniture dusted off and ready for use.
And with that comes new ideas for what furniture to add to the mix. Dan recently dipped his toes into welding with his butcher block coffee table and is going to go all in with this next project. In fact, this will be his first major project that’s not going to use any wood at all. Using a little black metal and a lot of concrete, Dan’s next masterpiece is going to be an outdoor pub table.
For this project, the idea is to build a semi-permanent pub table that can live on our patio throughout the summer. As unpredictable as Buffalo is, this means that the table has to be sturdy and weather-proof enough to withstand any elements that Mother Nature decides to throw it’s way. To make this happen, the table top will be made out of solid concrete, held up by strong, black metal legs.
Molding the Top
To form the table top, Dan first had to make a mold that the concrete mix would be poured into. Using aluminum, he created a 30″ diameter circle and set it on top of a piece of MDF. He then used a small cut of PVC pipe and placed it in the center of the mold. This would leave a hole in the center of the concrete slab that would allow us to stick an umbrella through the top.
Dan then mixed 1 bag of Quikrete 5000 and poured it into the mold, letting it set for 3 days. The result was a 1.5″ thick, 30″ diameter, 80lb slab of concrete. The concrete slab finished with a smooth, non-porous surface, thanks to the aluminum mold and use of a waterproof poly coating.
Welding the Bottom
After Dan invested in his very own welder and built his butcher block coffee table with square metal legs, he quickly became confident in taking on bigger, more intricate welding projects. The design of the legs was based on having four thin metal bars running from top to bottom, with each end having what I’ll call “wings.” The bottom wings to provide balance and the top wings to secure the concrete top into place. At the center of the base were openings at the top and middle that would help to hold the umbrella in place.
With the welding complete, the base of the pub table was finished off with rust-proof glossy black paint.
The Finished Product
With the concrete top and metal legs now finished, it was time to bring them both together and complete the outdoor pub table. The hard part was lifting the 80lb concrete top, the easy part was putting it into place. The PVC pipe that was molded into the concrete fit perfectly into the center of the base, and held it pretty securely. For additional support, Dan used hex bolts to connect the two, ensuring that nothing was going to make this pub table move.
All that’s left to do is wait for the weather to commit to being warm (snow yesterday, 70 tomorrow), and then we’ll be able to start enjoying the outdoors even more.