Concrete Tables – Progress

So, you haven’t heard too much about these concrete tables lately.  Perhaps you thought we’d given up on them.  Tempting… considering the amount of work they have become, but it’s for that reason that we couldn’t possibly.

If you recall where we left off … we had poured the concrete into the forms (in the snow, I remember well) with the metal bases we had made.  We allowed them to dry for some time due to the cold temps.  In late January we very awkwardly flipped the (now very heavy) table on it’s feet (with the help of John Deere).  We let the tops dry for another couple weeks before  attempting to pull off the plastic and plywood insets.

tractorpull_Ssi Forgive the crappy cell phone pic.

Getting the plastic off was easy… but getting the plywood insets would prove to be a pain in the backside.  We ended up chiseling it out.  In the process we ‘chunked’ out bits of the corners around the inset.  So we had to mix up concrete patch (which we had to color, best we could) to match the colored tables and benches.

We put 3 coats on… sanding the concrete between each.  (Yes, sanding concrete is as difficult as it sounds.) As a matter of fact, if this project is starting (?) to sounds like a lot of work, well… let’s just say that would be an understatement (and a little insane, yes).

Finally… we individually cut our tiles for our insert.  We mixed up some thin set, and began the daunting task of laying the tiles, and then with a toothpick removing the thin set from between the tiles.

table clean_Ssi benches_Ssi

Whew!  Almost done.

btt_Ssi

We still have yet to grout in between the tile… and waterproof with Thompsons.

Oh, and there’s the bit about prepping the whole area they go in with a retaining wall, sand / rock, leveling, tamping, and laying flagstone.  That’ll be awhile.

Maybe next time we’ll buy our concrete tables.  They did come out cool… and are the only thing like it out there.  Built to last in elegant style.

Concrete Benches, in development UPDATED

January 2015 ……………………………………………………

This project has taken a bit of a hold since it has snowed… and with the holidays and such.  We know that since it is cold out we’ll want to let the concrete set up for at least a couple weeks.  So we built the forms, lining them carefully with plastic so that we can easily unmold the insets to embed our tile ornamentation. table formi   We’ve poured a ton of concrete in our lives, but this is a first for us pouring it in the snow. k c mixeri wet pouri We put some brown die in the mix with the rock, cement, sand, and water, and mixed it in the cement mixer to a wet but stiff mix.  Then we wheel barreled it into the shop where the forms awaited.  Then we shoveled it in with a scoop. table pouri pouredi Now that they are all poured we wait.  We’ll let them dry for a couple weeks, then unmold them and ready them for embedding the tile.

December 2014……………………………………………..     stool legsi Now that we have the table metal legs and assembly designed, cut, built, assembled,  welded, and ground… whew!  We have moved on to the benches.  We cut the metal legs and the side struts, using the same pre-fab balls in the center that we used in the table (see earlier post, Concrete Table).  We’re welding it all together and putting the top re-bar bars across the assembly so that we can sink it into the concrete. stool mockupi stool compassi We made the shape for the bench using an elaborate ‘compass’ of sorts with a router, mirroring the radius of the table. stool mockup tilei For the bench form, we are including a recessed band so that we can imbed colorful tiles (we’ll do the same for the table). You gotta have a vision for this sort of project.  I love how it’s coming together.  The finished product should be very cool.  Stay tuned for the next installment. Just as a teaser.. here’s the table and bench skeletons… and the beginnings of the concrete forms. More to come… skeletoniskel_toppdi

Concrete Table

Just to give you an idea of the kind of site you stumbled across… this is the sort of maniacal stuff we’re liable to do.  And I don’t mean stunt jumps or Joey Chestnut eating contests.  I mean hard work, from scratch, stuff most people buy.  But no… not us.

We are doing outdoor landscaping, and decided we need a nice concrete table.  You know, one of those cement table you see in Mexico, with the mosaic tile tops and the concrete benches.  We figure the concrete will be impervious to our snow and heat here in Northern AZ.

So we decide to go shopping.  Yikes!  They want how much?!?!??

So we designed our own.  Not that we have ever actually made a concrete table.  How hard can it be?

We cut the legs out of 4″x 4″ square channel.  We figure the base should be metal so that we don’t have to worry about future maintenance.

legs_Ssi

leg cap_Ssi  leg cap smolder_Ssi

Then we weld a foot plate onto the bottom of each leg.

Then cut side bars to go between the legs, and weld them in place with an ornamental ball in the center.

leg assy_Ssi

Finally re-bar cross hatching gets welded together and welded to the leg assembly.  This re-bar & entire leg assembly will then get put into the concrete form (once made) and add re-enforcement for the concrete table.

table rebar_Ssi  After grinding the leg assembly, we’ll get into the chairs and build the legs for 3 separate chairs to go around the table.  We opted for a 32″ height for the table, and 18″ height for the chairs which should be a nice height to get in and out of the chairs which being able to eat at the table.  Once the chairs are done that will complete the metal work, and we can move on to the forms for the concrete table and chairs.

Stay tuned…. I’ll post more as we progress.

Better than a soap opera, huh?!  Can hardly wait for the next installment, right?