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Concrete Party Bar with LED lights

  • May 24, 2016


This simple to build concrete outdoor bar with LED lights is constructed of 2x4 boards, fence pickets, and concrete. It's perfect for outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and parties. The first part of the project involves building the base for the concrete top. The second part involves building a mold for the concrete, creating knockouts, pouring concrete, and concrete finishing. LED lights shine through the clear acrylic coasters and bottom of the cooler to light up ice and drinks.

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

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      Make your cuts for the legs and other boards according to the plans. I used cedar because it does well in outdoor environments. Red wood is another good choice. To minimize the costs pine can be used, but do make sure to protect it with a good paint or sealer. Refer to the plans and detailed Youtube video tutorial for more information and details about this build.

    2. Step: 2

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      Assemble the legs. I used pocket holes for this process to hide the screws. Use 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws. If you do not have a pocket hole jig simply connect the legs with a butt joint using 2 1/2 inch wood screws.

    3. Step: 3

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      Frame out the base by attaching the boards with either pocket holes and 2 1/2 inch pocket screws or using 2 1/2 inch wood screws. I did a combination of both. Always make sure to use wood glue.

    4. Step: 4

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      Connect the shelf.

    5. Step: 5

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      Nail on the pickets for the shelves. 1 1/2 inch nails will work well.

    6. Step: 6

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      Attach pickets around the outside of the bar. You will need to rip a few down in width to get them to fit perfectly.

    7. Step: 7

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      Rip pickets down to 3 inches wide to use as trim. Attach using a nailer.

    8. Step: 8

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      Add a small block of a scrap 2x4 board for each corner. Pre-drill and attach wheels using 1/4 inch by 2 1/2 inch long bolts.

    9. Step: 9

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      Sand the entire bar and then seal. I used an exterior spar urethane.

    10. Step: 10

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      Cut the melamine to create the mold for the concrete. Assemble using 1 5/8 inch screws.

    11. Step: 11

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      Cut clear acrylic panels on a miter saw as coasters that are 4 inches by 4 inches. Next, cut foam knockouts to go under each piece of acrylic that is 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Cut a knockout for the center cooler using a jig saw. I found a metal bin, but you can use a plastic planter or whatever you'd like as a cooler. Wrap the foam knockouts with packaging tape to seal them. Use silicon to attach each piece of acrylic and each knockout to the melamine.

    12. Step: 12

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      Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket using a jigsaw. Then attach acrylic to the base. This will allow the LED lights to shine through from the bottom. I applied the acrylic to both the underside and top side. Seal well with silicon.

    13. Step: 13

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      Prepare the metal reinforcement. Square mesh works great for this process. Cut to size using a bolt cutter. Have about an inch of wiggle room between the metal and all knockouts or edges.

    14. Step: 14

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      Mix the concrete in a tub 1 bag at a time. It took just less then 2 bags of concrete for this project. Mix thoroughly until the concrete is about a pancake consistency.

    15. Step: 15

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      Fill the mold with concrete slightly more then halfway. Then add the reinforcement. Next, continue filling the mold. Remember to vibrate the concrete to minimize air bubbles. Once the mold is completely full, screed the concrete to level it and then use a trowel to smooth out the surface.

    16. Step: 16

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      Let the concrete cure according to the manufacturers recommendations. Typically 3 or 4 days.

    17. Step: 17

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      Remove the concrete from the mold. Take out the foam knockouts. Use 120 grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges. A razorblade helps in cleaning up the coaster areas.

    18. Step: 18

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      Use 120 and 220 grit sandpaper over the entire surface. If you have voids they can be filled in with slurry which is a mixture of cement and water. The process can be seen in my concrete dining table project on my youtube channel.

    19. Step: 19

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      Seal the concrete using an acrylic based sealer. I do 5 to 6 thin coats. Apply with a microfiber rag.

    20. Step: 20

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      Add LED strip lights underneath the bar. Heavy duty velcro works great to keep the lights in place. String underneath each of the clear coasters and under the bucket or planter.

    21. Step: 21

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      Enjoy your new patio bar! Please check out the plans and Youtube video tutorial that goes along with this project for more information and details.

    22. Step: 22

Comments (8)

  • Super cool Pete! Those lights make it over the top awesome.

    By Her Tool Belt

  • Need directions on storage dog steps

    By Suziq
    • Hi Suziq! I don't currently have a tutorial on dog steps but if I'm able to get to it at some point I will let you know. Thanks!

      By DIY PETE

  • where do I find the plans

    By user_dunn_433045
    • Toward the top of the page you will find a "View Project PDF" link. That will have all the details for ya. Cheers!

      By DIY PETE

  • They are now available (all plans etc) in a PDF toward the top of this page. They can be printed off for your convenience. Cheers!


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