Monday, February 16, 2009

Finished projects in our garden

Just wanted to share with you some of our garden projects.

Last year when we were building the big addition onto our house we built a concrete bistro table. The main reason we built it was to test out making custom concrete counter tops. So I found a $40 wrought iron bistro table at Costco. We opened the box and put the crappy wrought iron table top in the recycling pile.

I measured it and then built a form the size of the original top. The Meg, Kate and I placed broken pieces of sea glass all over the form (to be molded upside down). Then I mixed 1 part portland cement, 3 parts creek gravel and 2 parts sand to make the mix. Then I added water, green concrete tint and a cup of latex concrete strengthener and mixed it all up. Mixed up the concrete fairly dry and hand packed it into the form one inch deep carefully over the glass pieces. Then I placed into the form some durawall to reinforce the concrete and filled up the rest of the form. Once filled I placed some stainless steel bolts into the concrete lined up to match the frame to the bistro table.

Three days later I opened the form and released the concrete top. The next day I ground it with a wet grinder I bought online. After several steps of various grits the table was smooth to 1500#, very slick. Then I mixed a slurry of black concrete tint and straight portland cement. Then troweled it into all the pits we deliberately made by loosely hand packing the concrete. Two days later I re sanded the top with 800#, then 1500# to make the sanded glass in the top polished again.

One thing we did that seems a bit of trouble is we made the top 1 3/4 inches thick, very heavy. Next one we'll go for 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch. See our finished concrete counter top in our kitchen.


Shady Gardener said...

So, is this concrete top just resting on the table top? Or did you invert the table and set it in the concrete?? Great idea!

Randy Emmitt said...

We added 1/4 inch bolts to the concrete and lined them up to fit the holes for the original top. I got the idea from a funky bakery market that we visit once in a while, Fosters Market. Did you see our kitchen counter tops? Thanks for the comments!

Crissi Harvey said...

looks beautiful

CiNdEe said...

Wow that is just beautiful!!!!!
CiNdEeS' GaRdEn

Rosey Pollen said...

I tried to look at your photos of your kitchen counter but it wouldn't display. I really wanted to see them too! It is a brilliant idea, Randy! I love the glass embedded inside. Thanks