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Pottery Barn Inspired Concrete Top Coffee Table

Industrial concrete coffee tableA modern industrial concrete and wood outdoor coffee table. Inspired by Pottery Barn. Save $1000 DIY your own!
It is my favorite post of the month!  The POWER TOOL CHALLENGE.. and this month, the prompt was "Home Decor" projects.  10 bloggers including myself came up with a new home dec project and there were some awesome ideas:

Power Tool Challenge Team Home Decor Projects 3 17
Domestically Speaking - Large DIY Wall Sign
My Repurposed Life - Sofa Side Table
My Love 2 Create - Fabric and Wood Wall Hanging
Virginia Sweet Pea - Card Display Holder
The DIY Bungalow - Repurposed Fire Screen
Designed Decor - Upcycled Wall Shelf
Create and Babble - DIY Wood Plank Walls
Thrift Diving - DIY Bath Vanity

My project was inspired by this $1250 coffee table I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog.  I wanted to add a new coffee table to the back yard and this one struck my fancy: 
Concrete table abbot
Now I'm not saying that Pottery Barn is overpriced, but I will never buy a coffee table that could cover the cost of a short vacation.   So I had to build my own.  And by doing so, I saved more than $1000!
Concrete and Wooden Outdoor Pottery Barn Table
I made sure to get all the features from the original that I loved.  The concrete slab top:
Exterior Concrete and Wood Industrial Coffee Table
The industrial turnbuckle hardware between the legs.
Industrial turnbuckle hardware on coffee table
And even the mortise and tenon joints!  I got it all.. but in a rectangle shape instead of square, since that better fit my space.
KimPowerToolHomeDec

Building the Wooden Base:

I am preparing a full cut list, building plan and step by step printable instructions.  To recieve it by email when it is becomes available, enter your email address below: 

The base itself is pretty simple.  I used 4x4s and 2x4s for the legs, and then I used scrap 2x3s for the supports.  To angle the legs I cut them at 15 degree angles on my miter saw, and used pocket holes made with my Kreg Jig to assemble them together.
Pocket holes for cross braces on coffee table
I didn't want any pocket holes in the lower leg braces, and I wasn't going to really use a mortise and tenon joint, so instead I decided to countersink the screws. I started with HUGE 4 inch screws (which are still too short to get all the way through a 4x4), and then I used an extra long drill bit to get all the way through the post. 
Drill bits and screws for large build
Once I drilled all the way though the 4x4, I then went back and drilled though the outside half of it with a larger Forstner bit.  (just big enough to accept the head of the screws.)
Inset screws into 4 by 4s
Now I had the problem of large holes on the outside of the table legs and I didn't get the mortise and tenon look:
Building base for industrial concrete coffee table
Fortunately, all it took to deal with these problems was as little scrap of 1x2 that I cut into 1/2 inch slices.

Faux mortise and tenon joints

I glued them over the holes using Gorilla glue and then moved on to the hardware.

Cutting threaded rod for turnbuckle

I bought a hook and eye turnbuckle and removed the hook and eye and replaced it with a threaded rod. Then on each end I used a rod mounting plate to attach the rod to the cross brace.  To make it look more like the original, I spray painted all the hardware with oil rubbed bronze spraypaint.
Spray painting hardware black
Finally, because this will be outdoors, I sealed it with with Thompsons Water Seal in a semi-transparent cedar color

Coffee table base for concrete top

Building the Concrete Top:

Once I had the base, I had to move on to the concrete slab for the top. I built a form out of melamine coated boards and sealed the edges with caulk. 
Melamine mold for coffee table concrete top
I added some rebar to increase the strength of the overhang.  I used regular quick set concrete mix.  I could have used a countertop mix with less gravel, but I didn't want to wait for a special order. 
Adding rebar to concrete counterop
After it set and I released the forms, I sanded it down with 80 grit sandpaper and my random orbit sander.
Concrete slab for tabletop

There were still some air bubbles in the slab, which I wanted to fill, and decided on a contrasting color of mortar mix to make it interesting. 
Filling bubbles in concrete
After sanding it down again, it was ready to place on the base.  The slab weighed about 200 pounds, so it was definitely a two man job to move it.  
Modern industrial concrete coffee table with turnbuckle hardware
I love how it looks.  More variation than the pottery barn original, but that is okay.
Concrete coffee table top with white inclusions
The total cost of my version, with lumber and concrete and hardware was just over $50.  Quite the savings!
Pottery Barn Table DIY Version


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