Outdoor Fire Table – Final Costs

I realized this morning that I never summarized the outdoor fire table final costs for everyone. I think it’s a good exercise to show what things like this cost if you’re looking to do something similar. It also shows why I like to do things myself, because I’ll try to give a comparable example of what it would have cost to buy instead of make. Let’s jump right into it in the order of the build posts that I made. I am very bad at tracking my hours working on a project, which makes detailing how long I worked on this very difficult. I’ll do my best, but understand the hours are very rough estimates. Moving forward I’d like to do a better job of tracking my hours, just in case I want to sell some of my creations and figure out a decent rate for my time worked. Design…

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Outdoor Fire Table – Final Wrap-Up

It’s the final wrap-up, duh duh do do... Seriously though, the outdoor fire table is just about complete. My last post captured the build of the wood table top. So all that remains is to put support in place for the concrete insert, add the metal table legs, put it all together and light it up. Once that is all complete there will be nothing preventing me from eating s’mores at my new outdoor fire table. First up, concrete insert supports. As you’ll see later in the post, the concrete insert actually spans from table leg to table leg. But I wanted to give it a little bit of extra support, so I added wood supports to the table top.  The supports leave room at each end for the table legs to overhang the insert gap. I used scrap 2x6” cedar to span the length of the insert and provide…

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Fire Table – Wood Table Top Assembly

This week’s post really puts it all together. That’s right, it’s all about putting together the table top for my fire table. After completing the tenons previously, there really wasn’t too much left to do for final assembly. However, one of the items left to do did require quite a bit of routing. I had to make the mortises for the table top board tenons to slot into. I’ve done this setup previously, so I have a decent process at this point. I clamp the breadboard to the edge of my workbench, level with the workbench top. I use a straightedge on the workbench that is offset to keep the router bit centered on the breadboard edge. Lastly, I measure and clamp in place end stops that get the mortise as wide as necessary without going too wide.  Routing jig, complete with cement block to hold things in place. Before…

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Fire Table – Wood Table Top Tenons

So far on the fire table, I have made a concrete insert, sealed it, and got the fire pit insert up and running. Next on the list is back to my comfort zone, the wood table top. For this table top, like the one I did for the dining table and the outdoor coffee table, I’ll be using mortise and tenon joints. I’ll have a breadboard to hold the table top boards in place and it will be connected to each board with a mortise and tenon. As I’ve done this multiple times now, making tenons is becoming quite straightforward for me. To begin, I had to rip my 2”x6” cedar boards down to 5”. This makes everything uniform, while also removing the rounded edges of the lumber. The straight edges left behind tend to give the furniture a much more finished look. I ripped each board on the table saw,…

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Fire Table – Fire Pit Insert

No mistakes to report today! Today is a post about our fire pit insert and burner setup. When I first started tackling this project, I knew there was at least one part that I couldn’t manufacture myself (yet). That part is the fire pit insert and the burner. In addition, I knew I would need to figure out the proper gas lines and fittings to run the burner from a propane tank. I am going to give you a recap of what I did. While I hope this is informative, it is not advice on how to set up your own fire pit. Gas can be dangerous and you should be cautious when working with it. There are a ton of options on the old internet for fire pit inserts. Amazon, in particular, has a crap ton of options in various sizes. However, I’m generally concerned with Amazon product quality.…

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Fire Table – Concrete Sealing

As I said in my last post, today's post is about sealing the concrete insert of our new fire table. And as I also mentioned last week, I made a mistake while sealing the concrete. But we’ll get to that. First, let’s talk about different concrete stains. There are basically four types of concrete sealers, as I found out while researching the best one for my project. The four types are penetrating, acrylic, polyurethane and epoxy. Each one of these performs the sealing in a different way. Acrylic, polyurethane and epoxy stains all build a protective film on the top of the concrete to provide protection, albeit using different chemical compounds. Penetrating sealers, typically some sort of silicon compound, provide protection by reacting chemically within the concrete. These don’t leave behind a protective film like the other stains. A key benefit of the penetrating sealers is their ability to let…

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Fire Table – Concrete Insert Part 2

If you’re keeping track around here, you know that the fire table I’m building requires a concrete insert. You’d also know that I’ve never worked with concrete before, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that my first attempt failed. Time to regroup, take some lessons learned, and try again. I think it is likely that the concrete expanded slightly as it dried, squeezing tightly into the first mold. The end result was a stuck concrete insert. The mold design relied on the concrete dropping out of the mold cleanly, which didn't happen. I realized I needed to redesign the mold so that I could disassemble it after the concrete dried. It helped that the old mold was completely destroyed in the first attempt.  With the goal of full disassembly after drying in mind, I picked up more melamine and started the new mold. The second mold design was basically…

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Fire Table – Concrete Insert

Almost every project I’ve completed in the past typically revolves around wood (with some exceptions). Wood is easily available, easy to cut, and easy to assemble. Unfortunately, it is also flammable. So when I made my fire table design, I added a concrete insert to act as a buffer between the flame and the wood. It is easy enough to included in a design, but now I had to try and build it. Welcome to the first episode of “Concrete Insert Building”! A widely used method of making a shape out of concrete is to use a mold for the shape. This is exactly what I did as well. To start, I had to take the dimensions of my concrete insert. SketchUp makes pulling dimensions easier. Easy enough. Next up was to build a mold that would create that shape. For the mold, I used a melamine board. Melamine boards…

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New Design – Fire Table

I am excited to bring to you my next big build for our house! Ever since moving into our home about 3 years ago (even before that honestly), I’ve wanted to have a fire table for our patio. The idea of sitting outside with friends around a table with a fire in it just seemed cool to me. Not to mention the great potential for s’mores! While we’re still not at the point of having a bunch of friends over, I figured it would be a good time to make my long desired fire table. Like all of my builds, I had to come up with a solid design first. And here is where we hit a bit of a snag. Typically, wood and fire don’t mix. As an educated adult human, I realize this. So I wanted to do some research and see if others had come up with…

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Kitchen Faucet Installation – Goodbye Bad Faucet!

Over the holiday break Allyson and I said goodbye to our home’s bad faucet in the kitchen. Trust me, it was really bad. There were leaks everywhere on the sprayer. Also, for some reason they made it as complicated as possible to operate. So we decided to complete a new kitchen faucet installation. Yes, the photo editing is back! I’ll admit, the old faucet did have a lot of features. In order to work the sprayer, you had to turn on the faucet, rotate the lever in the red circle and then squeeze the sprayer handle (blue rectangle). Super intuitive. Another great feature was the tiny streams of water that shot out of the black plastic around the sprayer anytime you used it. Really good for wiping the counter down. And of course, who can forget the post-modern kinked metal braided hose that went to the sprayer (green hexagon)? I’m…

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