You can build an outdoor bar with concrete blocks, plywood and copper sheeting for a modern-style bar that will hold up well against the elements. This do-it-yourself bar has a copper-sheeting bar top that will age beautifully over time and a stained-concrete block base that will last for a lifetime.
Determine the size of your bar based on the space available and on your personal preferences. Take your measurements to the landscape-stone supplier and they will advise you as to how many concrete blocks and how much mortar you will need to complete the bar. You'll also need to purchase a sheet of 3/4- to 2-inch thick plywood for the bar top, a roll of metal sheeting, decking screws and waterproof adhesive-like Liquid Nail to secure the sheeting to the plywood. Attach the bar top to the concrete with L-brackets inserted with concrete fasteners. Acrylic concrete stain will transform the drab look of concrete blocks into a modern designer piece and an added coat of sealer will further protect the blocks from the elements.
Excavate the area for your concrete blocks to just below ground level, removing all of the grass, roots, rocks and any other debris. You'll also need to make sure that the area is level. Begin by spreading a smooth layer of mortar on the ground and lay the first row of concrete blocks on top of the mortar, making sure to spread mortar to the side of your blocks so they will stick together. Spread the mortar with a trowel and then scrape over the top with the notched end so the surface of the mortar is not too smooth. This will give the blocks something to grab onto. Make sure the first row of block is level before you begin stacking the second row. When you stack blocks, the center of each block should be stacked on top of a mortar line between two blocks in the row beneath it. This will make your bar stronger as the mortar lines will not be in a row. You'll need to use half blocks on the ends to complete some of the rows. Let the mortar dry completely before you attach the plywood top. You can wrap the plywood in copper before or after you install it on top of the concrete bar.
To stain the concrete blocks, follow the directions on the brand of acrylic concrete stain you select. You can mix colors to customize your bar's appearance, or use stencils or templates to create a design on the bar front. Remember to seal the stained concrete blocks to protect the bar against moisture and stains.
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