Outdoor Bar Height Table with Built-In Ice Trays

Submitted by RuthAU on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 22:11

This was my first furniture project and only my 2nd woodworking project, the previous one a cubby house over 20 years ago, so I was a bit nervous. I did lots of planning, research and designing before the first cut. I incorporated ideas from Ana projects as well as from other sites and learned how to use a drop saw, various sanders and the pocket hole jig.

We wanted a tall table because when sitting a a regular height table the view is blocked by the deck railing.

I decided to make it out of hardwood for durability in the Australian outdoors and also because we get sea air where we are. The hardwood (Blackbutt) was challenging to work with - extremely heavy and difficult to drill into, but the finished product is SO solid and will outlive us all. Due to the weight and density of the timber I overengineered as far as joining went, using more pocket holes than usual.

I saw the idea of the built in ice troughs years ago and was keen to incorporate them into my table. I also made the legs detachable so that the table top could be moved out onto the deck once it was finished and the legs added in situ. Once it was set up my husband put big screws into the legs just in case but it would really take an earthquake to move this thing.

I managed to build it over 3 weekends and finished it just in time for our family Christmas party but it only had 1 coat of stain on it at that stage. I finished it off later and we also decided that the ice trough covers would look good in a contrasting colour so did them in charcoal. If I made it again it would be a much quicker project as there was alot of 'firsts' and learning along the way.

The dimensions are:

2660mm long (about 8' 9")

1150mm wide (about 3' 9.5")

1165mm high (about 3' 10")

The legs are solid - 140 x 140mm (5.5")

It seats 10 - 12 comfortably and 14 at a squeeze.

We got the bar stools 2nd hand for an absolute steal - 12 for $200! They are handmade hardwood too and look great.

The timber was quite expensive but I was able to use the work account so got it at trade price. This would be a very expensive table to buy but all up it cost us about AU$1100.

This project was not exactly easy but I would class myself as a novice. With the right planning and preparation (plus stubbornness) anyone could do this :-)

Estimated Cost
About AU$1100
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Finish Used
Intergrain Natural Stain - semi transparent - Redwood for the majority and Charcoal for the trough covers.
Recommended Skill Level


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