How to Make a Balcony Bar
Even the tiniest of balconies can be the place to party with this cool and clever balcony bar. Its sturdy tabletop is roomy without taking up too much space and the brilliant built-in plant pots are an awesome addition to your small city garden. This step-by-step guide on how to build a balcony bar is easy to follow and great fun too. Who knew you could tackle impressive DIY tasks like welding and deburring? Let Dremel’s Master Maker, Marit Boers, lead the way and you’ll be entertaining your friends, working al fresco or having an impromptu balcony breakfast before you know it.
Let's go - step by step
Sketch the design for your balcony bar
The very first step towards building your own DIY balcony bar is a decent design. Start by measuring your balcony, then decide the desired length, width and height of your balcony bar. Our Master Maker went for a 140 cm long bar that’s 35 cm deep – maximising the potential of her small balcony garden. Indicate the location and size of the plant pots on the design of your balcony bar table using a protractor.
Cut the steel parts for the metal frame of your balcony bar
A balcony bar that’s built to last needs a solid base to rest upon. Time to get started and put your safety gear on – think gloves, goggles, a dust mask and ear protection. Using a mini circular saw, cut the required parts out of steel. You need two each in the following sizes: 6 x 17 cm, 6 x 20 cm, 6 x 35 cm and 6 x 60 cm. Don’t have any welding equipment? No problem! Although our Master Maker chose a steel frame for her urban garden project, a wooden frame will work just as well.
Deburr the metal edges of your balcony bar
Deburring is a crucial step when cutting metal. Removing sharp or unsightly burrs creates a smooth edge and gives a professional finish to your DIY balcony bar. With Dremel, deburring is a doddle. Just kit out your Dremel Multi-Tool with an Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone 9.5 mm (932) and, with your safety gear still on, run the grinding stone along the metal edges.
Drill holes in the metal parts of your balcony bar
Drilling holes into the steel frame elements now will ensure you can safely and securely attach your DIY balcony bar tabletop later. To do this, firstly clamp one of the steel elements tightly in a vice. Then, drill two holes in each short end of the steel part, using a cobalt drill bit. Repeat for the remaining parts. Excellent, your metal parts are now fully prepped and ready to be welded together.
Weld the metal parts together
The idea of DIY welding may seem daunting, but with some practice and the right equipment, welding at home is actually doable. Grab the right gear: a welding machine, wire and welding pliers. If it’s your first time welding, make sure you practice on scrap metal first. As you’ll be dealing with fire, sparks and molten metal, make sure to wear a long-sleeved top, work boots, leather gloves and a welding helmet. Put the parts into the correct position and tack them into place. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with welding, you can make a wooden frame instead. Assemble the wooden segments together using wood glue and screws. Spray the frame with a matt black finish paint for a trendy industrial vibe.
Cut the wooden balcony bar boards to size
Let’s do some woodwork next. Use a mini circular saw boards for your balcony garden decoration. You’ll need four pieces, one measuring 140 x 60 cm, two sized 140 x 20 cm and one sized 140 x 35 cm.
Cut two circles for the plant pots
This clever urban garden idea is part hanging garden, part balcony bar. So let’s not forget the holes for the plant pots! Using a protractor, draw two circles onto the 140 x 35 cm piece of wood. Drill a superficial pivot point in the centre of each circle, as well as a pilot hole just outside each circle – our Master Maker used her 3 mm Wood Drill Bit (636). Replace the drill bit with the Spiral Multipurpose Cutting Bit (561) and attach the Line and Circle Cutter (678). Now, slowly start cutting out the circles, while rotating the cutter around its central axis. Repeat this step to create the second circle.
Thoroughly sand the balcony bar’s wooden edges
Next up, you’ll be sanding the wood. By removing ridges and rough edges you’ll be giving your DIY balcony bar a sleek look while bringing out the wood grain’s natural beauty. A three-step approach is best. Start with some coarse sanding, using Sanding Band & Mandrel 13 mm grit 60 (407) and then Sanding Band 13 mm 120 grit (432). These coarser bands will quickly and effortlessly remove rough imperfections. For a smooth finish, switch to Dremel’s EZ SpeedClic: Finishing Abrasive Buff 320 grit (512S). There you go, you’ve polished both the wood and your sanding skills in one simple step.
Screw the wooden parts onto the frame
You’re nearly there. All that needs doing now is to mount the wooden boards onto the frame of your DIY balcony bar. To do this, simply insert the screws directly into the wood using a screwdriver. Once all the wooden parts are securely attached, you can place the bar over your balcony railing. Drop the plant pots into the cut-out holes, add a few decorative touches – a candle perhaps, or a string of fairy lights – and you’re done. Time to invite your friends over and pop a few corks. Cheers!