Shipping Container Concrete Kitchen Benchtop

After a successful laundry concrete benchtop, we moved on to the kitchen. The photos show a step by step process of how we made the benchtops. There are three pieces in total (next to the oven and the L-shaped sink section which is made up of two parts). We will make the side panels and the island benchtop at a later date. Below is a list of materials, tools and ingredients required.

Materials / Tools needed:
– Stand or trolley. (To provide a usable work platform).
– Melamine board. (This provides a relatively smooth surface to mould the concrete. There is the main surface and the side pieces. Our side pieces were 25mm (for hidden edges)and 43mm (for thick front face) in height).
– Scrap board. (To cover mould to form thicker 43mm seen edges).
– Timber screws and Brad Nails. (To hold melamine mould together).
– Silicone. (To form benchtops edge radius).
– Cabinet Maker’s wax. (For ease of concrete separation from mould).
– Caulking tool. (Spherical metal tool to form benchtops edge radius).
– Clean rags. (For cleaning surface and removing wet excess silicone).
– Razor Blades. (To clean dry excess silicone to form benchtops edge radius). 
– Circular Saw. (To cut Melamine).
– Brad gun and compressor. (To fasten mould together).
– Silicone gun. (To form benchtops edge radius). 
– Measuring devices. (Scales, measuring jugs to measure out wet and dry ingredients).
– Buckets and Tubs. (To contain measured out ingredients and to mix concrete mix).
– Scrapers / Stirring stick / Electric Mixing Drill. (To assist in mixing the concrete mixture).
– Gloves, P2 masks, goggles. (For your protection and safety).
– Construction adhesive. (For fixing finished concrete benchtop to benchtop carscasses).
– Variable speed polisher / buffer. (To be used in polishing process).
– Diamond polishing pads. (To be used in polishing process (200, 400, 800 grit)).
– Diamond polishing blocks. (To form chamfer on underside thick edge).
– Masonry cutting Wheel and Angle Grinder. (To cut concrete benchtop if required).
– Water Bottles. (To lubricate and assist polishing process).

Concrete Ingredients:
– Cement.
– Washed sand.
– Water.
– Alto-Pozz. (A white powder that improves strength, reduces shrinkage and improves surface).
– Black oxide. (This provides the dark grey colour in the concrete).
– AR (Alkali Resistant) Glass Strands. (Adds strength and flexibility to the concrete. Aids in high strength to low weight weight ratio).
– KongKrete (Liquid acrylic polymer). (Increases Flexural and tensile strength of the concrete. Improves workability without using water. Improves evenness of colour).
– Optimum (A superplasticiser). (Improves the workability without water (the more water used, the more strength is lost). The superplasticiser allows the workability of a wet mix, with the strength of a dryer mix).
– Defoamer. (This reduces air bubbles in mixture. This is important as air bubbles will create a pitted benchtop surface ).
– Sealer. (XS-327 Foodsafe sealant provides a waterproof and foodsafe layer over the concrete).

Shipping Container Home Balustrade


Shipping Container Home, Steel Balustrade

The steel balustrade is made using N16 deformed bar, normally used for reinforcing concrete in large buildings and structures. We cut the rebar with a liquid cooled brobo cold saw, 2 stacked at a time. The total pack is 6m long and weighs around 360kg.

The top and bottom steel plates are made from 8mm lasercut mild steel plate. Laser cutting is helpful because the pre-cut holes align the N16 bar and make sure they are spaced evenly. The top timber rail is a 190x35mm blackbutt timber, Australian class 1 hardwood above ground, wide enough to have a coffee and a small plate of food when the sun comes up in the morning. (or a cold beer after work)


The Odpod Crew