For months my coworker Hylah Hill has been inviting me to her boyfriend's lakefront cottage. Sure, she enjoys my company. But she also wanted to build the outdoor bar that we'd designed together way back in winter—dreaming of cocktails on the deck pulled us out of our February funk. The core of the project is a 1950s cast-iron sink that Hylah got at a salvage yard for $200. It's supported by a $279 cedar potting bench that we assembled in about an hour from a kit. Stoppered and filled with ice, the basin is great for chilling beers. Drain waste water into a bucket placed below the sink or, if you hook the faucet to a garden hose, divert it through PVC pipe. To hide the bottom storage shelf, Hylah stitched a colorful skirt made from four yards of Sunbrella fabric that she'd bought for $67.


Stains can mean the difference between a $100 and a $400 sink. So get the cheap one and clean it outside. Pour on a 50-50 mix of muriatic acid and water. Wait 10 seconds, then hit it with a garden hose. To be safe, wear gloves and eye protection.
- Josh White, Salvage Dealer,Barnegat, N.J.
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    Tools List

    • drill
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape Measure
    • framing square
      Framing Square
    • carpenter's pencil
      Carpenter's Pencil
    • jigsaw

    Shopping List

    1. Salvaged cast-iron sink

    2. Potting bench kit

    3. Sunbrella fabric

    4. Stainless steel screws

    5. Silicone caulk

    6. Dowels

    7. Painter's Tape