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How to build a Picnic Table

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Everyone needs a good picnic table, including my mom and dad. While moving around their property, I got a chance to look at their completely broken down picnic table underneath the oak trees out front. So, I decided to move forward with building them a brand new table with detached benches and put together a summary video which you can see below. If you are interested in building this project on your own, I offer a FREE set of plans here.

Like most projects, I first started with a 3D model I built using SketchUp. I chose treated 2×6 material for nearly all of the boards with a couple of 2×4’s here and there.

 

Things I Used For This Build:

I first started by making the table top. I cut all of the 2×6’s to length, and the two outside boards got the end corners knocked off at 45 degrees just for a little aesthetics.

After cutting the table top boards, I laid them all on the drive way and joined them together using some evenly spaced 2×4’s as cross members on the bottom side. I joined a 2×4 cross members to all of the 2×6’s using pocket hole screws.

Next comes the legs. I cut the legs to length and cut and angle on each end before attaching the legs to the tabletop. Once they were clamped in place I drilled holes through the legs and attach them to the tabletop using carriage bolts.

At this point the legs still need a little bit of reinforcement. I cut a cross member and joined the legs together using more lag bolts.

After the cross member was installed, the legs were plenty stiff in one direction but still lacked a little stability in the other direction. So, I installed another support to triangulate the attachment of the leg and give it some stability in the other direction.

All of the same steps were repeated on the opposite side to complete the tabletop. So, I removed it from the sawhorses and then focused on the benches.

The benches are basically miniature versions of the tabletop. The bench top is made from 2×6’s and 2x4s with a bit of bracing on the bottoms side. I’ll admit that the first bench I made were on the short side. So, I simply removed the legs and attached some longer ones and called it good.

To wrap it all up, I finished the last and final bench and moved all three pieces in to place under the oaks out in the front of my parents place. Naturally we had to test it out with an afternoon lunch before calling the quits. Fortunately, the family approves so that wraps this one up. Thanks for stopping by and happy building!

 

 

 

 

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