Picnic Table

As sturdy as it is good looking, this set features splined miter joints on the table and bench tops to keep them flat. The simple design of all three pieces means construction moves along quickly.

All it took was a few warm days to remind me of the picnic table and benches I’d been planning to build. What I had in mind was a simple, straightforward design. Something I could knock out in a few days. Yet it needed to have a solid base and be sturdy enough to last for years. To make the table and benches easy to build, the joinery on each one is identical. Strong mortise and tenon joints keep the bases from racking. And splined miter joints ensure that the tops will stay flat. I used redwood for the table top and bench tops. The straight, even grain of this outdoor wood makes it a perfect choice for a long, flat surface like a picnic table. But when building the bases, legs for the table and bench base look like they’re made from 4x4 lumber. But in fact, I just used “two-by” material and added dadoes and rabbets to form “mortises” for the rails. No matter how strong the joints are, the table and benches still need protection from the weather. I applied an outdoor oil to the redwood tops and several coats of paint to the bases. If you don’t have the space for a full-size Picnic Table, you can make a square table with two short benches to match. I used Douglas fir. It’s an excellent choice for outdoor furniture where something less expensive than redwood will do. And since the leg assemblies are painted, I didn’t need to worry about covering up a more attractive wood grain.



What You Get:

  • 13 pages of step-by-step instructions
  • 59 full-color photos, illustrations and exploded view
  • Retail sources for hardware and supplies

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