Wooden picnic tables might not be the most elegant of designs. But they sure make it easy to enjoy a meal outdoors with friends and family. While you can quickly head to your local home design or improvement store and pick up a pre-made picnic table, learning how to build a wooden picnic table is almost as easy.

Types of Wooden Picnic Tables

Picnic tables come in all shapes and sizes and a variety of different styles. You might see a round wooden picnic table, a hexagonal table or a rectangular table, for example. While rectangular tables are easier to build, don’t discount the value of a round or hexagonal table.

When people sit around a round table, everyone can see and interact with everyone equally. There’s no head of the table, so one person isn’t “in charge” of the meal. You also don’t end up isolated from people at the other end of the table when you sit at a round or hexagonal table. Tadacip 20 mg http://www.wolfesimonmedicalassociates.com/tadacip/

That said, round or hexagonal tables tend to have a larger footprint than rectangular tables. You can tuck a rectangular picnic table into a corner when it’s not in use, but it’s pretty much impossible to stash a round table in a corner.

Another way wooden picnic tables can differ has to do with the benches. The “classic” picnic table style features attached benches. Other models feature separate seating.

Attached benches have their drawbacks, namely that you can’t pull them away from the table and they can be challenging to get into and out of. But they also contribute to a streamlined design and take up less space overall compared to separate benches. Sildigra for sale http://valleyofthesunpharmacy.com/sildigra/

Finally, picnic tables differ when it comes to size. Some tables are literally “kids'” tables and won’t fit anyone over 5-feet-tall. Others are made for even younger people, such as preschoolers. While kid-sized picnic tables might be cute, they have limited use. Yet if you have young kids today, you’re better off making a full-sized table, so that they (and you) can continue to use it for many years.

How to Build a Classic Wooden Picnic Table

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The internet is full of wooden picnic table plans, for tables of all shapes and sizes. Let’s focus on learning how to build a classic, rectangular table with attached benches. Once you get the hang of making traditional wooden outdoor picnic tables, you can experiment with creating other styles of table.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 2-by-8s, cut to 60 inches in length
  • 4 2-by-8s, cut to 30 inches in length, with a 22-degree miter on both edges
  • 9 2-by-6s, cut to 72 inches in length
  • 3 2-by-4s, cut to 26 inches in length
  • 2 2-by-4s, cut to 24 inches in length, with a 45-degree miter on two edges
  • 2 2-by-8s, cut to 10 inches in length
  • 2 1/2 inch deck screws
  • 3 1/2 inch exterior grade carriage bolts
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint and paintbrushes (optional)

To prolong the life of your picnic table, it’s a good idea to use pressure treated wood. You can use plain wood, but you’ll want to seal and protect it after building the table.

You can cut the wood at home yourself if you have a circular saw and miter saw. It might be easier to have the employees at a lumber yard or hardware store do the cuts for you.

Assemble the Legs and Frame

Set two of the 30-inch 2-by-8s on a flat surface, positioning them like the two long lines in the letter “A.” Set one of the 26-inch 2-by-4 boards horizontally across the top edges of the 30-inch boards.

Measure up 15 inches from the bottom edge of each 30-inch board. Mark the location with a pencil, then set one of the 60-inch 2-by-8 boards horizontally across the two 30-inch boards. You should have something that looks like an “A” with a flat top.

Use the deck screws to secure the 26-inch board to the 30-inch boards and the 3 1/2 inch carriage bolts to attach the 60-inch board to the 30-inch boards.  Repeat the process with the remaining 30-inch 2-by-8s, 60-inch 2-by-8, and one of the remaining 26-inch 2-by-4s.

You now have the two legs for your picnic table.

Attach the Table Top and Benches

You’ll need a friend to help you put the table and benches together. Stand up one of the A-shaped table legs. Have your friend hold the leg upright.

Position one of the 72-inch 2-by-6 boards perpendicular to the table leg, lining up the long edge of the 72-inch board with the very edge of the 26-inch board at the top of the leg. Move the 72-inch board so that 2 inches hangs off of one side of the leg, both on the long side and the short side. Using deck screws, attach the 72-inch board to the top of the table leg.

Repeat with four more 72-inch 2-by-6 boards. Each board should hang off of the edge of the leg by 2 inches on one side. Don’t leave any space between each board. The final board should extend past the leg of the table by 2 inches on the long side.

Once you’ve attached the boards to the first leg, repeat the process with the second A-shaped leg. Position the boards and leg so that the boards overhang the second leg by 2 inches. Attach using the deck screws.

Now it’s time to attach the benches to the legs. You can clip corners off of the edges of the benches if you want them to have a squared off, finished look. Alternatively, you can leave the benches as they are.

Set one 72-inch 2-by-6 board on the 60-inch support boards that extend out from the table’s legs. The edges of the 72-inch board should hang off of the support boards by 2 inches on each side. Attach the boards using deck screws. Place a second 72-inch board against the first and attach in the same way.

Repeat on the other side of the table.

Add Support

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Your wooden picnic table will need a bit more support so that it doesn’t sag or collapse when you put any weight on it.

Climb under the table and position the remaining 26-inch 2-by-4 in the middle of the underside of the tabletop. Line up the board so that the table top extends past it by 2 inches on each long side.

Hold the 26-inch board in place while you or your friend attaches it to the tabletop with the deck screws. Use at least one screw in each of the tabletop’s boards.

From your spot under the table, position one of the 2-by-4 support beams with the 45 degree mitered edges against the inside center of the 60-inch support beam. Angle the 2-by-4 beam so that it connects with the underside of the table. Hold it in place and have your friend use the deck screws to attach it to the tabletop and the 60-inch beam. Repeat on the other side with the remaining 2-by-4.

Center one of the 10-inch 2-by-8 boards on the underside of one of the benches. Have your friend attach the board to the bench using deck screws. Repeat on the other side.

Paint or Stain the Table

Painting or staining the picnic table will give it a finished look and also help to extend its life, so you can use it for many summers to come.

Before you paint or stain the table, sand it down to remove any roughness and to smooth the rough edges. Wipe away the dust from the sanded table with a damp rag.

Then, apply a coat of stain or a coat of primer, if you are painting. Let the primer dry for at least four hours, or as instructed on the paint can.

Then, apply a coat of paint and let dry overnight.

If you are staining the table, be sure to wipe it down as you work to mop up excess stain and to make sure the color is even. You might not need to add a second coat if you are staining.

Let the stain dry overnight, then add a color of polyurethane to seal the table and give it a glossy finish. The poly will also help to protect the wood from water damage. Let the sealant dry for at least a day. It’s usually a good idea to give the poly a full week to dry and cure before you use the table.

Storing Your Table

The paint or poly should be enough to protect your picnic table from the elements in the warmer months of the year. But if you live in an area where it gets freezing in the winter, it’s a good idea to bring your table indoors, such as into a shed or garage, before winter sets in.

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