With summer sizzling around the corner, the time has to come to get the backyard or garden ready for a fun-filled season of neighbourhood parties and family get togethers. You could go the lazy route and provide folding chairs for your guests. On the other hand, for less than £100 and under four hours, build a stylishly stout picnic table that becomes the talk of the neighbourhood. We’re not talking about some futuristic table seen in the latest Star Wars movie.
We’re talking about the classic wooden picnic table that includes attached benches.
Organizing the Project
The first question to answer for how to build a picnic table is “What type of wood do you want to use.” Most outdoor species, such as oak, cedar, walnut, and mahogany provide long lasting durability. However, teak does the best job of resisting rot caused by prolonged exposure to harsh weather. Teak also rarely succumbs to the degradation of wood caused by ants and termites. Buying teak for your picnic table pushes the cost of building the picnic table above £100, but the extra £20 spent pays off in a table that lasts much longer than a table constructed with other types of outdoor wood species.
Step 1: Power Saw the Frame Parts
The height of your picnic table is up to you. Regardless of height, use a power saw to cut four legs from two by eights. A power saw not only has the power to slice through the toughest grained wood, it also produces cuts that are more accurate. Then, miter the top and bottom of each leg to create a joint that attaches to the frame. Attach to braces that include 45-degree joints that span underneath the picnic tabletop. Finally, power saw a couple of two by four crosspieces for the table top and a couple of two by eight crosspieces for each bench.
Step 2: Construct the Frame
On each end of the frame, take 2 12mm deck screws and attach two legs to the two top crosspieces. Deck screws do a great job of settling into outdoor wood species, without creating holes that eventually loosen the screws. Attach two legs to the bench crosspieces, but this time, use sturdy 3 12mm carriage bolts.
Step 3: Apply the Finishing Touches
Power saw two teak pieces for the benches and five teak pieces for the tabletop. The tabletop should not hang over the benches by more than two inches. Connect the bench crosspieces to the bench planks by using 2 12mm deck screws. Embed the same screws into the top planks and top crosspieces. The last thing to do involves screwing two by four-inch braces to every bench crosspiece on one end and beneath the tabletop on the other end of the picnic table.
Although teak and other durable outdoor wood species prevent moisture rot, consider spreading a weather resistant stain over the picnic table. Applying a weather resistant stain also enhances the appearance of your picnic bench.