Saturday, March 7, 2015

Picnic Project...

Finally, a nice day.  It almost got to 50 degrees here.  My husband and I couldn't wait to get out and do something.  We were ready for a project.  After doing some internet searches last night, we found these plans for a picnic table.  We went to the store this morning and $120 and four hours later we were done.

Rough material list:

2" x 6" @ 10'
Legs, bench, and table top
2" x 4" @ 10'
Bench supports (free of knots)
2" x 4" @ 8'
Table top support (right and left) and misc.
5/16" x 4" Galvanized Carriage Bolts
Bench supports, legs and diagonal support
3" Galvanized Deck Screws &
2 1/2" Galvanized Deck Screws
Table top, bench seat, misc. usage

Cut and Assemble the Table Top
  1. Cut 5 2x6s 60" long out of three of the 10' 2x6s.
  2. Cut 2 2x4s 28" long out of one of the 8' 2x4s.
  3. On a flat surface, lay out the 5 2x6s side by side, with the prettiest side facing down.
  4. Position the two 2x4s on each end of the table top 7.5" from each end.
  5. Attach the 2x4 braces to the table top boards using two 2.5" galvanized wood screws on each end of each board.
Cut and Assemble the Legs and Bench Supports
  1. Mark an angle with a speed square 23 degrees on one end of a 2x6 and cut it.
  2. Measure 30" from the long point of the previous cut and mark another 23 degree angle and cut it parallel to the first cut.  
  1. From one of the 8' 2x4s, cut one piece 28" long.
  2. On one edge of the 2x4 (A), make a mark 4" from each end.  This will be the position of the top of the legs.  (see diagram)
  3. Place the legs (B) on the 2x4 (A) as shown in the diagram, and secure them with two 2.5" galvanized wood screws.
  4. From the 10' 2x4, cut two pieces 60" long.  These will be used for the bench supports.
  5. Measure up 14.5" from the other end of each leg and make a mark.  This will be the height of the bench support.
  6. Line up the top of the 60" bench support with the marks made from the previous step.
  7. Center it between the legs so that an equal amount of 2x4 is extending from each side. (see the diagram below).
  8. Secure the bench support (C) to the legs (B) with two 2.5" galvanized wood screws.
  1. Drill a 3/8" hole through both boards where each piece connects, and secure the pieces together with four 3/8" x 4" carriage bolts.  Note that the holes that secure the legs (B) to the upper support (A) should be drilled 2" from the top of the upper support (1.5" from the bottom).  This is so that when you attach the leg assembly to the table top, the carriage bolts won't be in the way.
  2. Repeat the steps above to assemble the remaining leg assembly.
Attach the Leg Sections to the Table Top
  1. Flip the table top upside down and attach the legs to each side of the table top braces.  Use four 2.5" galvanized wood screws to secure each leg section. 
  2. From the remaining 8' 2x4, cut two 24" pieces with a 45 degree bevel on each end.  These will be used as braces.
  3. From the bottom of the table top to the bench support, make a mark at 17" on the middle of the bench support.
  4. Make another mark on the underside of the table from the inside plane of the bench support to the center board on the underside of the table (see diagram).  The 24" brace, when attached, should line up with these two marks.  If they don't, pull the leg assembly over until the marks line up.  This is required so that the legs and table top will be a perfect 90 degrees. 
  5. Secure the braces with 2.5" galvanized wood screws and finally, with carriage bolts.
Finishing Up
With the diagonal braces in place and secured, flip the table upright and add the 60" 2x6 bench seats. (see diagrams)  Using the remaining scrap 2x material, add supports to the middle of the table top and middle of the bench seats to keep the lined up.  (see the Picnic Table Side View)
Cut theses braces so that they are about 1" from either edge of the table top or bench seat.  Secure them with 2.5" galvanized wood screws.

We got the plans at:  
Just know that it forgets to tell you to buy the 2 1/2" galvanized wood screws.  Not something you want to realize after you get home from getting materials.

Yes, we probably could have just purchased a table, but what fun would that be?  All that left is sanding and staining.  Oh, and some summertime.


  1. that looks a lot better built than the ones you buy in the stores. Could you send some nice weather up our way please!!

    Gillian in Southern Ontario

  2. Meals taste better outdoors. What a nice plan and a sturdy one. What's for dinner?

  3. That is really nice, I would love to have one too and then put it in the yard with one of those small grills that state parks have so you could cook your burgers or dogs and have your own picnic spot. You will have fun with it.

  4. Exactly! Sitting at a handmade table makes totally different experience. And it looks brilliant!

  5. That is a lovely table!! What a nice project. I can tell you are getting ready for spring.

  6. Nice job! When's the first picnic?

  7. What a great project and such a cute picture of you and your husband!!

  8. I'm passing this project idea on to my husband. I am planning on getting a jump on spring, no reason he can't as well!

    Christine in Alaska, no spring yet

  9. Great looking finished product! Folks sell these on craigslist here for upwards $400. You could start your own side business :)


Sit on my porch and let's chat. Due to the amount of spam I am closing my comments to Anonymous users. Sorry.