Outdoor table

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Project by Jake posted 07-15-2014 07:32 AM 2925 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I live in a small apartment building with some exceptionally cool neibourghs, with whom we often find excuses to sit outside with and knock back a couple of cold ones. Our old outdoor table was rotting and getting destroyed outside. It might have stood for another year but it would have been a lot of bits and pieces to be cleaned up next spring.

So one night after knocking back an excessive amount of cold ones and a few hard ones as well, I foolishly made the promise to build a new one, if someone gets me the materials. (Knowing full well my Honey Do list is a mile and a half long anyhow)

But once i got the 6×6 in our yard I had no other option than to follow through on my promise. The 6×6 I was using were previously used to transport large substations, I guess they were used to pack them in or what not. So they were all in different sizes and different amounts of wear and tear.

It was a fun project, to go from very small tolerances in my previous honey-do builds to a very robust design. The table is made with half lap joints, only used screws in the base, no mechanical fasteners anywhere else. The thing probably weighs an easy 300-400 pounds so all of the long pieces and the cross pieces are sitting nice and tight without any fasteners.

It was a fun build which all in all took me probably like 20 hours. I like how it turned out – with plugging the big holes, rounding over the corners and the warm colour of the finish I really like the look.

PS! This is the plans I started out with yes, it might look like a faint scribble on a piece of crappy plywood to you, but I assure you, it entails all of the collective knowledge of humanity’s brightest achievements throughout the times!

The finish used was tar oil, I guess it is a tar and oil mix, not really sure, but it sure does smell like tar! The ends of the table and benches will be cut flush once I get some of the things off my Honey-Do list. For now it will stay as is.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

14 comments so far

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2441 days

#1 posted 07-15-2014 07:37 AM

A few more pics of the build. I would have made it a series of blog entries, but the build went by too quickly.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View ChrisK's profile


2046 posts in 3892 days

#2 posted 07-15-2014 11:47 AM

That is one heavy duty table! Should last a few years.

-- Chris K

View Lanaug's profile


188 posts in 3019 days

#3 posted 07-15-2014 12:13 PM

that is a really awesome project. It sure is a whole different world working with huge pieces of wood like that. That table will surely be able to endure for the next century or two. Great job!

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 07-15-2014 12:27 PM

I had sore legs after one of the build days when I was hauling the material to the “site” so it was definitely a different build.

The temperatures here range from the low -20s to middle 80s F throughout the seasons so I figure the snow and ice will destroy the bench in ~5-10 years, depending on how often I refinish it, unless I get a roof on it.
But this is another chapter after the Honey do list.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View PaulDoug's profile


2391 posts in 2514 days

#5 posted 07-15-2014 12:38 PM

That is really a cool table. Nice work.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Ocelot's profile


2556 posts in 3448 days

#6 posted 07-15-2014 07:37 PM

Nice stepstool for an elephant!

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 2385 days

#7 posted 07-15-2014 08:25 PM

in Scotland such a substantial structure would be termed “Clyde-Built”,
in memory of the ocean-going liners built on the River Clyde.
Looks like you had a good time building this project.
Cold beer, warm food, and good company will no doubt follow.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View MilFlyer's profile


946 posts in 2482 days

#8 posted 07-15-2014 11:58 PM

Great looking table! Should definitely stand the test of time for quite a while.

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View tjdv's profile


66 posts in 3503 days

#9 posted 07-16-2014 12:53 AM

Nice. But aren’t you a bit worried it might sag under the weight of a bunch of pint glasses?

-- At least in the Navy no one ever told me to put the seat down.....

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3374 days

#10 posted 07-16-2014 01:51 AM

interesting table. how low does it sit? seems low. its not a kids table is it?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2441 days

#11 posted 07-16-2014 05:49 AM

Thanks for all the kind comments!

I like the term Clyde built! Yes, we have a few parties lined up already, the problem with tar-oil is that it can take a while to penetrate, so w ehave to wait a week to be sure we don’t get our party clothes dirty. :)

There’ll be plenty of cold ones on the table, but I am confident the 6×6 will be ok, the only thing sagging under the weight of the pints by the end of the night might be the people, not the table. :)

To answer Benthe:
I was just looking at the first pic, and it does seem very wide and low from the first angle. It actually measures 3000mm x 2000mm (footprint), table top being 900mm wide, height of benches is 450mm and height of table is 775mm, so it is plenty large. For all my imperial friends that would be 120”x80” footprint, tabletop width 36”, height 31” and bench height 18”.

It was pretty much a copy of our older bench in terms of measurements and it works well for us, I actually raised the table top a bit compared to the old design, to make more room for our legs.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View xraydav's profile


218 posts in 2781 days

#12 posted 07-16-2014 10:14 AM

No one is going to throw it in the back of their pickup and make off with it thats for sure? Any guesses on the weight?
Your kids and grandkids will be able to use this baby…
Great job… You should look into post and beam jobs.. you would be good at it.
I suspect it will get used for making a few kids and grandkids…

-- David, Norwood Mass, [email protected]

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2441 days

#13 posted 07-16-2014 11:38 AM

I love post and beams, my dream build would be my own log cabin!

It is very difficult to say how much it weighs, didn’t think of it earlier. But since I am a huge nerd let’s do the math shall we..

All of the material seemed to be fir/spruce of somekind. I have a total of ~134 feet of 6×6 in the project. Moisture content was sitting outside in the elements, so the outer ones were soaking wet, but for simplicity sake let’s assume they are air dried, different sources cite different weight, but the most common in-between for 20% moisture content was 30 lbs per cf.

So 134 linear feet of 6×6 is 33,5 cf, so assuming that, the table weighs in at roughly 33,5×30 = 1005 lbs

Hot Damn that is a lot! If I am way off in my calculations then maybe someone smarter can chime in!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Ocelot's profile


2556 posts in 3448 days

#14 posted 07-16-2014 03:57 PM

Most 6×6 are really 5.5×5.5, so 16% less wood than a true 6×6. I don’t know if that applies in your case.

Still, it’s heavy!

You could pick up a couple pallets of brick with a forklift and set them on that table, I think.


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