Picnic Table - Beast Mode

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Project by dakotawood posted 08-16-2015 11:53 PM 4711 views 26 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I built my grill cart for our deck, we decided that we wanted a matching cedar picnic table. I copied the look of a picnic table and bench from They have a lot of cool furniture there, but I did not want to fork over $3300 for the set I liked.

Cedar was purchased at my local Menards. I bought the rough sawn, which came out with an extra 1/4” – 1/2” thickness so I could mill it down so it was flat and true. It was all 2×6, 4×4, and 6×6 for the X-leg design. I used a half lap joint for the X-legs. I then did my first husk tenon. Was very fun and rewarding to see that joint come to life! I found it very annoying to try and chop out the square mortise with a chisel. The soft cedar just wanted to fold, instead of break off. The wedge piece is made out of purpleheart and has a 5 degree slope to it with a matching 5 degree to the mortise. Each leg assembly was then screwed to the top. So if needed, the table can come apart into 4 separate pieces for easy transport. I primarily used my Domino for the bench construction. I gave a breadboard end for the top to help keep things flat over the years (and it looks good). I filled all the large knot voids with epoxy with a dark dye in it. I tried smoothing the top with my hand planes, but I was getting tear out everywhere. So I resorted to a belt sander, then random orbit starting with 80 grit. The finish was a deck stain – Sikkens – and the color is butternut.

At a little over 7’ long, it’ll hold a lot of stuff. With a few of my small children in the mix, we were able to have a birthday party on it and fit 12 people on there total. We really love it!

-- Travis, South Dakota

12 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


6995 posts in 3660 days

#1 posted 08-17-2015 12:17 AM

Looks like a great picnic table set! I love those wedged tusk tenons!

I’m sure your family will get a lot of good use and enjoyment out of it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View rtbrmb's profile


719 posts in 2901 days

#2 posted 08-17-2015 12:30 AM

Not your ordinary picnic table. Great details.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 2401 days

#3 posted 08-17-2015 01:31 AM

Nice! Love the tusk tenon. Also, great color variation on the top, flows very nicely.

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30442 posts in 2851 days

#4 posted 08-17-2015 02:33 AM

Very nicely done sir

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DRSWoody's profile


65 posts in 1892 days

#5 posted 08-17-2015 11:24 AM

Great looking table and certainly windproof.

-- R. Smith Central Iowa

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3379 days

#6 posted 08-17-2015 11:49 AM

That is a very nice picnic table. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


368 posts in 3996 days

#7 posted 08-17-2015 12:38 PM

Darn that is nice! The tusk tenon drew me in.

Great work!

-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 2464 days

#8 posted 08-17-2015 03:23 PM

Nice work!

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View Shuja's profile


270 posts in 2079 days

#9 posted 08-17-2015 03:45 PM


-- shuja

View BenR's profile


341 posts in 3141 days

#10 posted 08-17-2015 11:37 PM

Beefy and beautiful.

-- Ben in Va

View DrDirt's profile


4592 posts in 4255 days

#11 posted 08-18-2015 07:33 PM

Nice work –
I like projects like this that show that you can make stylish and beautiful pieces without having to buy 8/4 hardwood for 15 bucks a foot.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View TObenhuber's profile


185 posts in 2105 days

#12 posted 09-06-2015 02:34 AM

Very nice!!! That’s a dreamy picnic table. Great Work!!!

-- Travis, Virginia,

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