My White Oak Outdoor table

  • Advertise with us
Project by adamclyde posted 11-22-2016 01:23 AM 2416 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We finally redid our entire back yard, so the crowning piece is the table, which I just finished in time for Thanksgiving. Whew!

Made completely of white oak (would have loved teak but I haven’t yet won the lottery). The design is based very loosely on a picture I saw a long time ago. I think the beveled rails and tapered legs balance it really well and give it a nice modern design aesthetic without getting boxy and beefy given the heft of this beast. I’m very happy with the end result.

A few things I’m proud of, given this was my first ever table and I’m still just learning wood working:

  • The legs and rails are joined with mortise and tenons. The tenons were a challenge… I’d never cut tenons on long heavy pieces (the table is 102” long, 42” wide). I used my sliding miter saw with a depth stop to cut the cheeks, then used a chisel to pare down the tenons. Had to be careful with the oak grain direction on the chiseling, but it turned out really well and I find chiseling to be really satisfying work.
  • The top is quarter sawn white oak. Right now they are just laid in place on a 3/4 rabbet, which runs the entire inside perimeter of the rails. I was worried about rain getting trapped in the rabbet, so I set it at a 10 degree angle so any water can run off. The top planks will eventually be tacked in place with a single deck screw in the middle from the bottom. Again, I figured no glue on the top to eliminate trapped water, plus I may change the top over time, so if I want to I can remove it in a matter of minutes. Also, the single screw, along with the gaps in the top for water drainage should allows for all sorts of lateral wood movement.
  • The tapered legs were a challenge. Thanks all for your help. I ended up using my table saw jig, but because of the width of the legs (3 1/2”) I had to do it in two cuts, flipping it end over end and carefully readjusting the jig. Cleaned it up with my trusty Stanley Jointer plane.

I was planning on keeping it as it is – no finish – and just allow it to weather. But I found out last night that the oak leaches tannins like crazy, which stains the concrete. So… I’m wondering if some sort of a finish will help prevent this one. Deck sealer (like thompsons?) Maybe just treat the end grain some how?

At any rate, it’s finished and I’m happy. Would love to know what you think.

5 comments so far

View Alexandre Lussier's profile

Alexandre Lussier

93 posts in 1804 days

#1 posted 11-22-2016 12:25 PM

That is a really nice outdoor table! I like the sleek design of it. The legs are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

-- Alex, Bas Saint-Laurent

View tmasondarnell's profile


144 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 11-22-2016 11:16 PM

Very nice. Looks great

View Jeff's profile


70 posts in 2407 days

#3 posted 11-23-2016 01:28 AM

That is a very nice table. Great design and portions. Well done!

-- "...building is far more gratifying that consuming" - Chris Schwarz

View TWegs's profile


71 posts in 1584 days

#4 posted 11-25-2016 02:05 PM

Great looking table. Very nice job. I really like the mortise and tenon construction and the tapered legs turned out beautifully. If you decide to finish it, I suggest a marine spar finish like Epifanes. It contains tung oil that will really pull out the figuring in the oak. Note that it will cost about twice what you’ll spend for spar sold at the big box stores, but will last you 3 – 5 years. Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

View thcyclist's profile


13 posts in 1520 days

#5 posted 12-03-2016 03:52 PM

Really nice design, wish I could make that. Like The taperecorder sides, keep the strength but not so clunky.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics