Trestle Picnic Table and Benches

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Project by Mary Anne posted 05-18-2010 07:16 PM 14905 views 9 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built from rough sawn 8/4 cedar. This was my first time milling all the wood for a large project. My shop, my house, and my deck all smell absolutely wonderful! Every piece went through the jointer, planer, and drum sander before cutting. All edges were routed with a 1/8” round over bit. The color looks dark because the heavens opened up and poured down rain just as I was finishing up. I have not made a decision whether to seal or not to seal—your suggestions and opinions are welcomed.

I do not care for the all-in-one picnic tables with the benches attached that you have climb into to sit down. There is nothing too unique in the design of this one—just a straightforward trestle table and a couple of benches to match. I doubled the feet on the table for extra stability (might put in another block to fill the gap and make it look more like a solid piece), and I put the stringers up high to give plenty of knee room for people and head room for dogs.

In picture #2, my lovely model Alice is certain I chose cedar in an attempt to match the color of her coat. I have her approval.

Picture #3 is Cindy Bear who winters in a cave behind my house. She was already making off with the pic-a-nic basket and would not stick around to pose with the table.

Thanks for looking, and a happy spring and summer to you all!

20 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5130 days

#1 posted 05-18-2010 07:25 PM

I love it, Mary Anne!

I agree with you about not liking the all-in-one design. As for sealing or not sealing…. I’d ask Cindy Bear, and do whatever she wants. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4997 days

#2 posted 05-18-2010 07:26 PM

Beautiful, Mary Anne! I love the knee room underneath. You did a Fine job on this, and I’ll bet it will be worth many hours of fun conversation and hospitality.


View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4215 days

#3 posted 05-18-2010 07:27 PM

That’s really nice Mary Anne! I bet your proud of that table anytime anyone sets there. Love the bear and the pup :)

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 4120 days

#4 posted 05-18-2010 07:36 PM

I do look forward to it getting a lot of use.

Miss Cindy can be rather persuasive. We had an ongoing discussion over the placement of my smoker last year. She overturned it several times and tried to drag it off the deck and down to her house twice!

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3872 days

#5 posted 05-18-2010 07:37 PM

I was wondering if the bear wore a hat and bowtie during the tourist season. Nice table with a lot of thought put into the design. BTW, that is a wild looking hair clasp you have on!

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4344 days

#6 posted 05-18-2010 08:02 PM

Great table and benches, Mary Anne. I particularly like the design. I too agree that separate benches make more sense… especially for those of us who hate climbing into a table!!
I do like finishing the table with a sealer so that it holds up better to the elements.
As for your friends… you have excellent taste… they look like great friends to have!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Ray Friddle's profile

Ray Friddle

87 posts in 3941 days

#7 posted 05-18-2010 08:54 PM

Thank for posting this! I’m been looking at bench designs and this one is perfect. Man I don’t know about the sealing. It looks so raw and natural right now, but the sun and rain can be pretty harsh over time.

-- Ray

View michelletwo's profile (online now)


2786 posts in 3927 days

#8 posted 05-18-2010 09:31 PM

Absolutely gorgeous. I like the simple rustic joinery & the wood you chose. It looks like it belongs on that deck. I agree about benches seperate from the table..a lot easier to ‘set a spell” and not worry how one will exit gracefully. I choose no finish at all..becuase nothing lasts more than a year anyway, and then you have to refinish all the time. They do have some new outdoor oils tho, that I have heard are pretty least from one year to the next you don’t have to remove the old finish. It will all turn grey no matter what you do.

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 3981 days

#9 posted 05-18-2010 09:43 PM

I love it that cedar looks great. For me, I would oil it only because I love the colour & the grain when it turns silver it loses something but that’s just my opinion we’re all different & hey vive la difference !
Nice job, scary bear, cute dog

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1594 posts in 4163 days

#10 posted 05-18-2010 11:05 PM

Awesome job, very nice.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Hacksaw007's profile


620 posts in 4101 days

#11 posted 05-19-2010 12:43 AM

I think I see your dog in the bear’s mouth? Or is it a whistle? Very nice work. Very nice deck. Now if you could just get the raccoon off of your head, you would have it made…..

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View patron's profile


13711 posts in 4252 days

#12 posted 05-19-2010 02:12 AM

nice setup , mary anne ,
rugged ,
clean ,
and useful .
as the wood dries ,
it can crack and check .

i went to standard oil ( their dist center , for local gas stations ) ,
they have some ’ shingle oil ’ , that is cheap ,
and can be applied once or twice a year with a slobber brush ,
it is odorless and helps with the checking .
it was developed for shingle covered houses and roofs .
like baby oil , but doesn’t rot or mildew .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4489 days

#13 posted 05-19-2010 02:25 AM

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4005 days

#14 posted 05-19-2010 10:02 AM

Lovely design, wood and models. Well done Mary Anne

-- When you know better you do better.

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 4078 days

#15 posted 05-19-2010 01:29 PM

Looks great and practical too.
Nice build.

Thanks for postig

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

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