Picnic Table

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Project by Dan Wolfgang posted 07-05-2017 11:36 AM 1793 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I wanted a smallish table for our deck. We have a table in the gazebo which is wonderful, but sometimes on those sunny-but-not-hot days it’s nice to sit out in the sun to have dinner or do things. I had a kid-free day and this seemed like a good project to fill it with. This wasn’t going to be fine woodworking, but I still wanted to make a functional table for us. I originally intended to build a more traditional picnic table, which I thought I could complete that day (run out for materials, cut, assemble, and some sort of stain to protect it). Or, I told her, I thought about a different design but was sure it’d take me longer to complete. The different design is what we went with. We headed to Home Depot for some douglas fir, hardware, and ended up also choosing three different colored stains/oils to protect it (Cedar, Jatoba, and “Dark Wood,” if memory serves). I got everything cut that day and began assembling the base. The table top is four foot square.

Staining turned into a big task that made the project basically take a month to complete. We got a lot of rain through June and finding windows where I could put the stain on proved difficult. It took, well, a month to get a few coats on. There’s some splotchiness to the finish that I’m not pleased with, but as I didn’t surface the boards at all I can’t say if it’s related to the stain quality or wood.

Carriage bolts hold the base together. The top is held on by screws from below, so there are no visible screw holes on the top. Now that’s it’s all done and on our deck, I’ve realized I forgot to drill a big hole in the center to put the umbrella in. Well, maybe later. Some sort of benches are in the future, but we have plenty of chairs to set at the table for now.

9 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


9172 posts in 2716 days

#1 posted 07-05-2017 01:09 PM

Nice picnic table. Well worth the effort.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3539 days

#2 posted 07-05-2017 02:28 PM

This is a nice looking table.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View John's profile


1658 posts in 1943 days

#3 posted 07-05-2017 03:12 PM

I like the diagonal top Dan, very nice!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View XrayJay's profile


269 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 07-05-2017 04:22 PM

I would have went with straight not diagonal boards and no one would have gave mine a second look. I like the contrasting stains and diagonal pattern. Your extra time takes it to another level. Great job.

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View Ron Smith's profile

Ron Smith

196 posts in 4386 days

#5 posted 07-06-2017 01:27 PM


-- Thank God for sawdust... Ron. TX resident...

View Fiddy's profile


228 posts in 1983 days

#6 posted 07-07-2017 12:07 AM

Nice, Dan – I like that look a lot. Any chance you’d be able to get an underside shot of the table? I’d like to see that structure if you could. Thanks Dan.

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1480 days

#7 posted 07-07-2017 10:55 AM

Hey Fiddy—the underside is 2×6s formed into a grid with lap joints. The 2×6s are vertically oriented, like the feet, and required some deep drilling to be able to get the screws into the top.

View Bud_3's profile


907 posts in 1897 days

#8 posted 07-08-2017 03:21 PM

Nice use of colors!

-- Personality and character of a man is like wood,you must polish it to shine.....

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4267 days

#9 posted 04-17-2018 04:12 PM

I really dig this, it really pops!

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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