Cedar Patio Table

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Project by Jeff posted 06-08-2010 08:21 PM 11846 views 16 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cedar Patio Table
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This was one of my first projects and may have been a little ambitious at the time, but hey, if you don’t push yourself I guess you’ll never learn. Made from Western Cedar, finished with helmsman spar urethane exterior grade. I won’t use a film forming finish like that again; it peeled badly wherever the UV rays hit it after a year. The loose tenon joints around the top weren’t as tight as they should have been. On the other hand I loved working with the cedar. It was quality stuff (better than the Eastern Cedar which I can get locally) in my opinion. This wood smells great too! Another advantage was how light that table was to move around at the end of BBQ season.

Table has since been passed along to my F-I-L who sanded and refinished it.

-- Jeff

22 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4489 days

#1 posted 06-08-2010 08:23 PM

A fine looking table Jeff, but all your work is great ,well done


View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4107 days

#2 posted 06-08-2010 08:38 PM


Nice table. You might try some Watco teak oil. We use that on our wooden outdoor furniture (mostly teak) and it seem to hold up well in our hot Texas sun.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3849 days

#3 posted 06-08-2010 09:36 PM

dispite what problems you had with finish it looks great and I’ll bet it holds drinks real well…......Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5130 days

#4 posted 06-08-2010 09:40 PM

Excellent job!

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

View Brandon's profile


4380 posts in 3863 days

#5 posted 06-08-2010 09:53 PM

Looks great! I like how you enclosed the octagon within a circle.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View swirt's profile


5645 posts in 3883 days

#6 posted 06-08-2010 10:00 PM

Nice table design.

Regarding finishes, I use Sikkens Cetol1 on my Cedar Table (and all my other outdoor furniture). It does build a finish, but it is a breathable finish so it doesn’t crack the way spar polyurethane will. It kind of wears off over time and you simply clean it and put on another coat. It is kind of like shellac in it’s repair-ability. It holds up great to rain, sun and ice.

-- Galootish log blog,

View David's profile


216 posts in 4627 days

#7 posted 06-08-2010 10:02 PM

VERY nice. Can you take a photo shot from the deck looking up: I’d like to see the under carriage. I do some boat work and I’d check out the Teak Oil mentioned above or maybe “Decks olya”. It doesn’t have a film finish but has a UV filter. ..if you can find it: it’s good stuff.

-- [email protected]

View Swede's profile


191 posts in 3930 days

#8 posted 06-08-2010 11:59 PM

Super job would make a nice coffee/end table on a smaller scale.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4710 days

#9 posted 06-09-2010 12:11 AM

Very nice work. The cedar was the problem with the spar varnish. Film finishes do NOT like cedar. A drying oil is about all you can do with cedar and other woods containing their own oil/resin.

Good work.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4584 days

#10 posted 06-09-2010 12:34 AM

Nice work.

View Jeff's profile


116 posts in 3826 days

#11 posted 06-09-2010 01:46 AM

Thanks for the tips on finishes. I’ve heard about Sikkens products before but haven’t really seen them on the shelf at my local stores. Perhaps I can order it online next time. I wasn’t aware that cedar in particular posed a problem for film finishes; lesson learned.

David: I can’t take a photo for you unfortunately because it is at my father-in-law’s house now (a couple provinces away)

-- Jeff

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3942 days

#12 posted 06-09-2010 02:59 AM

Great table. I really like the design. Love that cedar.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View swirt's profile


5645 posts in 3883 days

#13 posted 06-09-2010 04:04 AM

Jeff usually there are specific dealers for Sikkens. You won’t find it on the shelf in any of the big box stores.

It adheres to cedar just fine. My white cedar table is 10 years old and is under cover of an awning and still looks great with its orignal 3 coats.

My Cedar Adirondak chairs are less protected and so I add a topcoat every 3 years. Prep is nothing more than a washing them and rubbing them with a bit of 0000 steel wool to remove dirt and grime. No need to remove the older layers of sikkens as the top coat just melts right in to the older coats. the finish on these chairs have only failled in three spots.
1) teeth marks left from my Chocolate Lab when he was a puppy (he’s now 8)
2) cracks made in the wood where a large tree branch fell on the the chair
3) a large check that appeared in the wood and the finish just couldn’t span it.

The failures were all tied to the wood failing and not so much the finish.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1594 posts in 4163 days

#14 posted 06-09-2010 05:13 AM

Nice looking table, great build.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Popsnsons's profile


440 posts in 3893 days

#15 posted 06-09-2010 07:26 AM

Great table design. I like the looks of cedar.

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

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