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After my daughter gave me a Kreg Jig pocket hole master system, I began looking for projects to build.
I stumbled upon the plans for these garden benches that convert into a picnic table.

In place of nails to join the pieces together, I have used the Kreg Jig to place the pocket hole and
fastened using the pocket hole screws. This allowed me to construct the project where no fasteners
are visible and will not come loose to catch on clothes or injure people.

I used a tablesaw to make all of the cuts, I did not have a miter saw. After each piece was
fastened I used a palm sander or hand help belt sander to remove any ruff edges and such.

I used Minwax Red Chestnut stain to finish the benches, I just liked the deep red color. I expected these to
stay outside so they have been finished with the Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.

for this being my very first woodworking project, it took me about a week to cut the parts and assemble.
Then about two days for the stain and finish.

Since then I have purchased a miter saw and it only takes me about 6 hours to cut out all on the pieces.

Gallery

Comments

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Yes, I have a couple of photos of benches like this in my "projects to do" file. I am glad you posted these that you have done, they look like a fun project. How are they working out for you?
 

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They are working rather well. I found another variation on the table bench combo right as I finished these and thought that the new one would work better, but this first set proved to be the better design.

There are small variations to this style bench that might be more desirable, but I went with the original design for the first time. They have really impressed friends when I brought them to picnic events.
 

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They are fairly portable then? I was thinking of making a pair for taking out to the boonies for use when target practicing and lunch. Maybe even trying them out on a camping trip.
 

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They are about 64" long, they fit in a pick up very easy. One person can pick up one piece at a time, but it is easier if you have help. The center of gravity is the edge of the seat where they hinge.

I have completed three sets and used them for a special gathering of friends. They really made a great impression when everyone was gathered to sit and eat. I had continuous compliments from everyone
the way they set up.
 

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cool! also keeps the table clean when its not in use. the ducks think my outdoor table is a fancy WC.
 

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Great project. I have a set of these table/benches down by the river. I have had them for over ten years -leave them out uncovered all year long-and soon they will need replaced. (They were built out of untreated pine 2 bys.) Next time I will spring for the treated lumber. These types of tables are so functional and easy to use. Bench or table.. and if you put 2 tables facing each other they become a big picnic table.
 

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I love the design, maybe I'll put a pair in the kitchen. You work fast.
 

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Great project. Where did you get the plans? Could you please post a link or something about them. Love those pocket holes!
 

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Nicely done! Sitting at a bench table is fine for me whilst actually eating, but I do like to have something to lean back on afterwards, so this design would suit me admirably - I will watch out for a link to the plans.
 

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I too have a set of plans for this project floating around the shop some were lol they look very good!
 

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Nice work, really like the concept.
 

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Thank you for your compliments.

I saw a set of these as I was touring through a town (about ten years ago) in southern Missouri or
northern Arkansas. They were displayed in front of the general store. I thought they were really a
neat idea. When I started this hobby, I ran across these plans and wanted to build them.

This is where I discovered and later bought the plans for a whole $5. there are errors in the plans so I recommend reading the plans very well before starting. If anyone would like my insight on the plans I'd be happy to help.

http://www.buildeazy.com/newplans/foldback_page1_5_06.html

You can build the set from their free plans that are posted on the site, I just wanted the rest of the info
all at once. It is a fun project to build, I highly recommend a miter saw for cutting the angles needed and
you don't need an extra person to steady the stock while cutting. It works out better if you start with 10' stock rather than 8', there is less waste.
 

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Wow, that's cool. I might have to give this one a try next spring. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Good idea. Thanks for sharing.
 
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