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Project Information

After working on some pens followed by built-in bookshelves, I was eager to get back to stand alone furniture. Earlier this summer, I was at IKEA (agh, I know) with the family. We recently bought some new outdoor chairs to dress up our back patio and one of the tables caught my wife's eye.

I am typically a fan of Ikea designs, but this table was not very attractive and seemed somewhat rickety. As every self-styled woodworker is known to do, I announced "I can build something better."

The plans are from the Wood Whisperer:

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/the-not-so-rustic-rustic-outdoor-table/

The only modifications were to reduce the size of the all parts by 1/4"-1/2" thickness, as I could not find Western Red Cedar in true 8/4 thickness. It ended up being cheaper to buy construction lumber 2"x6"s then to try to find rough stock. Unfortunately, working with construction stock is painful, and I had to joint and plane every board as if I was working with rough stock. After removing the staples :)

The majority of the joinery is mortise and loose tenons via the Domino XL. The lower table stretchers are half lap assemblies. The table top is secured with breadboard ends. Two smaller benches echo the design of the table.
Finish is a deck finish from Lowes (Woodland Oil - Kona brown) - I was trying to match our backyard play set also made of cedar (not by me.)

In all, a fun project. Thanks to the Wood Whisperer for great free plans, videos, and even answering a question for me. We are happy to have this table for outdoor dining - my wife even acknowledged that yes, it is better than IKEA :)

Gallery

Comments

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273 Posts
looks great, especially construction stock.
 

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Wow, great looking table. Very nice, I like the finish a lot.
 

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Nice looking table. I love working with western red cedar but it can be challenging. It is so easy to scuff and dent - take real care which is a bonus as it makes you a better woodworker. I recently built a bench from WRC and was lucky to find 10/4 stock! Used it for the legs, arms and back top rail. Not cheap, though.
 

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Thanks for the comments guys!

WRC is super soft, so I was fine with the rustic-ness of several scratches and dents. Adds to the charm I guess :)
 

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Great looking outdoor table set-a thousand times better than the IKEA stuff!

I'm sure you'll enjoy many fine meals around that table!
 

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How's the finish on this holding up?
 

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How s the finish on this holding up?

- Belg1960
The finish is doing ok, I applied really thick coats. In retrospect, I think I could have gone a little lighter and just been ready to reapply. Alternatively I could have done a marine varnish or epoxy type product to avoid the moisture issues (see below.)

The main issue with the table is that the top has undergone a lot of movement. There is a noticeable lengthwise upcurve on each long side despite the breadboards. In retrospect I should have attached the breadboards closer to the long edge of the top.

The top is starting to crack in many places, which does not affect function (yet), but I'm guessing I'll be remaking a top one of these years.
 

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I'm thinking if I did it again I'd avoid the construction grade lumber which was not likely appropriately dried. Although once you put wood outside, who knows.
 

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Thank you very much for your insights, one thing I'm not 100% on is this, "In retrospect I should have attached the breadboards closer to the long edge of the top." Are you saying you would have reduced the amount that the breadboard overhangs the end? On the table I'm going to build I want to overhang it it much further, which I might have to reconsider if this could be a problem. Pat
 

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You can see in the above picture the location of the most lateral "breadboard", which was in fact a domino that was sort of draw-bored into place, as represented by the dowel covering the screw.

I feel i should have placed the Domino more laterally, towards the edge often table. The discoloration of the finish is where I inserted some deck screws to try to make the curve less severe.
 

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For sure you had movement, I plan on doing a true mortise and tenon to avoid (hopefully) this type of cupping. Thanks for the follow up pic much appreciated.
 
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