Want some good tips and advice on the best way to build a nice picnic table? This article gives you some helpful hints on what order to build the portions of the picnic table and exactly what steps you could take to build your own trestle style table. The resource box provides a link to where you can get to a nice library set of woodworking plans to build your picnic table.
I might be getting a little sentimental here, but I sure did miss the old wooden picnic table my grandparents had in their backyard. Most of the outdoor furniture I have now looks like a poor replacement for that old beautiful Redwood picnic table with the stylish checkerboard fabric. I’ve got my workshop and tools ready to off I go in search of the best picnic table plans I could find- hoping to build the same kind of picnic table so fondly remembered from my childhood. I didn’t have far to look thank goodness. A friend of mine used a great set of Cradle Plans to build a baby cradle from a huge library of premium plans. I suggest you check the same library I did for several sets of picnic table plans.
The picnic table plans I finally decided to go with from that great library of plans was for a trestle style table – something that looks very similar to the picnic table my grandparents had. The construction is simple enough. A type of glue-and-screw joinery that uses simple butt joints and an outdoor adhesive . Nothing too complicated there. And I can cut up most of the wood with a cordless saw. After that, it’s just a matter of getting all the pieces glued and screwed together with the hardware.
Instead of using a simple cross-legged frame (like you normally see with most of the really cheap picnic tables), a trestle table has two separate sections of legs located at each end of the table. Two long boards stretch the length of between the two legs, keeping everything solid and square. I will start the project by making a foot for each of the legs. After that, I will do the legs themselves which includes a strip of wood along the top to support the table.
So far I have been able to do most of the construction in my outdoor workshop. But before you attach the legs to the stretcher wood that runs between the 2 leg sections, I have to move everything outside. If you have a garage, patio or some other outdoor workspace, that will work too. At this point, it is probably easier to complete the whole base of the table with the table turned upside down. The next step is to drill, glue, and screw in the wood screws to connect the legs to the base.
For the top portion of the table, the plans call for alternating pieces of 2×6 and 2×4’s that are held in conjunction with 1×4 wood strips called “wedges”. Put all the boards out together on the floor, even up the edges, and then put them together with the wood screws. Then use a series of 1 / 4 “-thick spacers and a pair of clamps to keep everything together while I attach the cleats.
With the top turned upside down, I’ll put the base against the top and drill pilot holes through the stretchers and into the top of the table. Before turning the table to its upright position, I need to connect the two outer railings for added strength. After applying a bit of adhesive, I’ll drive 4 “long screws through the outside leg and leg and into the inside rail. Now you can turn the table to an upright position and you are all done.
Time to go enjoy some nice and juicy hamburgers cooked off the grill and some delicious potato salad.