Instructables
Picture of ADA-compliant Picnic Tables
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I had the fortune to build these picnic tables with the Friends of Kalamani & Lydgate Park for National Make a Difference Day and Earth Day. The design is well planned and provides wheel chair seating at both ends of the table.  Anyone wishing to build a single table can use these plans and figures.  Multi-table builds additionally will benefit from FKLP's work-flow processes.

A sweet jig was used to quickly assemble the trestles, standardizing the tables and ensuring ADA compliance.  The detailed saw setups make cutting parts short work.  FKLP's thoughtful assembly steps simplify accurate construction.  Lastly, I have included some build suggestions and a survey of failure mechanisms.

A single person should be able to finish a table in a weekend.  Approximately 25 volunteers, working two half-days, can assemble 10+ tables.  These tables are strong, heavy and durable, excellent for years of use.
 
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Step 1: Tools, Materials and Plans

Picture of Tools, Materials and Plans
Attached to this Instructable are
  • 3D full scale model of the picnic table, both in shareable open format "ADA Compliant Picnic Table.dae" and in SketchUp format "ADA Compliant Picnic Table.skp".  The file can also be downloaded from the Google 3D Warehouse listing.
  • The table plans and basic materials list "Picnic Bench Plans.pdf" with a QR-code that links back to this Instructable.
  • Assembly instructions "Table Assembly Steps.pdf" with relevant measurements labeled.
Anyone seeking to modify the design will find the 3D files very useful for recalculating measurements.  A two-sided handout of "Picnic Bench Plans.pdf" and "Assembly Steps.pdf" can be given to table assembly teams to guide table building.

Budget $400 per table. Actual cost was ~$350 per table for the builds in 2011 and 2012. If you are using these plans to make a single table for your home, keep in mind the table's sheer weight of ~300 lbs.  The weight can be reduced by using shorter 2x12's (also shorten the 2x4's and recalculate their angles).  Alternately, try different lumber, perhaps non-treated.  At your store, collect lumber and lift for weight estimate.

The materials for a single table are:
  • 5pieces [ 2" x 12" ] by 10' treated wood
  • 2pcs [ 2" x 6" ] by 12' treated wood
  • 1pcs [ 2" x 6" ] by 10' treated wood
  • 1pcs [ 2" x 4" ] by 8' treated wood
  • 16pcs 1/2" x 31/2" stainless steel carriage bolt, with nuts and washers
  • 1 lb. 16 penny galvanized nails (~50pcs)*
  • 1/3lb. 9 penny galvanized nails (~35pcs)*
  • 1/2 gal floor enamel paint**
*FKLP used spiral-shank stainless steel nails.
**FKLP used different paint and quantities from listed in the schematic-materials (primer and top coat instead of 1/2gal floor enamel paint).

Prep-day tools for a large-volunteer program (3 saw-stations, 2 sanding-stations and 1 paint-station):
  • 4 20' x 20' shade / rain tents
  • Tarps for ground cover at paint spray area
  • Extra tarps for wind block, if necessary
  • Lots of extension cords
  • 3+ power bars with internal breaker switches
  • 15+ Saw Horses
  • Three 24" x 16' work platforms to set up saw stations
  • Sliding Miter Saw
  • 3 Miter Saws
  • Scrap 2 x _X_ boards for rests and board stops
  • Many 3" deck screws to secure saws and stops
  • 3 pliers for pulling staples from lumber
  • 2 wheel barrows
  • 2 belt sanders
  • ~10 sander belts, ~80-grit
  • Paint sprayer**
  • Air compressor**
  • Paint-operator safety equipment (goggles**, respirator**, disposable clothes)
  • Paint sprayer cleanup equipment**
  • Four sturdy poles, ~10' long to carry wet parts
  • Stacking spacers for wet parts, ~20pcs per table
  • Work gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Cold water
**FKLP used a primer and top coat instead of 1/2gal floor enamel paint.
 
Assembly day tools (2 jig-stations, 4 table assembly-stations and 1 paint station):
  • 3+ 20' x 20' shade / rain tents
  • Tarps for ground cover at paint spray area
  • Extra tarps for wind block, if necessary
  • lots of extension cords
  • 3+ power bars with internal breaker switches
  • Custom trestle assembly jig***
  • 6 Drills
  • 10+ 1/8" drill bits
  • 2 1/2" spade-drill bits
  • 2+ Socket wrenches for 3/4" nut and bolt
  • 20+ Saw horses
  • 8+ 20oz hammers
  • 4+ Nail punches for 16d nails
  • 4+ Tape measures
  • 4+ Carpenter squares
  • 4+ Pencils
  • Paint sprayer**
  • Air compressor**
  • Paint-operator safety equipment (goggles**, respirator**, disposable clothes)
  • Paint sprayer cleanup equipment**
  • Four sturdy poles, ~10' long to carry wet tables
  • Scrap 2x6 boards to place under wet table feet
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Cold water
**FKLP used a primer and top coat instead of 1/2gal floor enamel paint.
***The custom assembly jig is explained in the following step.
rcwhiteh24 days ago
Boys in our Scout Troop have built a number of picnic tables for Eagle Scout projects in recent years; I wish that we'd had this set of plans available. As an experienced carpenter, I can say that having a jig that positions table parts correctly is invaluable when building furniture. I plan to build one or two of these jigs and make them available to Eagle Scout candidates for their service projects. Many thanks for sharing this with us!
RedWagon2 months ago

I got tired of cheap patio furniture and decided to build one these for my backyard. Only cost $200 and took one afternoon to build. This thing is SOLID and should last awhile.

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what r the angels or degrees of the knees braces and legs of the table?

CrLz (author)  rwinters11 month ago

The approximates are leg at 60 degrees and brace at 21 degrees (see attached images).

However, I would lay out according to measurements, and not use angles. Safer to ensure ADA compliance.

Alternatively, I included the 3D file in the ible. Download it, pull it into Sketchup and grab the exact measurements. In fact, there is a difference between the original drafting and the 3D model (part of why i modeled it in the first place.) Just lay it out in a way that works for you, most of the details will just work themselves out as a consequence.

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CrLz (author)  RedWagon2 months ago

Awesome RedWagon! The tables are super solid. We've been looking at ways to make them easier to move. The strain of moving can be one of the problems that damages the joints in the long run. So far we've added a "ski" across the feet to help slide. Hope your table lasts many summers!

BigAl3231 year ago
I made one for my parents. By far the best table I've ever sat on. three big guys on one side and it would not tip. Although because of the length i added a 2x4 on edge under each seat because we aren't the lightest people in my family ;) Thank you for sharing!
ccampan1 year ago
Very nice instructable, thanks for adding this. I hear many stories from Rotarians about the rebuild of many of these similar tables after Iniki so it's nice to see a full breakdown of what they are required to be. I enjoy these tables weekly and thank you and Friends for taking an active role in Kauai's community! Aloha