Reclaimed Wood Flat-Pack Picnic Table With Planter/Ice Trough

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Picture of Reclaimed Wood Flat-Pack Picnic Table With Planter/Ice Trough
Here's our Reclaimed Wood Flat Pack Picnic Table With Planter (I know.  It's a mouthful).  There is a gutter running down the center below the tabletop surface that can be filled with ice to put your beers in on a hot day, or for planting herbs (reach across the table to get the freshest seasoning for your food) or decorative plants.  

Making this table flat-pack was an easy decision: neither of us has a truck.  The table was made in pieces: two ends that provide the structure for the table, two center pieces with the tabletop slats, the trough, and the removable legs that simply screw in place.   Disassembly and reassembly take minutes, and everything can be fit in the back of a compact car.

All the wood in this project is reclaimed except for the table legs, which were purchased from Discount Builder's Supply in San Francisco.  As always, the design was influenced by the materials: we would have made the slats go lengthwise, but most of the beautiful pieces of reclaimed redwood we had were short, so they're widthwise instead.  

At the time we made this table, we didn't have access to a jointer or planer, so we sanded our reclaimed wood with palm sanders.  The whole project took us about a week, but it would take far less time with a jointer and planer.

This was made at TechShop San Francisco, TechShop Menlo Park, and in the backyard.  It was inspired in part by Far Out Flora's Succulent Table and Ana White's Outdoor Dining Table.

Note: this Instructable is for the table only.  Another Instructable, for the two matching benches, is coming soon!

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huseyinsafi10 months ago

nice work

Nice table. I'm going for the benches, though. Since I've already got two frames for other projects, I'll just go ahead and cut a bunch of pallet wood to make the seat, and the legs. I'll post pix later.
astahim1 year ago
Amazing. Very nice :)
It looks neat & durable too.
I cannot wait to build this!
I'd love to see pictures when you do!
babscat1 year ago
The trough is freakin genius!! Kudos!
spokito1 year ago
congretulations, this is a very clever job.
i'm fan
(Forgive this not being a reply to your reply.. the site won't let me due to a bug not showing the Captcha). Thanks! Didn't realize a place like that was so close to me downtown. I'll post pics when I'm done making the table on the 13th!
quitethecontrary (author)  sumitngupta1 year ago
Cool! I can't wait to see! I built this one mostly at Techshop SF, so all the machines in the pictures are all the ones you'll be using!
Was there a place here in SF that you could rent the bigger wood working equipment at? I have a ton of outdoor space in my apartment and love a good excuse to get new tools but a circular saw is not yet justifiable.

Would love to find a place I could rent by the hour and do the work there.

Table looks spectacular!
quitethecontrary (author)  sumitngupta1 year ago
Techshop is good. There's one in soma and one in menlo park. There are also a few places in the east bay, like Joshua tree, if you are a serious woodworker, and on the peninsula, like Sawdust, if you are more of a hobbyist. I've heard great things about both those places. The crucible in oakland also had a woodworking area.
shazni1 year ago
congratulations on your win!
WUVIE1 year ago
A very hearty congratulations on your win! Your Instructable is quality stuff, you deserve it!
bajablue1 year ago
This is a great instructable, but I wish it had focused on some of the tool use, that would have made it perfect, Great Table
this is beautiful
WUVIE1 year ago
Beyond excellent. What a fabulous project, bravo!
Really nice work!
MikeCicc1 year ago
Super inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
HollyMann1 year ago
Love it! The trough in the center is such an awesome touch.
foobear1 year ago
omg, love this so much
samohtep1 year ago
This looks great and is perfectly timed! I just saw a picture of a table w/trough in This Old House magazine and was contemplating how to build something out a pile of pallets I just tore apart. This even looks better than what I was thinking of doing! Can't wait to see the bench 'ible!
quitethecontrary (author)  samohtep1 year ago
Thank your for your kind words! I'll definitely check out that table in This Old House!
iasi131 year ago
Very nice work
Horef1 year ago
Honeylam1 year ago
Beautiful! Love how you used all the old wood!
lwaring1 year ago
Great Job
I just love this! The wood looks so nice and I love the trough :D
This is a very well done project and an excellent Instructable.

Duly voted. :)
quitethecontrary (author)  MercuryCrest1 year ago
Thanks! Your mini-popovers look ace.
lebowski1 year ago
Wow, nicely done!
quitethecontrary (author)  lebowski1 year ago
It really ties the yard together.
KMRush1 year ago
That is pretty cool. Do you have any ideas where you can get reclaimed wood? I have never heard this term before, but then again I am a novice.
quitethecontrary (author)  KMRush1 year ago
I will write an article on this if you're interested!
tlema211 year ago
Looks Amazing
tlema211 year ago
Looks Amazing