Instructables
Picture of Sleek Picnic Table with Detached Benches
We finally got our back patio built and all that was missing was a table.  Rather than spending a boat-load of money on one that kinda worked for us, I decided to just build one.  So here we are.  I actually used two picnic table Instructables as my sources and just modified them to fit my needs.  The first one had the idea of detached benches that I really liked.  The second one added a couple simple design elements that were real sleek.  With elements from both of these, I set out to create a combination of the two. I intend to show you the process of how I constructed mine rather than the precise measurements of each cut. I am an amateur woodworker with only common sense and some basic tools.  I will also show you some things that I learned from. You should take this template and make your own creation.  For even more detailed pics, just click the i in the upper left hand corner of any photo.  Feel free to comment, and if you have any questions I'll try my best to answer them.  A big thanks to the Instructables community for this project.  Below is a video of how much wobble this table has.  I really think there should be more of these demos for people to see how to improve others' designs.  Good Luck!!
 
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homestarrunner made it!3 months ago

Thanks for the plans! Went with 8 across the top.

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sdguero3 months ago

Thanks for the plans. I really like your table and will be copying your design, maybe with some tweaks. As far as table legs... What about 4x4 vs your suggestion of 2x6? Looks like a lot of your wobble is lengthwise side to side, i.e. a thicker leg vs a wider leg would give you more side to side stabiliy. It don't think 2x6s wouldn't help as much as going with 4x4s... Just my $0.02. Thanks again.

Asmithprimus made it!7 months ago

I made this table before Easter. A couple changes: 10 boards wide on the table and used kregg jig to hide all screws. Was a lot of work, but it is a great table. All cedar, table just light enough so I can pick up on it's side, but pretty heavy. Benches with center 2x6s perfect. Awesome design, pocket screws made it that much better. Thanks for the help.

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mooseo7 months ago

I really like this design, and am going to try something like it. I'm also wondering about your dimensions. If you have 7 2x4's as the top, then is it just over 26" wide? Or are some of those 2x6's? If it's narrower than it is tall, does it feel unstable? Thanks for a great looking design.

Love this table! Although, I wished you had included measurements for your cuts. Being that the center 5 2X4s are shorter than the border and all.

Great project other wise!!
NateHolder2 years ago
I know it has almost a year since you posted this but I was wondering if you would change anything about the table if you did it again. I was thinking about making the benches wider, what do you think from your experience of yours? Also side note I had picked out the two projects that you drew from and was going to make a combination of the two when I stumbled across yours. Thanks for the work you did I am positive it is really going to help me.
brassmnkys (author)  NateHolder2 years ago
I find the bench width to be just fine. I didn't get my angles quite perfect for the legs, so they extend out past the bench width a bit, which makes It more stable, but people seem to trip on the extended legs sometimes because it isn't normal. Hope that helps.
Thanks man, it does. Once again great job.
maynard12 years ago
Awesome,
I am planning on building one soon. Great resource!!!
Thanks
hsahrc3 years ago
Nice Instruct!

What COULD minimize the damage to some extent, is to try and steam the dents out. Put a WET rag over the dents and, with an electric cloths-iron, "steam" the damage. Unless you have some broken fibers due to the hammering, quite a lot (if not all) of the dents will be ironed out. If not, at least they should be less visible.
dablakh0l3 years ago
Since you have a circular saw, you could also simplify your hacksawing and chiseling a bit. Set the circular saw to the depth of the notch, and make careful pass at the edges of the slot. Then make several cuts between these outer cuts. For your 2x4, you would make about 6-10 passes between the outer slits. somewhere around 1/4" apart. When you are done it will look like a comb (see picture) Just knock out these small parts with a hammer, and then clean up the bottom with our chisel.

It'll save you some heavy chiseling.

Otherwise great instructable.
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ClareBS3 years ago
That is just what I would like to have built if I hadn't bought a big table and two benches last year. Excellent job.
suckrpnch3 years ago
The end boards was the part i was most interested in, I was disappointed to find that was the only part that wasn't covered... I would love to know more about how to do that.
brassmnkys (author)  suckrpnch3 years ago
Check out the photos (esp 3 and 4) in Step 2. I found it waaaay easier to make the 45° cuts before you install the support beams underneath the table/bench. Measuring is super critical at this stage. I basically just pre-set two screws in each side of the end board and put wood glue on both sides. One screw in each side did the trick for me. I was concerned that it might not be strong enough, but I'm happy to report that it's very strong. The wood glue far exceeded my expectations. Hooray for glue! Some additional pics attached here.
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Excellent. Thanks for the extra photos, and I DID miss the two photos you pointed out. I would be worried that that wouldn't work, but then I know how darn strong wood glue is, so I am glad it did.

I love this table. You did a great job.
nzlemming3 years ago
A rubber mallet will avoid those dent too. Always good to see someone pointing out their own 'mistakes' - those are what we learn from;-)

Nice photographic progression, with excellent notes. Thanks.
dimtick3 years ago
NICE JOB!!!!!!!!
couple comments. because of the inherent strength of a lap joint in the table x brace it's really not necessary to lag bolt the x. couple screws and some glue will work just fine (glue does all the work, the screws just hold the wood together till the glue dries). all the stress of the joint is in the screws going into the braces.
how did you attach the end boards? it looks like the middle boards are cut short so the end board is only attached at the miters? You may need to add a support board underneath. the end boards typically take a lot of abuse from kids climbing on it and from moving the table around.
jeff-o3 years ago
Very nice result! If you've got one, a thickness planer would make quick work of smoothing out those rough boards, before they're put together.
brassmnkys (author)  jeff-o3 years ago
Agreed. That's what was recommended to me at the lumber yard...but I don't have one.