Introduction: GARDEN BENCH / PICNIC TABLE
Adirondack-style rustic outdoor table/garden-bench is a unique conversation starter.
How often do you sit on the bench of a picnic table with your back against the table top?
Call it a " H a L F - T a B L E " if you'd like.
This space saving design lets you place it against the fence or along a wall.
Ideal for a smaller patio or deck. Makes a GREAT potting bench for gardeners.
It is lightweight and only 31 inches in overall depth.
[As always, read EVERYTHING before doing ANYTHING...]
2 x 6 x 30" - make 2 [seat-braces]
2 x 4 x 15" - make 2 [top-braces]
2 x 4 x 48" - make 7 [seat & top slats]
2 x 4 x 30" - make 2 (Pressure-Treated) [rear legs]
2 x 4 x 15" - make 2 (Pressure-Treated) [front legs]
circular saw, drill+bits, angle-grinder+flap-disc
#8 x 3" deck screws, carpenter glue, carpenter pencil
tape measure, framing square, bubble level, clamps
Step 1: Cut All Parts
Mitred cuts are at ten degrees.
Consider making and using a cardboard 'helper'
Step 2: Assemble the Legs
Align the front leg on top of the rear leg and draw a line. This line marks the top of the seat-brace,so that the seat will be approximately level.
Lay out one of the rear legs and one of the front legs, with the seat-brace on top of them. Make the front leg flush to the seat-brace. Mark & drill pilot holes for the deck screws. Glue the front leg to the seat-brace and insert a deck-screw.
Glue the rear leg to the seat-brace, double-check that the brace is level to the ground, wiggle the parts a little to level things out, & add screws (3 or 4 per joint).
Repeat to make the second leg assembly, with the seat-brace 'inside' the legs.
If desired for extra strength, clamp the leg assemblies together at the joints while the glue sets up.
[click photos for notes]
Step 3: Assemble the Table Top
To lay out the top, place the top-braces about 36" apart on a level surface, and set four of the 48" slats across the braces at a 90-degree angle.
Adjust the slats & braces to be square, with 6" overhang at each end.
Spread the slats evenly; use a carpenter pencil as a spacer. Allow the front of the top to hang over the brace about an eighth of an inch.
Drill pilot holes in the outside slats, double-check that the slats are square, then glue 'em & screw 'em.
Repeat with the two inside slats. Set the TOP aside, and move on to the next step.
Step 4: Attach the Seat Slats to the Leg-Assemblies
Mark and drill pilot holes 6-3/4" from the ends of all three seat slats.
Place one of the 48" slats across the front legs. Adjust the slat to be square, with 6" overhang at each end.
Glue the top of each front leg, allow at least a quarter-inch of front overhang for comfort, and screw the first seat-slat in place.
Repeat with the last two slats, using that carpenter pencil as a spacer.
For strength, add screws down into the top of each front leg.
You should be looking at the seat attached to the two leg assemblies. The assembled table-top has been waiting patiently for the big finale.
Step 5: Attach the Top
Mark the center of each rear leg.
Glue the top and side of each rear leg.
Place the table-top assembly onto the rear legs, with the center-mark visible between the top's inside slats.
Drill a pilot hole into the side of one of the top-braces, and screw the top to the rear leg. Clamp this joint underneath the top.
Adjust the top for level (a friend makes this easier), and run screws down into the top of the rear leg.
Double-check for level (again?) and finish adding the top.
Each rear leg should have two screws down from the top, and two more in from the side. That's EIGHT deck screws securing the top!
Step 6: Finish the " H a L F - T a B L E "
Saw each 90-degree corner with a small chamfer.
Smooth ALL edges you can possibly reach. Flip it over and smooth more.
A flap-disc on an angle-grinder is a quick & easy technique, but a sander or even a file will do the job.
OPTIONAL: sand the top and seat-slats nice & smooth & pretty, then apply stain or sealer or paint or carve your initials into the top
Stand back and admire your work!
Step 7: Variations on a Theme
Mix it up - something old, something new. Vary the length of the slats - 36" has worked, but exceeding 60" is not recommended. Up-cycling that pile of scrap wood is a good idea.
Water-seal the slats and display the succulent collection.
Carriage bolts or lag screws may serve the need, especially under the seat.
Make a matching pair, place them back-to-back, and astound your friends!
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