How to Make an Outdoor Side Table



About: Husband to a great wife, father to my baby girl, and child of the one true king. 9-5er during the day and woodworker the rest of the time. Follow along as I offer tips, tricks, and woodworking plans. I st...

This Instructable walks you through how I build these side tables! This is a great intermediate skill level project that uses all solid wood and multiple joinery techniques. I hope y'all enjoy this project as much as I did!

Check out the video above for the build! If you like it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and checkout some of my other projects!

If you want additional details head over to my blog!

You can grab the free plans over on Build Something


Materials & Products

Tools I Used

Links above are provided as a convenience to help you purchase items I used (or similar) for this project. Some of these links are affiliate links, however purchasing through these links does not cost you a thing

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Step 1: Rough Cuts

As with all woodworking projects, the first thing to do is lay out your boards, make your rough cuts and start dimensioning material. Making templates of the parts comes in handy here to help determine your initial cuts.

Step 2: Jigs & Templates

This project is made easier by building a few basic templates and jigs.

I made a template for the outer table top ring, a circle to fit inside that ring, the apron, and lower braces.

I also made a taper cutting jig for the legs along with a jig to cut the curved mortise in the top of each leg.

Step 3: Table Top

The table top is made up of an outer ring with several slats glued and screwed to it.

To cut the ring to it's final size, I used the router table and a flush trim router bit. For the center slats, I cut them to their appropriate sizes by screwing them to a circular template (spaced according to the plans), rough cutting them on the bandsaw, and then using a flush trim bit on the router table. Next I drilled pocket holes in the end of each slat and secured them to the outer ring with ss pocket hole screws.

Step 4: Table Legs

The table legs are the single most in-depth part of this entire project. But by breaking down the steps it's very doable. The first thing is to bring our stock down to size.

I then routed the curved slot in the top of each leg. This slot accepts the apron and needs to be fairly accurate and snug. The easiest way to accomplish this was to build a jig which you can see in the YouTube video.

After routing the curved slot I used a dado stack to cut the notch for the lower braces. Any number of tools can be used to cut this feature if a dado stack is not available.

The final task is to taper the legs which I accomplished using the taper sled in the photo.

Step 5: Apron & Braces

The apron and braces are made by first rough cutting to shape on the bandsaw and then using a template and flush trim bit in the router table to form them to their final shape.

I drill a series of counterbored holes in the apron to attach the legs to the table top.

For the braces, I drill a pocket hole in the each end for assembly.

Step 6: Assembly

To assembly the base, I dry-fit everything in place and use a combination of strap clamps and mini E-Z hold clamps to firmly hold everything in place. I use ss pocket hole screws and first secure the braces to the legs. I then flip the assembly right side up and drive screws through the apron into the legs.

With the base complete I center the top on the apron and drive screws through the remaining four holes in the apron into the table top.

Step 7: Finish

We decided on Varathane classic gray to stain the tables and followed up with General Finished Exterior 450 in satin.

Step 8: Free Plans!

I’d love to hear what you think about this side table! If you build one tag me on instagram with #woodshopmikeibuiltit

If you want additional details head over to my blog!

You can grab the free plans over on Build Something

Find me across the web!

As always, if you have any questions, let me know. And until next time, have fun making something!

Kreg Tool provided me with product and/or monetary compensation as a sponsor of this build. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the sponsor. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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    10 Discussions

    Woodshop MikeYonatan24

    Reply 3 days ago

    Thank you so much! My wide and I are really happy with the design.


    27 days ago

    this is something solid and durable multi purpose table.Great Work.

    1 reply

    4 weeks ago

    This is a nice work. However when it is raining you should let the table in a dry place or at least cover it otherwise it will be rotten in a few years.

    1 reply
    Woodshop MikeRumpelS

    Reply 27 days ago

    Thank you! The table is made of white oak and finished with exterior grade finish. It'll be just fine on our covered porch throughout the year without needing to be brought in!