Last year, I made a couple simple sawhorse tables out of some scrap 2x4s and 2x8s. After completing my Backyard Kitchen earlier this summer, I no longer had any need for the quick (read: poor quality) tables, BUT I did still need some extra space for outdoor projects, etc. This instructable covers how I took the old tables and converted then to a new (and much nicer) garden table.
Step 1: Disassembly
I pulled the sawhorse legs off of both tables, then started removing the end caps. As you can see, the sawhorse tables were very simple; just a 2x4 sandwiched between two 2x8s, secured with two 2x4 end caps and some angled screws. I kept all the pieces and screws, most of which I was able to reuse.
Step 2: Making Legs
I chose to cut miters in the old table legs (of which I had 8) to create 4 L-shaped legs for the new table. Originally I tried to join these mitered edges with pocket holes from the inside of the legs, but the screws weren't able to grip enough wood to make a strong joint. Instead, I screwed into the miter joint from the outside of the legs. If I was trying to make a nicer piece, I would have glued and clamped the legs, but this is pretty utilitarian and I don't mind a few visible screws.
Step 3: Assemble Table Top
I ripped one of the four 2x8s in half, then arranged the remaining boards on the assembly table using 3/4 inch spacer blocks. I measured the with of the table and cut the ripped board down to make breadboard ends. I used a biscuit joiner to cut biscuits in each end and in the breadboards, then glued, joined, clamped, and finally finished the whole assembly with pocket holes and angled screws.
Step 4: Supports and Final Assembly
I cut three support beams; two to span the legs across the table width and another along the length. With all eight pieces ready, I laid out the legs, attached the supports, assembled the frame, and then attached the top with a couple screws in the corners. I put the finished table in the corner of the yard, and leveled it with a couple pieces of scrap.
The finished table is strong, attractive, and made entirely from the remnants of the old tables - a great exercise in upcycling.
I've entered this in the Reuse and Before and After contests; of you like it, I'd appreciate your vote!