How to Build Picnic Tables

Build a picnic table from the ground up. You can build the picnic table with a group or by yourself, though you'll get things done quicker with teamwork. All measurements for your picnic table are entirely up to you. Use as much or as little wood as you feel is necessary for your picnic table. Add a wood polish if you like.


Build your picnic table with a plan

Step 1

Draw out your table plan. Include all measurements clearly in your drawing.

Step 2

Cut all of the pieces of wood for the table. Cut straight boards first, then do your miter cuts. Use your drawing’s measurements, transfer the angles via a bevel gauge to the power miter saw.

Step 3

Set up a worktable from plywood and sawhorses. Mark off the exact location for all the parts onto the plywood. Line up your pieces in the marked positions.

Step 4

Drill some clearance holes (slightly larger than 2 ½” stainless steel screws). Then drive the stainless steel screws through the holes and into the pieces of lumber you want to attach. Then drill the holes for the carriage bolts all the way through both pieces of lumber.

Step 5

Install the carriage bolts on the inside of the frame of the table, using a washer and nut, and secure it with a socket wrench.

Step 6

Attach planks for the tabletop, using quarter inch spacers to evenly space them. Add more stability to the table by installing a piece of wood with screws to secure it to the underside of the table. Install supports at an up angle against the wood and the leg support/frames.

Tips and Warnings

Work in a group to add strength, accuracy, and quicker work. The tools used to create a picnic table or worktable are intended to be used by adults. Wear eye protective goggles. Avoid inhaling saw dust.

Things You'll Need

Protective eye wear, Pencil , Plywood, Sawhorses, Drill bits (assorted), Socket wrench, Power drill, Lumber for the table top (your size preference), Lumber for the legs and supports (your size preference), 3/8” X 4” carriage bolts with washers, 2 ½ stainless steel deck screws, Power miter box, Bevel gauge
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