Build a Patio Dining Table in 10 Steps Build a Patio Dining Table in 10 Steps

The most important considerations when building a patio dining table are the finish, making it large enough to accommodate your guests and family comfortably, and the cost. Marine-grade plywood and a  weather-resistant epoxy resin finish will insure that your table will last a very long time. Below are 10 steps for building your own patio dining table.

1. TOOLS: Measuring rule, pencil, carpenter's square, handsaw or powersaw, electric drill, screwdriver, assorted files and paintbrush.

2. MATERIALS: One 3/4" x48" x 96" sheet of marine-grade Douglas Fir plywood, one gallon of epoxy resin, one box of stainless steel #8 1" x 1-1/2" screws, plugs to cover screw holes, sandpaper (grades 60, 80 and 100), wood filler.

3. Time to build this table is approximately 6 to 8 hours, but the time for the finish will depend on how many coats you want to apply.

4. Begin by cutting your plywood into a kidney-shaped piece. To do this make an overall drawing of the shape on top of your sheet of wood and carefully measure it so that you use most of the center of the board, leaving enough room for the bowed bottom supporting piece and two legs. Part of the uniqueness of this table is its shape and the fact that it is cut from a single sheet of plywood.

5. When you are satisfied with your drawing, drill a hole at each end of the curved kidney points (on the outside of the lines) and halfway along each side of the kidney shape. Insert your sawblade into one of the curved lines and begin carefully cutting along the outside of the lines saving the line so that you can see it as you cut. Later you can sand to the line and have a smooth curve. 

6. Next, carefully file and sand your edges so that they are as smooth as possible, and if necessary, use the wood filler to patch any holes or tears in the edge of the plywood.

7. Using parts of the remaining plywood, fashion two legs which when added to the top will bring your table to approximately 29 to 30 inches from the ground. Countersink three holes on each side of the top above where you will attach the legs. Glue and screw the legs to the table top and use plugs to fill the holes.

8. Carefully measure the distance between both legs and using the curved scrap from the table top cut out a brace which will fit between the two legs and below the top. Countersink holes to attach the legs and the table top to this spreader. Again, screw and glue these pieces together and fill with your plugs.

9.  Beginning with the 60 grade sandpaper, sand all pieces paying attention to any tears in the edges of the plywood and the plugs used to cover the screw holes. Next, progress to the 100 grade sandpaper insuring that your piece is smooth and free from any saw marks or defects in the wood.

10.  Apply epoxy finish as directed and invite your family to celebrate your successful creation of your unique patio dining table.

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