How to Build an Octagon Picnic Table How to Build an Octagon Picnic Table

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Saw
Square for measuring
110 foot: 2 by 6 boards
85 foot: 2 by 4 boards
16 carriage bolts (galvanized)
12, 12 by 1 inch wide strap (galvanized)

It is summertime and you want to entertain your family and friends in your own back yard or patio with an octagon picnic table. Why not build your own?

Step 1 – Cutting the Boards

The first board to be cut will be for the frame. At 99 inches, mark a 2 by 4 at both sides putting a "V" shape using a 60 degree angle. The other two 2 by 4s should be marked at 48 1/2 inches. One side should be square and there should be a 60 degree angle on the other side.

Cut four 2 by 4s at 49 1/8 inches leaving one side square and put a 60 degree angle at the other end. You will need a 45 degree cut so that when you look at the 2 by 4 from the top it will look as though it has a point. Cut your square side which would measure 3/4 inches on both sides and then cut a 45 degree angle on both sides of the board. These cuts are for the lower frame of the picnic table.

The measurements differ for the top: cut 2 by 4 at 64 inches and make a mark on both sides in a "V" shape using a 60 degree angle. Then cut a 2 by 4 at 31 inches with one side square and with a 60 degree angle on the other side. A 45 degree bevel cut will be needed on the square side.

The top is the same, just the measurements differ; cut 2 by 4 at 64 inches at 64 inches make a mark on both sides that looks like a "V" using a 60 degree angle. Next, cut a 2 by 4 at 31 inches leaving one side square and putting a 60 degree angle on the other side. On the square side of these cuts you will need a 45 degree bevel cut. The legs will have angles on both sides going the same way.

Measure from the long side of your angle to the short side of the angle. The best way to measure is to put the angle on one side and pull the measurements down and mark them and make an angle going in the same direction as the first one. Now cut eight 2 by 6s from long to short of a 60 degree angle at 30 inches.

In order to have all of your cuts you should have the following:

  • One 99 inch long angle 2 by 4
  • One 54 inches long
  • Two 48 1/2 inch long to square 2 by 4s
  • Two 31 inch long to square 2 by 4s
  • Four 48 1/8 inch long to square 2 by 4s
  • Four 30 5/8 inch long to square 2 by 4s and
  • Eight 30 inch long to short 2 by 4s

Step 2 – Cutting the Top of the Picnic Table

Cut the 2 by 4 boards into eight sets to fill into the top and seats after the frame has been built. There will be seven cut boards in each set. Cut at a 22 1/2 degree angle marking the "V" shape, the cut will be long to long. Make the following cuts: one 5 inch cut, two 10 inch cuts, three 15 inch cuts, four 24 inch cuts, five 25 inch cuts, six 33 3/8 inch cuts, seven 39 3/8 inch cuts.

Step 3 – Making the Frame

To make the frame you will assemble the boards matching them accordingly. Take all of the like boards and place them on the ground with the angles upward placing the remaining boards centered to the first set of boards. They should look like A+ while lying on the ground. Take the corner boards and place them where all the boards meet in the center. When all 7 boards are in their respective places you will see the shape. Now repeat this procedure. When the procedure has been repeated wrap them using the 4 inches flathead nails and the 12 by 1 inch galvanized strap, strapping the boards to the frame. Drill the nails holes ahead to keep the wood from splitting.

Step 4 – Completing the Top and the Seat

The frame is now made and you can use the boards from Step 3 to cut 1 through 5 for the top and 6 through 7 for the seat. When adding the boards to the top of the table frame start at the center and work out. Add the legs by measuring 7 inches off of the top frame from the point of the 60 degree angle and mark all 8 sides. This step should be repeated for the lower frame measuring 17 inches and marking the boards. The table legs start here on the top and on the bottom of the frame. Use carriage bolts to attach the boards. The seat measurement should be 15 1/2 inches from the ground to the top of the seat and the measurement for the table from the ground to the top of the table is 30 inches.

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