How to Design and Build a Cedar Picnic Table

What You'll Need
2 by 6 cedar lumber
2 by 4 cedar lumber
2 1/2 inch deck screws
1/4 inch galvanized bolts
3 1/2 inch long by 1/4 inch galvanized carriage bolts
Combination square
Power drill
Circular saw
Sliding square
Framing square
Measuring tape

Having a cedar picnic table in your backyard is a classic way to entertain family and friends in the summer months. The materials and tools needed to build a cedar picnic table are not expensive. A picnic table isn't hard to build and the following article will show you how.

Step 1 - Cut the Wood

Create the table legs by using the combination square to mark a 22 degree angle on one end of one of the 2 by 6 pieces of lumber. Once drawn; use the sliding square to transfer that angle to the other end. Measure the longest side of the lumber and it should measure 33 inches. Repeat this on the remaining pieces of 2 by 6 lumber and cut them with the circular saw.

The next pieces are the top braces that run horizontally under the table. They will be 26 1/2 inches long and sturdy enough to support the board weight as well as most anything you place on the table. Cut two 2 by 4 boards to 26 1/2 inches in length. You can create a bevel cut on one of the ends to create a smooth end that won't snag clothing. This end will become the bottom of the leg. Cut two 2 by 4 boards to 53 inches long which will become the leg braces for the seat.

Lay nine 2 by 6 boards down and measure each board to be 60 inches in length and cut them.

Step 2 - Assemble the Ends

Place a brace for both the tabletop and bench on your work surface along with 2 table legs. Place the legs 5 inches in from the brace. The tops need to be flush to the brace. Place the brace for the seat 15 1/2 inch up from the leg bottom making sure it's parallel with the brace for the tabletop. Secure each piece with the carriage bolts and repeat with the remaining side.

Step 3 - Assemble the Tabletop

Place the five 2 by 6 boards face down on the work surface. Use the measuring tape to create a gap between each of the boards that is 1/2 inches wide. Make certain that the boards are square. Place 1 brace a foot from each end. Use the decking screws to attach the braces. You will want 1 screw per board on the brace for each side.

Step 4 - Assemble the Cedar Picnic Table

Put the table ends on the work surface so that they are standing. Place a seat board on top of a seat brace so that it is flush and with the outside of the bench brace and that the overhang is equal on each side. Use 2 decking screws to attach the board. Place a second board on the brace 1/2 inches away from the first and attach with a decking screw. Repeat for the last bench. Put the picnic table top on the braces aligning the ends with the seats and attach with decking screws.