Build the Classic Picnic Table

An excellent weekend project,this easy-to-build picnic table will soon become the focal point of your backyard. Redwood's beauty and durability will ensure countless summers filled with barbecues, picnics and outdoor parties.

The economical, knotty redwood garden grades, such as Construction Common or Deck Common, are great choices for building your table. For maximum durability, choose Construction Heart or Deck Heart.

Materials for Table
Quantity Size Length
Top Slats 5 2x6 60 inches
Cleats 2 2x4 27 inches
Legs 4 2x4 40 inches
Braces 2 2x4 30 inches
Machine Bolts, Washers and Nuts 6 sets 3-1/2 inches x 1/4 inch
Deck Screws 1 pound 4 inches

Build the Table Top

Measure and cut the 2x6 slats. Lay the slats on a clean and stable work surface with their most attractive sides down. Separate the slats with 1ΒΌ4-inch spacers and square. Clamp the slats together with a bar clamp.

Fasten the Cleats

Cut the 2x4 cleats to 27 inches and trim the ends at 45 degree angles starting 2 inches down from top edge. Place a cleat on edge 7 inches from each end of the table top. Allow a 3/4-inch margin from the table's edges. With the combination countersink bit, drill two screw holes into the cleat above each slat, deep enough to set the screw heads below the surface. Fasten to slats with 4-inch screws.

Assemble the Legs

Cut the legs to 39 inches with 38 degree parallel angles top and bottom. Loosely clamp legs together at their centers with C clamps. Adjust the tension in the clamp until you can open the legs to make a cross with a 28-1/2-inch span at each side, with tops and bottoms aligned. Mark along the sides of each leg where they cross. Remove the clamp and cut the half laps from each 2x4 leg. Reclamp the legs in position. Attach leg assemblies to table top cleat with two 3-1/2-inch x 1/4-inch machine bolts at each connection.

Attach the Braces and Legs

Mark and cut table braces to fit between the table leg assembly and the table top with 45 degree angles at both ends. Attach braces to table top with 4-inch screws from below. Drill bolt holes
through the "X" of the legs and completely through the angled ends of each 2x4 brace. Countersink the bolt holes to accommodate washers and nuts. Install the bolts and remove the clamps.

Courtesy of the California Redwood Association

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