how to build a picnic table

How to Build a Picnic Table – DIY Plans

Are you planning to go out for a picnic with the family on a weekend but wonder how you can squeeze in the entire family members? Well, why not consider building a picnic table? Doing so will give you the advantage to customize your table. However, there are some technicalities to this kind of construction. Hence, you should learn first how to build a picnic table.

This article aims to educate the readers about the steps in building a picnic table. Read on to see how to carry out the task. You will later realize how doable this task is.

What Do You Need to Follow this Tutorial?

Before you follow this tutorial, you need to get ready with the following:

  • Lumber

You need to be ready with durable lumber for later’s tutorial. You may want to use a treated southern pine since it is a strong but affordable material for the picnic table. You may also consider woods such as redwood, red cedar, r Doulas fir. Nevertheless, a premium type of lumber guarantees an excellent quality picnic table.

If you are trying to make an average picnic table, purchase fifteen 2 x 6 x 72 inches boards and seven 2 x 4 x 30 inches boards.

  • Tools and Supplies

You will need a circular saw and saber saw for this project. Obviously, you will do some cuttings when doing this tutorial. Moreover, prepare1/4-inch nails, glue, waterproof polyurethane adhesive, 5/32-inch drill bit, 4-inch deck screws, 3-inch deck screws, 3-inch carriage bolts, washer and nut, and 220-grit sandpaper.

These tools and supplies are affordable. If you an existing stock of these items, then it can save you more money. Otherwise, buy them from the nearest store.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step #1 Lay Down the Tabletop Boards

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Your first approach in building a picnic table is to assemble the frame. Start by laying down the five tabletop boards. Lay them with the best part facing down as you will use this part as your tabletop. Arrange the boards while making sure that their edges are lined up. Allocate a distance of roughly 0.64 centimeters between the boards.

Step #2 Attach the Battens

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Attach the battens to the boards by gluing them. Measuring from any of the short ends of the table, find a distance of 41 centimeters. Position the trimmed battens there. You should then place the third batten straight to the center of the table. Make sure that you place the battens in such a way that they brush against the stretch of the tabletop. After that, apply a waterproof polyurethane adhesive beneath every batten to fix it properly.

Step #3 Create Pre-drill Holes in your Battens before you Screw them

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Find a 0.40-centimeter drill bit on every batten’s end. Form a single hole right in the middle of every end. Following a diagonal direction, drill down at an angle of 45 degrees pointing to the tabletop boards. Firmly secure your battens by putting a 10-centimeter deck screw in every hole.

Ideally, you should employ galvanized screws on your table. These screws are more ideal than nails since they are stronger and water-resistant.

Step #4 Attach the Legs to the Exterior Battens

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Place the legs up across the interior ends of the battens, two for every side. See to it that the attached legs are properly flushed with your tabletop. The resulting attachment will diagonally point out from your battens, resembling an “A”. The stance of the table must be wide enough to provide lots of support and steadiness.

Apply some waterproof polyurethane adhesive beneath the legs to make sure they are strongly attached to the tabletop.

Step #5 Fix the Legs to your Battens

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This time, you should fix the legs to your battens by screwing them with 3-inch carriage bolts. Countersink these bolts by primarily drilling two 1-inch holes with a depth of around 1.3 centimeters. Proceed by pre-drilling a 3/8-inch wide hole right in the middle of your first hole. Wrap up by screwing the bolts. You might want to attach a washer and nut into each bolt to achieve more strength.

Step #6 Measure 13-inch up

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Measuring from the bottom part of the legs, measure 13 inches and mark it with a pencil. Lift the two supports and firmly clamp them. The supports should come up against the legs, thus preventing them from making any movement. Countersink the supports with carriage bolts. Then, fix the braces to the supports and center batten.

Step #7 Start with the Finishing

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You should then start with the finishing. Invert your picnic table, making it stand with the legs. Check the stability of your table. Rest on each part to check durability and endurance. If you do not see any errors and you think that everything is satisfactory, you can then proceed to attach the seats

Step #8 Assemble the Seats

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Line up the bench boards on a smooth surface. Attach two boards for every bench. Separate the benches. Then, connect the cleats to every bench. Fasten the bench boards to your supports. Trim off the top of your table at an angle of 45 degrees. Finally, sand the picnic table with 220-grit paper.


After checking the steps above, you should now know how to build a picnic table. It is fair to say that one does not need to be an expert to carry out this project. What is important is you are mindful of your steps. You need to execute based on what is indicated in the instructions.

The good thing about this project is that it can be finished within the day. Finishing this task will surely make you feel proud and satisfied.





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