Picnic table

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is getting cooler, the summer season is almost over and I haven’t done much. There was one project that I wanted to work on but that’s already taking a long time. I wanted to build a picnic table for the backyard in case I ever decide to have a BBQ. Day after day I tell myself that I’m going to go buy wood but I never have time. Weeks later, I finally get the work and the project is almost done.

Initially, I was supposed to finish the table during my last vacation. I had a few days off during the week but with the holiday and the weekend, it ended up being five days off work. I wanted to head over to the Home Depot and buy wood but in order to get those I needed a full size van because each piece of wood is about fourteen foot long. I had to borrow my dad’s van but even with that the wood almost didn’t fit it. I had to position the wood in a way that part of it was sort of sitting on my lap.

For this project I need eight piece of wood. I wanted to buy cedar because of its colour and it’s tough against the elements. I didn’t buy cedar because it was super expensive. For one piece of two by six cedars that was fourteen foot long, it would have cost me thirty five dollars and I had to get eight of those. It would have cost me over two hundred dollars just for the material alone. I wanted to build a table but I wasn’t that eager to build one. I need to find another wood that would be cheaper.

I looked into preserved wood and found that it was a lot cheaper. Each piece of two by six at fourteen foot long cost me just under eight dollars. There were other wood that was cheaper but they were too thin to use for a table. If a heavy person sat on this table, it would break in half and I didn’t ‘want that to happen. I’m sure the heavy person would be fine since they wouldn’t be falling from a high point but I don’t want to build something only to have it break on the first use.

14′ 2×6 preserved wood

I bought eight pieces of preserved wood and brought them home in the middle of the night. Each piece was a bit heavy but if I had it balance, it felt like it was as light as a feather. I didn’t have too much trouble bringing them into the backyard. The only obstacle was that I couldn’t see my way very well. The lights that we had installed to light up the walk way ran out of power.

I took six of the pieces and cut them half. I need four six foot long pieces for the seats and five for the table. Then I need three thirty inch piece which were used to connect all the table pieces. Then I need four more pieces for the legs and then two more pieces as a support. My home made blueprint below shows you the size and dimension of each piece. I tried to make the drawing as detailed as I could, given the fact that I just scribbled everything down onto a piece of napkin.

Blueprint

This is what the table is going to look like. Well, not exactly since the legs are in place but you can see the table start to take shape. Nothing has been screwed down yet. All I did was put each piece in its place to see how things are turning out. The edges still need to be sanded down because they’re still a bit crooked. I had to handsaw everything because I couldn’t get a hold of an electrical circular saw.

Pre-assembly

The two extra pieces on the side were extra because I miscalculated the required amount of pieces. I accidentally made the seat three pieces wide rather than two. But I can still use those two pieces as for the legs. The legs are going to be about thirty three inches long but each side is going to be cut at a twenty two degree angle which will make it about twenty eight inches high. The supports are going to be cut at a forty five degree angle. The seats will be situated about sixteen inches off the ground which is reasonable enough for people of my height. And finally, the table can seat six people so I hope it doesn’t break when all six people are sitting there.

As an added feature, I might be drilling a whole in the center of the table to make room for a parasol. I’m just not sure how that’s going to turn out since it might interfere with a couple of screws but I can worry about that when the time comes. As for now, I just want to get this picnic table completed so I can throw a BBQ.