Picnic Table Benches Stepbystep

PHOTO A: Clamp the tabletop slats together and rout the ends and edges with a V2-in. roundover bit. Clamping the slats together will produce an even profile on the ends of the slats.

PHOTO B: Bevel-cut the ends of the outer and center table stretchers at 30° angles. We used a power miter box, but you could also make these cuts with a circular saw or a table saw.

Build the tabletop

0 Crosscut the five table slats to length from 2x8 stock.

0 Round over the outside edges and ends of the table slats. Clamp the slats together, faceup, with the ends flush. Use your router and a V2-in. roundover bit to ease the ends of the slats and the edges of the outer slats (See Photo A). Unclamp the slats.

0 Mark the three stretcher locations on the table slats. Turn the slats facedown and clamp the slats together again with their ends flush. Mark the locations of the outer and center stretchers. The center stretcher is centered on the length of the slats. The outer stretchers are 9V2 in. from each end of the tabletop. Extend the stretcher layout lines across the slats with a carpenter's square.

O Measure and cut the stretchers to length, with the ends beveled at a 30° angle (See Photo B).

0 Fasten the stretchers to the table slats. To do this, first insert Win.-thick scrap spacers between the slats to hold them evenly apart. Set the stretchers in place. Drill countersunk pilot holes, and attach the stretchers to the slats with 2!/2-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo C).

PHOTO A: Clamp the tabletop slats together and rout the ends and edges with a V2-in. roundover bit. Clamping the slats together will produce an even profile on the ends of the slats.

PHOTO B: Bevel-cut the ends of the outer and center table stretchers at 30° angles. We used a power miter box, but you could also make these cuts with a circular saw or a table saw.

Build the leg assemblies

© Crosscut the four table legs to length. If you are using a radial arm saw or a power miter saw, clamp a stop to the saw's fence to ensure that the legs are cut exactly to the same length. Cut the ends of each leg to 75°.

© Cut the two leg braces to length and trim the ends to 75°.

© Attach the braces to the legs. Use a square to establish a mark 7V2 in. up from the bottom end of each leg (See Table End View, page 57). Set a bevel gauge to 75° and use the gauge to draw a line across this mark so the line is parallel to the ends of the leg. Position a brace on each pair of legs, holding the ends of the brace flush with the outer edges of the legs. Drill four countersunk pilot holes through the leg braces and into the legs. Fasten the parts with deck screws (See Photo D).

Assemble the table

© Cut the two angled braces. First crosscut the braces to length from 2x4 stock. Next, cut a 55° angle on the lower ends. Then, refer to the Table Front View detail drawing on page 57 to mark the "birdsmouth" notches on the upper ends of the braces. Clamp each brace to your work-surface, and cut out these notches with a jig saw (See Photo E).

© Attach the leg assemblies to the tabletop. Drill a pair of countersunk pilot holes in the top end of each leg. Stand the leg assemblies in place against the outside edges of the outer stretchers on the tabletop. Be sure the leg braces face in toward the center of the table. Drive 2V2-in. galvanized deck screws through the legs into the tabletop stretchers.

PHOTO C: Mark locations for the three table stretchers on the bottom of the tabletop, then fasten the stretchers to the table slats with 2V2-in. galvanized deck screws. Set V4-in. spacers between the slats before you fasten the stretchers to keep the slats held evenly apart.
PHOTO D: Cut the legs and leg braces to size, and cut the ends of the parts at 75° angles. Use the Table End View drawing, page 57, as a reference for cutting the parts. Then construct the two table leg assemblies by fastening each leg brace to a pair of legs with deck screws.
PHOTO E: Cut birdsmouth notches on the upper ends of the angled braces with a jig saw so the braces will interlock with the center table stretcher. Clamp each brace to your worksurface to hold it steady while you make the cuts.
PHOTO F: Fasten the leg assemblies to the outer stretchers, then attach the angled braces to the center stretcher and leg braces. The parts will be easiest to manage if you work with the tabletop turned upside down on sawhorses.

® Attach the angled braces. Mark a centerline across the width of the center stretcher. Position the birdsmouth ends of the angled braces on either side of this centerline, so the angled braces flare out to the leg braces. Drill countersunk pilot holes, and attach the angled braces to the center stretcher with 21/2-in. deck screws (See Photo F). Use a carpenter's square to adjust each angled brace so it is square with the leg brace. Attach the angled braces to the leg braces by holding each one in position, drilling countersunk pilot holes, and fastening the parts with 2V2-in. deck screws. Drive the screws through the leg braces and into the angled braces.

Build the bench leg assemblies

© Cut the eight bench legs to length, then trim the ends to 63°. Temporarily fasten pairs of legs together with a single deck screw where the legs cross to form four "X"-shaped leg assemblies. Attach the legs together so the overall measurement at the top of the "X" is IOV2 in. Note: The screw will make it possible to adjust the "X" formed by the legs in or out so the bottoms of the legs stand flat. Take care to position these temporary screws so that they don't interfere with the lag screws that will be used later to attach the leg assemblies to the bench braces.

® Fasten the four bench stretchers to the leg pairs. Cut the stretchers to length. Draw a centerline along the length of each stretcher. When you attach the bench stretchers to the legs, align the inside faces of the legs along the stretcher centerlines. Adjust the legs in or out until they rest flat against the bottom of the stretcher. Check to be sure the legs also stand flat at the bottom. Fasten the stretchers to the legs with deck screws (See Photo G).

Assemble the benches

{J) Cut the bench slats to length. Clamp pairs of slats together with the ends flush, and round over the top ends and edges of the slats as you did in Step 2 with a router and V2-in. roundover bit.

© Attach the leg assemblies to the bench slats. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the stretchers from the underside. Lay the bench slats facedown on your worksur-face. Mark the stretcher locations on the slats, 10Vi in. from each end. Set the leg assemblies in place on the bench slats, and space the slats apart so they overhang the ends of the stretchers by V2 in. Fasten the leg assemblies by driving 2V2-in. deck screws through the stretchers and into the slats.

© Install the bench braces. Cut the bench braces to length. Clamp each brace in place between the bench leg assemblies. Drill 3/8-in.-deep holes in the outermost legs to recess two lag screw heads using a 3/4-in.-dia. spade bit. Then drill Vi-in.-dia. holes in the center of the counterbored recesses through the legs and into the braces. Drive pairs of 41/2-in.-long lag screws and washers into place with a ratchet to fasten the legs to the braces (See Photo H). Remove the temporary screws you installed in Step 12.

Finishing touches

© Sand all surfaces of the table and benches smooth. We applied a clear UV protectant exterior sealer to highlight the beauty of the cedar, but this project could be stained, painted or left to weather naturally.

PHOTO 6: Attach a bench stretcher to each pair of legs with screws. Align the top outer corners of the legs with the ends of the stretchers, and center the legs widthwise on the stretchers. Note: Adjust the spread of the legs on the stretchers, if necessary, so the legs will stand flat.
Spread Legs Bench

PHOTO H: Cut the bench braces to length and clamp them in position 5V2 in. from the bottoms of the legs on each bench. Drill 3/4-in.-dia. counterbores in the outermost legs to recess two lag bolt heads, then drill pilot holes through the counterbored holes to install the lag bolts. Slip a washer onto each lag bolt before you screw it through the legs and into the bench braces.

PHOTO H: Cut the bench braces to length and clamp them in position 5V2 in. from the bottoms of the legs on each bench. Drill 3/4-in.-dia. counterbores in the outermost legs to recess two lag bolt heads, then drill pilot holes through the counterbored holes to install the lag bolts. Slip a washer onto each lag bolt before you screw it through the legs and into the bench braces.

See pages 68-75 for plans on how to build a matching table to accompany this Daytripper Chair project. The table folds down to nearly flat for storage and transport.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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