Building a better picnic table

There are a few things you want to keep in mind when building picnic tables. Like who's going to sit at the table, and do they have health issues that could make it hard to get on and off the bench.

Where is the table going to be located? Is it going to see a lot of rain? Is it in direct sunlight? Is it on your lawn? Is someone going to have to move this table every week to cut the grass?

One big problem with picnic tables, is they are heavy. If someone has to move it every week, and they do not do it properly, they could destroy your table. It's like taking a pry bar to a crate to open it.

It doesn't take much to destroy a table when you have leverage. Grabbing that table from the wrong side and heaving it back and forth to move it around by yourself is like taking a pry bar to a crate. In time, it's going to come apart. Maybe not right now, it'll take a few tries, but things are going to get looser and looser and looser every time you start manhandling that table to move it around the yard.

Try to always use two people, when moving your table, or build it a better way.

Do you build with pressure-treated, yellow pine, or both, again, where is the table sitting?

You may not want the table and benchtops to be pressure-treated lumber, but if the table legs and supports are going to see a lot of rain, they should be made with treated lumber.

Look at the photos below, do you see the 2x4 supports under the table and benchtops, moisture can build up on top of these supports when it rains. It would be a good idea to use pressure-treated lumber for the support braces and the legs that touch the wet ground.

To make it easier for people to sit down, and to allow legroom for a wheelchair or bench on the ends, keep the legs away from the edge. That alone will make this table a lot more accessible.

Are you eating messy foods, like corn on the cob? The gap between the 2x6's for both the benches and the tabletop needs to be wide enough for an ear of corn to fall all the way through. This gap will also help keep water from puddling.

My table design shown above is designed to allow the table to rest on its side when not in use. For the safety of yourself and your table, you should still use two or more people to move your table.

I hope this little bit of information has helped you design your own table.

If you're a woodworker you'll have no problems just looking at the photos of my table to build your own using what you've learned both from me and other sites. The angle on the leg cuts is 22 degrees.

If you would like to buy a copy of my Picnic Table Plans, it's $12 with Free Shipping
You supply all Hardware and Lumber.

The Picnic Table Plans include easy to follow step by step instructions. A full materials list, and helpful tips, photos, diagrams and more to help you build your table quickly.

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