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How to Build a Picnic Table

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Following are instructions on how to build a 10 ft long by 4 ft wide picnic table with 6 moveable benches made out of Red Cedar and all stainless steel hardware and treated with 3 coats of Helsman Spar Urethane.

Picnic Tables

  1. Start out with 4 rough 2 x 10 red cedar boards and use a planer to plane the boards down smooth.
  2. Next rough sand the boards with a belt sander
  3. After you have planed all the cedar boards for the table top, line them up and space them about 1/4 inch apart making sure they are level and straight for the top of the picnic table.

planing boards for picnic table
Planing Boards for Picnic Table
4 2x10 boards for table top
4, 2x10 Boards for Table Top


adding table top supports and Legs
Adding Table Top Supports and Legs

  4. Decide which side is more suitable for the top then sdd cross supports to the bottom side by spacing them evenly apart and attaching them to the table bottom with to 2 1/2 inch wood decking screws.
  5. Adding legs to the picnic table: Use red cedar 4 x 4s to build the legs and to hold the extra weight of the oversized table. Normally 2 x 6s are plenty strong enough for the legs. Cut them at an angle of about 28 degrees on the top and also at the bottom for the legs.
  6. Line the legs up on the cross supports making sure they are straight and level and clamp them secure then drill holes for the 6 inch stainless steel bolts.
  7. After all the legs are attached then add the cross leg supports, also attaching them with stainless steel bolts.
  8. I then angle cut and measure to fit the side leg cross supports as shown.

  9. The finished table is then detail sanded, brushed down then cleaned with a damp cloth.
10. Add a coat of Helmsman spar Urethane and let dry for 24 hours then lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe the table down and apply another coat of urethane and let dry for 48 hours.
11. The finished table is 10 ft long and 4 ft wide.

Finished Picnic Table, Unstained
Finished Picnic Table, Unstained


Benches for Picnic Table

2x10 board for top of picnic table bench
2x10 board for Top of Picnic Table Bench


Adding Supports for legs
Adding supports for legs


Adding braces and legs
Adding braces and legs
If you would like a custom built Picnic table set like this one give me a call at 479-243-0375 or email: