Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jenna made a picnic table

We've been using our backyard a lot this summer, and the lack of a good table has been pretty obvious. I'd planned to buy a kit and assemble it myself, but when Jenna and I drove out to buy one, everything in the area was already assembled. Hard to fit that on a CR-V. So we bought the boards and built it ourselves... mostly by eye. I based it loosely on this, but did a lot less measuring.

- Six 2x6x12, cut in half at the store by a helpful employee.
- One 2x6x10, cut in half.
- One 2x4x8, left well enough alone (it fits in the CR-V, just barely).
- Box of screws
- Twelve 5/16" carriage bolts (with washer and nut for each)

Step one: stain the boards. That's Jenna and her friend Hays, not Liam.

Step two: Cut the pieces.

Because the 2x6s are cut in half, we have 12 6' boards and 2 5' boards. Save the 2x8 for later.
- Two of the 2x6s become each seat. Cut 2" corners at a 45-degree angle.
- Five of the 2x6s become the table top. On the outer boards, cut corners.
- Two of the 2x6s get cut up for legs. 32" lengths at a 65-degree angle.
- One 2x6 gets ripped lengthwise, then becomes internal bracing.
- Cut 3 26" lengths from the internal bracing, and start assembling the table top.

Remember, whenever working with power tools, it's important to remember your PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment).

Assembling the table was pretty straightforward once I figured out my approach... I mean once Jenna did. Use the internal bracing to strap the tabletop together, then attach the legs to the outer straps. Attach the 5' crossbars to the legs, then cut up the 2x4 to use as diagonal cross-bracing. Flip the table over and screw on the seats.

It sounds pretty straightforward, but it took the better part of the weekend (due in part to my nonstop help). I'm pretty proud of the final product, though:

Building things is good. Raising kids that build things is better.

I'm really looking forward to eating on this table. Now, if I could just find time to cut the grass...


amymck said...

that's a pretty impressive table!

aligwhit said...

A++! GREAT job, Micah! I especially like how you rounded out the corners...VERY classy!

Miss you, friend!
P.S. Can't believe how much Jenna has BEAUTIFUL!