Picnic Tables


We loosely followed these plans to build two picnic tables out of standard dimensional lumber.

Total Cost (for TWO tables): About $200 total for wood, hardware, stain

Build time:  1 day, 2 people

Tools/materials needed per table (see plans for detail)

  • (7) 2x6x12′ lumber (cut down at store into (14) 6ft lengths to fit in car)
  • (2) 2x4x10′ lumber (cut down at store into (4) 5ft lengths to fit in car)
  • 8 galvanized roundhead carriage bolts; 4″ length; 8 washers and nuts
  • small box of 2-1/2″ exterior deck screws
  • 1 qt of exterior deck stain (weatherproofing variety)
  • 100 and 200 grit sandpaper (no one wants splinters! and the stain will go on more efficiently)
  • Hand saw or miter saw. (We used circular saw)
  • Ratchet or hex wrench to tighten bolts
  • If using a hand saw or circular saw, you need something to measure the 22 degree angle cuts for the top and bottom of the legs. You can do it with a ruler using this handy chart. If this looks like greek to you, ask someone at the hardware store to point you to the right tool.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.51.51 PM

Substitutions to plans:

  • The 2×8 crosspiece is overkill. We used 2×6 for everything, and 2×4 for the braces/supports.
  • Pressure treated lumber is not something we want to eat off of or come into skin contact with (even the new “safer” stuff). So we used untreated wood with a weatherproofing stain finish. Skip the stain to save money/time and get a nice weathered look if your prefer. Untreated tables will still last for 20 years, if you don’t mind some, well, weathering.


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