Picnic Table

These wood working plans include:

The following drawings: Side and End Elevation showing the dimensions.

The plans have a List of Materials, showing a breakdown of materials needed for the picnic table, as well as a list of the tools needed.

The Instructions include the sizes of pieces to cut; how to layout the parts of the gable end of the picnic table. This is a simple plan for the beginner woodworker.

Drawing of our picnic table project.

List of Materials Needed

  • 15 - 6' 2x6s #2 and better grade cedar, spruce or fir
  • 16 - 1/4" x 3 1/2" galvanized carriage bolts, washers and nuts
  • 2 - 2' 2x 4s
  • About 3/4 of a pound of 3" galvanized casing or finish nails
  • 1 - litre or quart of stain or paint

Tools Needed

  • Saw - power or hand
  • Square and straight edge
  • Hammer
  • Drill and 1/4" bit
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Socket or adjustable wrench


Let's start off with laying out the end of the picnic table full size. To do this, use a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood set up on saw horses. Measure up 28 1/2" from the bottom of the plywood in two spots about 3' apart and scribe a straight line across those marks. (You want this 3' line to be roughly in the center of the sheet.) Find the center of this line and measure 16 1/2" out from the center in both directions along the line. Drop a perpendicular (90°) from the center of the line to the bottom of the plywood. From this bottom center mark measure out 24 1/16" in both directions along the bottom of the plywood. Lay one of the 3' 2x6's flat along the 3' line. Transfer the marks from the plywood to the face of the 2x6. Lay two more 3' 2x6's (the legs) on top of the table support piece and intersect the marks at the bottom of the plywood. Look at the end view drawing. Now mark the length and angles of the legs and the table support piece. As you cut each piece out, copy and cut duplicates for the other side. Of course, all four legs must be the same size and shape.

Tip: When cutting identical pieces of boards for opposite ends of a project, place the pattern on the piece to be copied good face against good face. This way both opposite ends will have the best side of the pieces facing out. With the wood we get nowadays, each piece seems to have a good side and a bad side.

Now cut a 6' 2x6 63 1/2" long by cutting each end back toward the center about 25°. This is your picnic table seat support piece. Now lay the legs down on the plywood with the table support on the top and the seat support up 16 1/2" from the bottom of the legs to the top of the support piece. Check out the drawings, make sure your legs are flush with the top edge of the table support piece and the ends of the table support are flush with the sides of the legs. The legs should be on the marks of the plywood. Nail these intersecting 2x6's together. (Keep the nails staggered, leaving room to drill holes for the bolts.)

Do the same thing for the other side of the picnic table.

Trim 10 of your 2x6's to 6' long or just under. TIP: If you go to a lumber yard or building supply, you can buy 'shorts' which are 6' long that are cheaper by the foot than a 12' 2x6. Get a helper to hold one picnic table frame while you place a 2x6 top piece on the other and tack it in place. Consult the drawing again and notice that the top boards of the picnic table overhang the frame by 12" measured from the inside of the legs and the outside boards overhang the legs by about 5/16". Tack the remaining boards on leaving about an 1/8" between boards. The two boards for the seat go on next, as shown on the drawing. Notice the picnic table is not sturdy endways. Flip the table over carefully onto its top. Cut your 2x4's about 24" long, each at a 45° angle, as shown on the front view drawing. Nail these pieces to the edge of the underside of the center picnic table top pieces and against the seat support pieces. Flip the table over again. Now it's stable. Don't forget to put the carriage bolts through the table top support and legs and the seat support and the legs.

Let the wood dry out before you put on your finish of stain or paint.


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