Do you own a picnic table? In 2009, I built the best cedar picnic table on the planet. Yup, there’s nothing that looked better back when I built it and nothing that looks as good today. Scouring the internet looking for examples of round picnic tables, I found there were none—well, certainly nothing I wanted in my backyard. So, I designed my own round picnic table. I have a love for massive pieces of wood. My table was going to be just that. Even my neighbor (who hated me) complimented me on the table I built.
The wood, cedar from a local demolition reseller, was mostly ‘seconds’ and suitable for the numerous small pieces needed for the build. all of the material started out as 1-½” thick dimension lumber. If I needed thicker pieces, like the stretchers for the legs, I glued and clamped two pieces together. I was lucky to have a fully-equipped woodworking shop at the time. Making the cuts was time-consuming but satisfying work. There were a lot of cuts.
There were multiple sessions of fitting pieces together. Before anything was assembled for the final time all pieces were coated with an oil-based finish. That really brought out the beautiful grain in the cedar. In that first summer, I often looked at the table in the backyard and thought that it would look better in the house. But, it was just a picnic table. hahaha.
I used stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers to connect all the pieces. The hardware costs more than everything else together! The benefit of using such expensive hardware was seen when we sold the table and benches years later. The hardware had no rust and was easily removed allowing the table to be disassembled.
The top was 60 inches in diameter. The whole thing weighed a LOT!
Once I locked myself out of the house. In my bathrobe…. Every door on the bottom floor was locked. So to get back into the house I stacked the picnic table, four of the benches, and two sawhorses on top of each other, and was able to get to the second-floor bedroom window. Thankfully it was unlocked. Whew!
I liked this project. Have you made an outdoor table?