How to build a picnic table with separate benches

What will you do after a long exhausted working week? Nothing is more suitable than a barbecue party with your family and friends or simply just a chill moment with a cup of coffee in your garden, I bet. These are reasons why you should make a picnic table with benches for your own house. Build this picnic table and you'll be able to enjoy barbecues, dinners, cocktail parties, and tons of other outdoor fun and recreation in your own yard.


Why should you build a DIY picnic table?

There are good reasons for this being the picnic table with separate benches.

It’s sturdy, weather-resistant, and cheap to build. It easily fits six to eight adults around it. It only takes a day to build an outdoor picnic table that has benches.

This picnic table is a quick, low-cost build—if you have a spare Friday afternoon you'll have it done in time for the weekend. Because the wood is pressure-treated, you don't even need to paint or stain it—leave it as-is and you're good to go.


How to build a picnic table with separate benches?

Tools:

  • Saw

  • Drill

  • Screwdriver

  • Sandpaper or Belt sander

  • Clamps (a few, up to 30" length)

  • Sawhorses, or a level piece of ground

Materials

Table

  • Top: (5) 2x6's
  • Legs: (4) 2x4 
  • Leg cradle: (2) 2x4
  • Center bracket: (1) 2x4
  • Leg brace: (2) 2x4

Two Benches

  • Top: (8) 2x4's
  • Legs: (12) 2x4
  • Leg cradle: (6) 2x4
  • Leg brace: (4) 2x4
  • Leg brace support: (4) 2x4

Notes:

Table legs were inset 18"

Bench outer legs were inset 12"


Instructions:

Step 1: Lay it all out 

Start by choosing your best 2x4s and lay them on the sawhorses face down. Position the sawhorses at the same place you would like to place the bench legs.


Cut any 1/4" plywood or board to use as spacer material - we're not going to leave the spacers in, so you can use the ones that are meant for the tabletop.


Next, add the spacers and clamp the whole benchtop together at both ends.

Lay It All Out

Step 2: Create the legs

Now it is time to make the legs for your benches.


On the bench surface, mark, square, and clamp two sections of 2x4 to create a 'leg angle jig'. This is much easier than using math and calculating angles!


Place the first leg to be marked over the jig so that it crosses each jig 2x4 about half an inch inside the benchtop. Carefully mark the underside with a pencil in at least two places, and use a straight edge to complete the line. Err on the long side when you make your cut.


Refine the first leg until it fits neatly inside the jig, then clone it! In our case, we had 6 sets of legs or 12 identical leg pieces.


Assemble the legs in the jig.

Create the Legs

Step 3: Create the legs cradle 

-Take a set of finished legs and stand it up on the bench

-Set a 2x4" next to it and mark its length with a pencil

-Mark the locations of where the leg intercepts the 2x4" carefully

-Err on the side of removing more material when cutting the leg cradle


The finished piece will be about 1/2" shorter than the width of the bench, just like the legs.


Optionally, you can cut an angle off the outside edge.

Create the Leg Cradle

Step 4: Attach legs to benches 

Position the leg cradles on the benches - we place ours only 12" from the ends to make the bench less 'tippable' if one person sat alone on the end of the bench. Because this is a 96" piece, we opted to use the third set of legs in the middle of the bench.


Make sure to predrill the holes to avoid splitting the wood, especially where the lag cradle attaches to the leg.

Attach Legs to Benches

Step 5: Layout the tabletop 

This is exactly the same process as the benches, except we wanted to keep the spacers because it was a nice scrap of redwood we had. So we tacked the spacers into the sides of the boards using 1" brads.


Follow the same steps from the benches to assemble the legs and cradles.

Lay Out the Table Top

Step 6: Add legs bracing 

The bracing is done differently on the benches and the table.


On the benches, the outside legs have a single brace that runs a 45-degree angle, supported by an additional crosspiece that connects to all the pieces of the top bench.


On the table, we wanted to have a single meeting point for the braces, so single support was placed at the midpoint between the legs, and the angles were individually marked and cut to get the best fit. In theory, it should be close to a 30/60 degree angle for the cuts, but it is best to mark and measure.

Add Leg Bracing

Step 7: Wrap it up 

Once the table is assembled, you have the choice of how to finish the table. The #2 lumber can be rough in patches and it may or may not be worth it to you to spend a lot of time sanding or planning.


Another option is to use a round router bit around the edges of the table and benches to add to the comfort.

Wrapping It Up

Now you have your own sturdy solid picnic table! Enjoy.


Make your project easier with metal outdoor table legs/bases from Flowyline, why not?

Metal outdoor table legs and bases from Flowyline Design are highly crafted by handmade metal furniture makers, so they are prolonged to use, unique look, contemporary elegance, are budget-saving, easy-setting, and are easy to care for. 

Go especially well with any of your table or benchtops, be it the live edge, wood, or epoxy, be it your custom table, dining table, console table, or oval butcher block table.

These metal table legs and bases are always packed nicely, ready to be delivered to spruce up your living space, and come equipped with adjustable levelers hidden well in the feet. All you need to do is to bolt the base on your table or benchtop and go. 



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