Simply Measure, Cut, Drill & Assemble! This picnic table is an ideal project for the budding young woodworker to test his (or her!) skills. The picnic table is an ideal size to seat children from the ages of about 1 year through to 7 years old. Although kids in this age group will obviously be too young to build such a table, this project is designed to be one that bigger kids can build for smaller kids (while of course being supervised or helped by a capable adult).
This basic project involves simply cutting the pieces of wood to length, marking where the holes are to be drilled, drilling the holes and putting the pieces together. This table can be built without the use of any power tools.
Using good quality tools (such as those made for adults) makes the task easier.
Use a sharp 8 point (i.e. 8 teeth per inch) handsaw for general cutting. If you are not experienced in using handsaws, use blocks of wood and clamps to act as a saw-guide. Do not use your hand for a guide.
All electric tools should be used by a capable adult, unless under strict supervision. Even if only using a non-electrical hand drill, goggles should still be worn as a drill bit might snap and fly through the air.
Screwdriver handle should be big enough to ensure a good grip. Square head screw drivers (with appropriate screws) tend to slip less.
tools you will need
Work stool or saw horse
5mm drill bit
Square point screwdriver
6mm drill bit
Timber (in millimetres) used in this project is: 150×25 (seats and tabletop) and 75×25 (legs, seat supports, table supports and brace).
150×25 timber usually machines (dresses, planes or gauges) down to approx 140×20.
75×25 timber usually machines (dresses, planes or gauges) down to approx 65×20.
Pine is a typical timber that can be used for this project. Untreated timber can be used if the table is to be used indoors. If the table is intended to be left outside, choose a timber that has a natural resistance to decay (i.e. doesn’t rot easily) in preference to a pressure-treated timber. The chemicals in some pressure-treated timber can make for a potentially hazardous eating surface. Your local timber supplier can advise you on the best available options.
Take notice of the drawings below and then follow the step by step instructions listed afterwards. You can also go to helpful stuff for more helpful tips.
(a) Leg. Cut 4 pieces. All the holes are 6mm diameter.
(b) Top support. Cut pieces. The holes each side are 6mm diameter. The holes in the middle are 5mm diameter.
(c) Seat support. All holes are 6mm diameter.
(e) & (f) Top and seat boards. All holes are 5mm diameter.
Size / Description
75×25 (actual size 65×20) 592mm long and angled each end 30 degrees off square. See diagram above.
b Cross member table top supports
75×25 (actual size 65×20) x 400mm long. Angle each end. Angle is for decorative purposes only.
c Cross member seat supports
75×25 (actual size 65×20) x 840mm long. Angle each end. Angle is for decorative purposes only.
d Brace / Spreader
75×25 (actual size 65×20) x 620mm long.
e Tabletop boards
150×25 (actual size 140×20) x 900mm long.
f Seat boards
150×25 (actual size 140×20) x 900mm long.
You will also need…
12 6mm coach bolts 50mm long with washers and nuts.
20 45mm long wood screws.
1 Measure, cut and drill
Cut each piece of wood to the lengths shown on page 2. Carefully mark where the holes are to go and drill them.
Note: There are two different hole sizes. 6mm holes are for the bolts and 5mm holes are for the wood screws. The wood screw holes are bigger than the thickness of the screw shank, but smaller than the screw head. The drawings explain which holes are 6mm and which are 5mm.
2 Line up the two end frames
On an even surface make up the two end frames.
To do this, first lay the cross members (b) and (c), i.e. table and seat supports, flat on the ground. Then lay the legs (a) in place on top.
Line up the holes and poke a coach bolt into each hole.
3 Bolt the two end frames
Carefully turn the end frames over so the bolt ends are now showing.
Put a washer and nut on each bolt and tighten them together using your fingers.
4 Tighten the nuts
Make sure that the top of the legs (a) are flush (even) with the top of the tabletop supports (b) and then tighten the nuts with a spanner.
5 Screw the brace to one side
Screw the brace (d) to one of the assembled side frames.
The top of the brace (d) should be flush (i.e. even) with the top of the tabletop support (b). Screw through the pre-drilled screw holes in the centre of the tabletop support (b) and into the end of the brace (d).
6 Screw the brace to the other side
Screw the brace (d) to the other assembled side frame.
Take special notice of the picture to ensure the side frames are the right way around.
7 Screw the seat boards in place
Line up the screw holes in the seat boards (f) so they are over the seat supports (c). Also check that the two seat board supports (c) are 620mm apart.
You can then screw the seat boards (f) in place.
8 Screw the tabletop boards in place
Center the middle tabletop board (e) and screw in place.
Place the remaining two boards, one each side of the middle board and also screw in place.