How to Build a Round Picnic Table

How to Build a Round Picnic Table
Building your own round picnic table may seem like a serious challenge, but it can be done by just about anyone with basic-to-intermediate carpentry skills. The legs of the table can be simple X-frames, so the only real problem is posed by creating a circle to use as a tabletop.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Creating the Tabletop

Things You’ll Need:
  • Five 2-by-12 planks
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Six 2-by-4 planks, one cut to 54 inches and the others to 40 inches
  • Marker
  • Spool of string
  • Thumb tack
  • Jigsaw
  • Carpenter's angle tool
  • Hand saw
  • Two 6-inch bolts with washers and nuts
 
Step 1
Get a square or rectangular section of wood planks from which to cut your circle. This model will assume you are building completely from scratch. In that case, lay five 2-by-12 planks alongside each other to form a square.
Step 2
Lay a 54-inch 2-by-4 across the center of the planks so that there is 3 inches of space remaining on both ends. Secure each plank to the 2-by-4 by drilling a hole and driving in a wood screw.
Step 3
Turn the tabletop square over and mark its center by tracing a pair of straight lines from the corners. A level will help you check the straightness of the lines. If you have done this right, the intersection point is the exact center of the tabletop.
Step 4
Tie the marker to a piece of string, and then measure the remaining string and cut it at the 30-inch mark. Secure the free end of the string to the table center with a thumb tack. You now have an improvised compass you can use to draw a 30-inch in diameter circle inside your existing square tabletop.
Step 5
Cut the square down to a circle using a jigsaw.

Erecting the Table

Step 1
Turn over the tabletop again and measure two or three points out from the center to create a pair of parallel lines on the underside of the tabletop. Place one 40-inch-long 2-by-4 on the outside of each of these lines and secure it by drilling holes and driving screws, one for each plank.
Step 2
Take four more 40-inch-long 2-by-4s, measure their centers (the 20-inch mark) and drill holes there. Then use a carpenter's angle tool to mark and cut off the ends of all four pieces of lumber at a 45-degree angle with a hand saw.
Step 3
Take two of the 2-by-4s and align them against the inside of one of the 40-inch 2-by-4s from Step 1. Also align them so that their two center holes, drilled in Step 2, form a single channel. Fasten them together through the center hole using 6-inch bolts, a washer and a nut. This creates a table leg X. Make sure the X is still centered and then drill holes and drive in screws to secure the X to the 40 incher on the tabletop underside.
Step 4
Repeat Step 3 with the remaining pair of 2-by-4s and the other 40 incher on the underside of the tabletop.
Step 5
Set the last 40-inch-long 2-by-4 in a position where it joins both of the table leg Xs. Where you place it is up to you, but keep in mind that people's legs and feet should fit easily under the table and it should be in an unobtrusive spot. Drill holes and secure it with screws.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
If you have a section of leftover wood privacy fencing that could be refitted into serving as the tabletop square or rectangle, use it in place of building your own. Although not strictly necessary, you might want to sand off the tabletop edges for a nice, smooth finish.
 
If you have a section of leftover wood privacy fencing that could be refitted into serving as the tabletop square or rectangle, use it in place of building your own.
 
Although not strictly necessary, you might want to sand off the tabletop edges for a nice, smooth finish.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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