Home Crochet baby clothesBuild a picnic table yourself - instructions for the table and bench

Build a picnic table yourself - instructions for the table and bench

  • Build a picnic table yourself
    • What is a picnic table "> What wood for the picnic table?
    • Which material to use?
    • Ingredients of the picnic table
  • Build a picnic table yourself | building instructions
    • tabletop
    • feet
    • Install seats
    • Build your own backrests | building instructions

Breakfast in the garden with a picnic table! Under a "picnic" you usually imagine a breakfast on a spread blanket in the grass. But that's not only uncomfortable. You also fight fast with uninvited guests. Especially ants appreciate the proximity to jam and butter quickly. More practical are the picnic tables.

They consist of a large table with two fixed benches. The nicest thing about this picnic table is: you are very easy to build yourself. Read in this guide how to quickly get to their own picnic table with a few simple steps.

Build a picnic table yourself

What is a picnic table?

Although there is no universal definition of exactly what a picnic table should look like. In general, however, this special garden furniture is understood to mean a rectangular table with two permanently installed benches. These benches are each attached to the long sides of the table. Table and benches share the same feet . This not only makes the table very stable and stable. It also simplifies its construction considerably.

The best location

In small gardens, the picnic table is the only garden furniture. It offers plenty of space in a small space and can also be used for barbecues with several people. Compared to the beer tables and benches, he has the advantage that he is not so shaky. For larger gardens, it should be placed in a shady spot under a tree. Under the blazing sun, the breakfast items spoil very quickly and you can get a quick sunburn or even a sunstroke when in use. This can be avoided with a skilful choice of location for the picnic table.

Which wood for the picnic table?

Building a picnic table yourself is a very rewarding project for processing residual wood and waste wood. Above all, slats and planks that have been used outdoors, can be used to build the picnic table itself again. It is important that weatherproof, impregnated or treated wood is used. So the table remains operational for many years. Especially aesthetically, however, are wide, raw boards with untrimmed edges.

Which material to use ">

This solution also makes the picnic table easy to dismantle if you want to sell it or take it to your next home. Therefore, through screws should be used at least at the static high loaded points. For simple, unloaded connections such as the table top, wood screws are usually sufficient.

It is equally important that only stainless screws be used for the construction of the picnic table. This not only avoids rust spots. It is much more important that galvanized or chrome-plated screws withstand the weather permanently and thus do not break through immediately. This makes the picnic table stable and safe for years.

Ingredients of the picnic table

A picnic table consists of the following components:

  • Table top consisting of several boards laid side by side
  • Base for the table top
  • Feet for table top and benches
  • continuous crossbars for stability and support for benches
  • Benches, consisting of several boards laid side by side
  • optionally backrests

Build a picnic table yourself | building instructions

To build the picnic table yourself you need the following tools:

  • Jigsaw or circular saw
  • optionally chop saw (ideal for angle cutting)
  • powerful cordless screwdriver
  • Wood drill set
  • Socket Set
  • tape measure
  • worktable
  • clamps
  • corner
  • pen

Please always observe the safety at work when working with wood. The following personal protective equipment is recommended by us at the picnic table build.

  • safety goggles
  • long-sleeved work shirt
  • long trousers
  • safety shoes
  • handy first-aid kit and mobile phone with emergency call abbreviated dialing

For material for a picnic table you need:

  • 135 x 27 mm boards, pressure treated and planed, 4 pieces 4 meters long
  • Planed timber 45 x 70 mm, preferably 10 pieces to 4 meters
  • 8 carriage bolts, 8 x 100 with washers and lock nuts
  • Hexagon wood screws 8 x 100 and 8 x 80 with washers (or carriage bolts with nuts)
  • Countersunk wood screws 5 x 70 and 5 x 100
  • 1 strip with a width of about 1 cm
  • 4 steel angles, 4 x 4 cm width


The table top and seats of the benches are made of boards. For the table you need 6 boards to 2.00 meters in length. For the benches 2 boards each to 2.00 meters in length. It does not depend on the centimeter. You can also trim the finished picnic table to size later with a circular saw . So the sides of tables and benches are flush and it looks nice.

The boards are not connected on impact but at a distance of approx. 0.8 - 1 cm from the board. Wood is a living building material that expands or contracts depending on the temperature and weather conditions. If the boards were in abutment, the table would bulge unattractive until it is no longer usable. That's why he's made with intervals . The boards have enough room to stretch and do not push each other away. To maintain an even spacing, the 1 cm strip is sawn into small pieces and the pieces are used as spacers .

Lay the boards for the table with the spacers on the floor and align them with the angle exactly straight to each other. If you have some leftover wood left, you can now fix the boards with a few thin wood screws . So you can install the frames without fear that the boards will slip again.

The table top gets three cross struts. For this purpose, first sawed off two frame pieces, which are about 5 cm narrower than the width of the table top. At the ends of the two cross struts, an angle of 60 ° is inserted. The cut edges are chamfered with a file . This prevents fraying and splintering. The center brace is of course exactly in the middle. The side struts are at the same distance about 2 inches from the outer edge away. The struts are aligned exactly. Then the drill holes are marked with a pencil.

The holes for the carriage bolts are ideally drilled with a bench drill. This guarantees that the holes are exactly straight. The boards can then be drilled through with the cordless screwdriver if you use the holes in the struts as guides. Chamfer the holes in beams and boards with a larger drill. Now you can screw the table top already with the cross struts. The table top is ready.


For the feet you need four frame pieces to a meter. They are sawn into a parallelogram. The angles above and below are each 60 °. The feet are bolted to the inside of the outer cross struts of the table top with carriage bolts. Then they are connected to each other on the bottom side with a frame wood.

Even the bottom wood is sawed off on both sides on angles, so you get a clean result. You now have a table top that will float in about 72 cm height. The table top is 27 mm thick according to the thickness of the boards. The frame wood has a width of 70 mm. This is important to calculate the height of the struts for the seats.

Install seats

The seats consist of the cross struts, which are bolted to the feet and the prepared boards. A seat should be in accordance with DIN ISO 5970 at a height of 46 cm to the ground. The upper edge of the crossbars from the table is located 62.3 cm from the ground. The distance between the upper and middle struts must therefore be 16.3 cm, plus the thickness of the boards for the seat. Cut some frame pieces with the circular saw exactly straight in a length of 19 cm. Place these remnants on the cross struts of the table and secure them to the feet with a thin wooden screw. So you can easily install the crossbars for the benches.

The cross struts for the benches are made of three frame timbers of 1.45 meters in length. They are trapezoidal cut with 60 ° angles. Align the crossbars exactly and fasten them with carriage bolts at the feet of the table. Do not forget to pre-drill the holes!

Before you can mount the seats, you must still take measures for the tilt stability.

Make the table tip-proof

Connect the middle cross strut of the table with the two outer cross struts of the seat with a diagonal strut with the steel angles . Use through bolts and tighten securely. First hold the diagonal brace, draw in the cut edges and saw off any protruding pieces cleanly. So the diagonal strut has the maximum effect.

Mount seating surfaces

Now turn the table around and put it on its feet. Mount the seats on the prepared and installed cross struts. Align the seats straight.

Maximize stability

If you want to maximize the stability of the table, double the number of cross braces and diagonal braces. This makes the table highly loadable.

Build your own backrests | building instructions

Optional | Instructions for the backrests

For the backrests, you practically rebuild the seats and attach them to vertically mounted wooden beams. Attach the uprights to the crossbars of the seats. Let them drain accordingly. Under the cross braces of the benches, attach an additional diagonal brace to the table legs.

Make the table weatherproof

A picnic table usually stays outside all year round. That's why you need to weatherproof him if he is to last for several years. Instead of the chemical and ecologically harmful wood preservatives you can also impregnate the table with suitable oils or waxes . Make sure that the table is always adequately ventilated. Therefore, do not cover it with plastic wrap during the cold season. The table is ideally placed under a gazebo so that it is protected from rain.

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