Picnic Table Designs

As picnic table designs go, this one is probably the most common one-piece style. It is relatively easy to build and doesn't require many tools to do the job.

Picnic Table Plans
Completed Picnic Table (isometric view)

Building this all-in-one picnic table

Note: Before cutting any wood or building any part of this picnic table, read through to the end of these instructions so that you can verify the materials list.

There are many picnic table designs available, but I think you'll find this one to be fun to build. When reading through these instructions, think about how the pieces fit together and visualize building this picnic table plan.

Power tools required:

Rough material list:

Material Qty Purpose
2" x 6" @ 10' 6 Legs, bench, and table top
2" x 4" @ 10' 1 Bench supports (free of knots)
2" x 4" @ 8' 3 Table top support (right and left) and misc.
3/8" x 3.5" Galvanized Carriage Bolts 12 Bench supports, legs and diagonal support
2.5" Galvanized Deck Screws 100+/- Table top, bench seat, misc. usage
3" Galvanized Deck Screws 20+/- Table top, bench seat, misc. usage

Note: You can use any species of lumber that you want to build this picnic table or my other picnic table designs, but if you're planning to keep it outside, I use western red cedar.

Picnic Table Designs - Assembling the All-In-One Picnic Table

Cut and Assemble the Table Top
  1. Cut five 2x6s 60" long out of three of the 10' 2x6s.
  2. Cut three 2x4s 28" long out of one of the 8' 2x4s.
  3. On a flat surface, lay out the five 2x6s side by side, with the prettiest side facing down. Add about an 1/8" spacing between each 2x6.
  4. Position two 2x4s on each end of the table top (as shown in the diagram) 7.5" from each end, and the third one in the center.
  5. Attach the three 2x4s to the table top boards using two 2.5" galvanized deck screws per plank. Note: The 2x4 braces do not have to be flush as shown in the diagrams. Center them so that the 2x6 planks hang over the 2x4s equally on both sides.

Picnic Table Top
Table Top (upside down)

Picnic Table Top - Side View
Table Top (side view)

Cut and Assemble the Legs and Bench Supports

  1. Mark an angle (with a speed square) 23 degrees on one end of a 10' 2x6 and cut it (this will leave a 67 degree angle on the leg).
  2. Measure 31" from the long point of the previous angle, cut and mark another 23 degree angle (parallel to the first angle) and cut it. (see diagram below)  Note: You can cut three legs from one 10' 2x6 and cut the remaining leg from the 5' piece of 2x6 left over from a previous step.
  3. From one of the 8' 2x4s, cut two pieces 28" (2'-4") long (these are the top sections of the leg assemblies).
  4. On the top edge of one of the 2x4s, make a mark 4" from each end. This will be the position of the top of the legs. (see diagram)
  5. Place the legs on the 2x4 (as shown in the diagram) and secure them on the edges with two 2.5" galvanized deck screws.
  6. From the 10' 2x4, cut two pieces 60" (5'-0") long. These will be used for the bench supports.
  7. Measure up 14.5" from the other end of each leg and make a mark. This will be the height of the bench support.
  8. Line up the top of the 60" bench support with the marks made from the previous step.
  9. Center it between the legs so that an equal amount of 2x4 is extending from each side. (see the diagram below).
  10. Temporarily secure the bench support to the legs with two 2.5" galvanized deck screws.
Picnic Table End View
Leg Assembly
  1. Drill a 3/8" hole through both boards where each piece connects, and secure the pieces together with four 3/8" x 3.5" carriage bolts, washers, and nuts. Note that the holes that secure the legs to the upper support should be drilled 2 1/4" from the top of the upper support (1 1/4" from the bottom). This is so that when you attach the leg assembly to the table top, the carriage bolts won't be in the way.
  2. Repeat the steps above to assemble the remaining leg assembly.

Attach the Leg Sections to the Table Top

  1. Flip the table top upside down and attach the legs to each side of the table top braces. Use four 3" galvanized deck screws to secure each leg section. (see diagram)
Picnic Table Assembly
Picnic Table - Upside-Down View

Attach the Diagonal Supports

  1. From the remaining 8' 2x4, cut two 24" pieces with a 45 degree bevel on each end. These are the diagonal braces. (shown above)
  2. From the bottom of the table top (point B) to the inside-middle of the bench support, make a mark at 17" (point C).
  3. Make another 17" mark on the underside of the table from the inside plane of the bench support (point B) to the center board on the underside of the table (point A) (see diagram). The 24" brace, when attached, should line up with these two marks. If they don't, tilt the leg assembly until the marks line up. This is required so that the legs and tabletop will be a perfect 90 degrees.
  4. Temporarily secure the braces with 2.5" galvanized deck screws and finally, with carriage bolts.

Finishing Up

With the diagonal braces in place and secured, flip the table upright and add the 60" 2x6 bench seats. (see diagrams)  Using the remaining scrap 2x4 material, add supports to the middle of the bench seats. (see the Picnic Table Side View)

Cut these braces so that they are about 1" from either edge of the table top or bench seat. Secure them with 2.5" galvanized deck screws.

Picnic Table End View
Picnic Table Designs - End View

Picnic Table Side View
Picnic Table Designs - Side View

I hope you find these picnic table plans helpful when you decide to build a picnic table. Check out the other picnic table designs on my free picnic table plans page.

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