Making A Wooden Patio Table General Woodworking
Tell me, do you want your back deck to look like the outdoor patio at your local fast food joint, or do you want it to have some nice, warm inviting appeal that doesn’t come from textured tempered glass and powder coated aluminum? Wood is and always has been the answer.
This patio table is made from cedar, but can be made from many different types of wood, or even composite material, if you like that. I building it based on the plans for this patio table that cover all of the parts dimensions and assembly steps in detail.
To get started I printed the plans for handy reference while I cut out the parts to build the frame of the table. That begines with the base assembly made up of the full leg and half leg segments:
These are glued and screwed together with the half legs centered on the full leg to form an “X”. The glue I’m using is polyurethane construction adhesive for maximum strenght and weather resistance. The glue adds considerable strenght to the joints, plus seals out dirt and moisture than can lead to rot.
Adding a galvanized mending plate to the bottom that connects both half legs makes the constuction much stronger. I used glue and 2″ screws to fasten it:
Next, the parts for the pedestal were cut out. Nothing fancy here, just straight cuts to size on the table saw and miter saw:
Assembly is easy as applying glue to the mating parts and driving in the screws:
The pedestal for this table is designed strong to withstand years of use outdoors, while freeing up valuable leg room under the table.
Foot pads are added to the ends of each leg and these make the table more stable and also allow you to level it, if your patio or deck is uneven. That can be done by trimming some off the bottom of one or more with a block plane until the table sits flat:
Like everything else, these are glued and screwed in place.
The top supports are very much like the base assembly and put together in the same way:
The rim segments are cut to lenght and temporarily attached to the ends of the supports as shown here:
Makinging sure they are centered on the ends of the supports. I made marks on each:
After the first four rim segments are installed, you need to take measurements of the remaining spaces to get an average length to cut the remaining four. If this lenght is a lot different from the original three, something is wrong and you’ll need to review your work, in particular the length of the supports for the top.
Next, use that average measurement to cut the remaining four rim segments, then remove the first four and reinstall using glue this time:
To fasten the last four segments, I drove screws in at an angle on the ends as shown in the build video. I then took them out and added glue to the joint before driving the screws in again. I do it this way because it’s easier to line up the parts without the glue making it slip all over the place.
The completed rim:
Final step is to add the boards to the top, starting in the middle. That first board needs to bbridge the two half top stretchers as shown in the plans and the build video. Doing that will add a lot of strength to the top assembly, in the same way that the steel mending plate did for the bottom.
The boards I used for the top are cedar fence boards, so they were not fully dried when I installed them on the table. In the days following the build, the boards shrunk slightly and small (but necessary for drainage of rainwater) gaps opened uo between the boards. This is normal and I would advise spacing the boards slightly if you are unsure how dry they are to begin with.
Finished and seen here with the matching deck chair on my shabby-looking with the paint-peeling back deck:
As with the chairs, I’ll be leaving this table unfinished and let it weather naturally.