Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 6 hours
This project makes a table that features seating for up to eight adults with separate benches for unencumbered leg room.
It all starts with constructing the table and bench tops, followed by the leg systems. The half-lap joints on the legs are easy to create and add a touch of charm.
A final sanding and coating of protection will have this table ready for action.
An easy weekend project, this set will soon become the central gathering point for your backyard.
Begin by laying out six Parts (A), checking that the grain curves are opposite for boards next to each other. Use ¼" spacers between the boards and tighten with a 5' bar clamp.
Place a Part (B) at either end of the table at 8" from the ends. Be sure Part (B) is oriented as shown in the image above, where angled faces are facing up.
Using a ½" forstner bit, drill to a depth of ½" so that the heavy-duty lag screws are sub-flush when installed. Then, use a 3/16" drill bit to predrill.
Using the appropriate hex bit, secure Part (B) to Parts (A) using two 4" lag screws per board. Continue down the width of the table until all boards are secured.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 on the other end of the table surface.
Start the bench top assembly using the same techniques as with the table. Arrange two Parts (C) on top of Parts (A) with the same spacing of 8" away from the edges of Parts (A). Use clamps as needed.
Countersink with the forstner bit, pre-drill with the 3/16" bit, and secure with two 4" lag screws per board.
Repeat at the other end of the bench.
Make a second bench top in the same manner.
Take two Parts (D) and make an “X” on the work surface, blocking up the edges with scrap pieces of wood. See Diagram Page for dimensional layout of parts.
Hold in place and mark one of the legs on both sides with a pencil.
Set the miter saw to the degree that matches the lines drawn on the leg. It should be close to 9° for the table legs and 43° for the bench legs, but direct-measure your pieces.
Set the depth of the saw blade to half of the board thickness, or 11/16", and tighten the stop bolt so that the blade will only cut this deep.
Carefully slide the saw blade through the wood at half-depth within the two line marks until the entire section is cut. Use a scrap piece of wood behind the leg so the saw cuts all the way through.
Chisel or file the ridges of the saw blade marks and test-fit onto another 2x4 to ensure a good fit.
Place the cut leg on top of its mate and mark the uncut leg. Take this leg to the saw and repeat Steps 14 and 15. Make lap joints for all Parts (D) and all eight Parts (E) — see Diagrams Page for bench leg layout.
Mate each table leg pair and secure with two 1¼" diagonally placed screws.
Repeat Step 17 for the four bench leg assemblies.
Center a table leg assembly on the outside of Part (B) on the table surface and secure with a clamp. Avoiding the lag bolts, drill a ¼" hole through Part (B) and both 2x4 legs.
Put a ¼" x 3½" carriage bolt through the hole and tap it into place with a hammer.
Secure the bolt with a washer and nut and tighten. Do this on the other side of the leg as well.
Repeat Steps 19-21 to assemble the other table leg.
Next, add the brace, Part (F), centered within the “X” of the leg assembly. Avoiding the two screws that secure the leg assembly, drill a ¼" hole through the legs and Part (F) until you’ve tapped Part (F).
Then, to make it easier to drill, pull off Part (F) and complete the drilling operation, maintaining the correct angle.
Use a 1" forstner bit to create depth for the washer and nut, and then secure with a ¼" x 4½" carriage bolt, washer and nut. Use a 7/16" socket wrench. Repeat these steps for the table and benches.
Lastly, secure 90° tie-plates with ½" panhead screws to stabilize the other end of the brace. Use one per side, positioning it so that the edges do not poke out. Use six screws per tie-plate, totaling 72 screws.
Do the same processes (Steps 19-26) to both bench seats, substituting 3½" carriage bolts for the 4½" ones mentioned in Step 25.
Ease any sharp edges using a radial sander or sanding block with medium grit. Apply preferred finish to the wood.