For the past 3-4 years I have wanted an outside table next to the driveway. I had collected timber planks from work years ago and have used them for ramps over the years knowing one day they would become a table.
I had also collected old timber from houses that was being turfed and that sat in a pile for another bunch of years...
I get spectacular sunsets over the escarpment so thought it would be a perfect spot for the table to sit. One thing I do need to do is to level the ground underneath the table. The level of the ground is all over the place as the soil from various projects spilled onto the lawn and merged with it. I thought I had done a resonable job scrapping it back but no I hadnt.
Recyled hardwood planks
Recyled hardwood timber 50mm *90mm
Coach bolts 120mm by 10mm box of 24
Recyled 12mm bolts 180mm (recovered from old posts I had)
Drop saw makita
I have never built a freestanding table from scratch. I have made a dining table re-using a metal frame for the legs once before tho.
I was super worried about the height ratio of it being high enough to be comfortable and easy enough to sit with your legs underneath it. The making bench steats were also high on the stress list of getting them right and being solid enough to sit at.
The boards I had picked up from being thrown out at work had been used for concreting and who knows what else. It made me reluctant to plane them as I figured there would be dirt/concrete/rock embedded in the timber and that would chew the planners blade like crazy. It felt smooth to touch so decided to oil it instead.
Working out how to put the table together with what I had.
The timber planks had a toungue and groove to them
Even tho they have a bit of a twist some went together easy enough, others had a bit of a gap.
Tapping the timber boards together with the mallet really helped.
Working out the supports across the underside of the table. I decided to use coach bolts down through the top and through the long side of the 50*100mm timber
Having never made legs for a table before I was using test pieces to get the angles right verse the height.
The height I was thinking of was 790mm from floor to top of the table. It ended up being 790mm
This made me think of ratios and how they work.
I had worked out the angle to cut (45degs) and in my head I had it worked out how to cut both ends of the legs...
was pretty happy with myself....
I was surpprised at how it worked out. So I cut the other end of the legs and...
Messed up lol I had it "figured" in my head but somehow cut the legs the wrong way. It was an easy fix as these were only the "test" pieces.
My measuring stick to make sure all the legs were at the same height
Legs worked out! Now to cut the true legs.
The spot where the table will end up.
This is the base plate, I decided to give each end an angled cut to stop knees from banging against them so easily.
And of course the angled cut comes back to haunt me... Trying to clamp on the end of the timber plus drill down was problematic after I cut that tiny bit... Luckily I had this old school clamp that was low profile. It worked a treat.
The depth that the G clamp can go in is limited to the distance between the orange plastic foot and the silver metal edge of the bracket.
First half done! This table is going to be heavy!
Just to show the spacing block at the cross point.
The second set of legs, 450mm in from the edge.
Using my test pieces as templates. It made life a lot easier
Both done! I was cheering.
750mm to the underside of the table, 790mm to the top
Shifting it was an interesting exercise.... I dont think it will grow legs too easily Overall weight... really dont know but three adults to lift and move it, 4 to lift it onto a trailer.
Once I placed it on the ground it really showed up how non level the grass was. It had piles of soil spread over the area multiple times and just ended up uneven even though I would have sworn I had made it level lol.
I also did not want to rest the timber feet direct on the ground (yes I do intend to oil the timber) so placed some pavers first.
Leveling the pavers out tho I do want to level the whole area soonish...
There is something nice about late afternoon sunlight to work in.
Pavers down to protect the feet.
The bench seats being worked out. 450mm in from the first edge of the foot.
Working out the height that feels right with sitting/knees/feet I used the saw horses as test subjects.
They are perfect, so 500mm height from floor to top of seat.
I may put a stay piece of timber between both legs to help stop any future sway from side to side. Not sure if it would work? Any ideas?
Back to working out angles and height. I had over complicated it in my head by a long shot. Once I sat down and just cut the first angle,the rest worked out easily.
Making up the bases of the feet.
The legs all prepped for the next day.
Feeling pretty happy and believe me trying to carry it that way up is next to impossible lol
All done! Ground needs to be leveled and table/legs/benches need to be oiled someday but thats all thats left.
Best bit is it blends nicely, you can walk past and the greyness of the table dosnt catch the eyes. If I had planned or sanded then the red would have been bright. Now for something cold and watch the sun go down over the escarment!
Thank you very much for sharing your outdoor table project. It looks fantastic and I'm sure it will be the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sunsets. I agree with putting a stay piece to stop the table from swaying. I also suggest putting an elbow piece between the legs and underside of the table to stop horizontal movement.
Again, thank you for sharing such a wonderful project.
Thank you @EricL
I was wondering about "an elbow piece between the legs and underside of the table to stop horizontal movement." I am not sure what you mean? The piece of timber that the legs are bolted to is fixed by four coach bolts and I figured that no way would it move? Tho have a feeling you mean something else? And yeah, you have just pushed it over to should I to yes I should put a stay piece of timber in.
I believe Eric might be referring to a diagonal cross brace from the mid-leg to the middle of the underside of the tabletop. Given you've used hardwood and bolted the sections together, longitudinal movement might not be an issue.
Ahhh Bingo and that makes sense. THere isnt a lot of movement atm but I still plan to do a diagonal brace on the legs. Just in case.
Got around to oiling the table on the weekend. I had half a can of clear timber oil that I used on the timber top for the gabion seats and also for the underside of the table. I ran out before I could do the tabletop and the top of the seats. I used Merabu natural decking oil as I was going cheap and figured Id use a little for the table and the rest onthe patio timbers when i put them up... Nope, Ive already gone through a third of the can and thats just the first coat! The red meravbu red really comes up nicely onthe grey sunbleach/aged timber. One more coat later in the week and it will be done.