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How to build a one-piece
folding picnic table out of 2x4 lumber

Introduction & description

Folding picnic table made solely out of 2x4 lumber

Folding picnic table in both picnic table mode and bench mode
Folding picnic table in both picnic table mode and bench mode

Navigation: Jump to any page of this project via the ' Table of Contents' menu on the right-hand side, or below if you are viewing on a mobile device.

Related projects: Two-in-one folding bench and picnic tables

How to build a picnic table that folds down to a single bench seat.
Made solely out of 2x4 lumber, this is a more simplified version.

This is my fifth version of the very popular folding picnic table projects.
You can compare the five different versions at

This model also has an optional 'clip-on' piece that adds to the height of the backrest when the unit is in bench mode.

Folding picnic table with back-rest clip-on
Folding picnic table with back-rest clip-on

The 'clip-on' actually adds somewhat to back comfort and (depending on taste) gives the bench more appeal.

I have tried to make this project as easy as possible, taking feedback into consideration.
This is a more simplified version with better explanations and loads of photos and drawings.

Note: You can purchase this plan in downloadable PDF file, print friendly and in clean copy (free of ads) for only $5.00.   Click here to purchase.
The plans can be purchased online and immediately downloaded to your computer.

To view all available $5 downloadable plans click here

The size of the thing

In picnic table mode the overall footprint (area it takes up on the ground) is 60" (1524mm) long by 47-1/4" (1200mm) wide.
In bench seat mode the overall footprint is 60" (1524mm) long by 21-1/2" (545mm) wide.
The height is 29" (737mm)

It is built using one wood size only - 2x4, a very common stock size.
The bench arms that have adorned the other models have been done away with as it is excess work, excess materials, and when in picnic table mode it is better without them.
This complete unit is built solely out of standard 2x4s (which measure 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, actual size).

All the pieces can be cut from 9 only 8ft lengths of 2x4. Pretty common stuff.

What's in this content

There are plan drawings, there's a shopping list, a cutting list, there is a diagram showing how to cut the pieces from 9 only 8ft lengths of 2x4 to minimize waist, there is a diagram of every single piece with the dimensions, and that is followed by step-by-step instructions with plenty of pictures.

The measurements

The measurements in this project are given in both inches and millimetre. The inches are given first followed by their metric equivalents in brackets - for example: 2x4 (50mm x 100mm).

Don't be confused by 'nominal' (in name only) dimensions when you buy the wood.
It is called 2x4 but it really measures 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (thickness and width)

The metric equivalent of 2x4 is 50mm x 100mm, which really measures 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (38mm x 89mm), actual size when dimensioned or dressed.
In short - The actual, real size of the wood (thickness and width) used in this project is 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (38mm x 88mm).
If you want to use a different thickness wood or change the length of the table refer to 'Changing stock size and/or table length' in the appendix at the end.

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