Hill Lumber’s picnic table

picnic table

A 2000mm long picnic table made from 140×45 (actual size) lumber

A Hill Lumber project  By Les Kenny

A good solid picnic table easy to make. Aunt Betsy wont break this one.


The type of picnic table is extremely popular but there are many variations.
In this case, the design focused on strength and size.
The table has a wider seat than most and the seat is positioned in relation to the table both height-wise and distance-wise from the table to allow easy access and give maximum comfort.
The table is constructed out of 140×45 (actual size) dressed lumber.

The size of it

The picnic table has a seat attached to each side.
It is 2000mm long and is 1700 wide.
It stands 765mm high and seat height is 445mm.
The table is 870mm wide.

First up – the plans, the materials and cutting detail, followed by the instructions.

The Plans

picnic table plans

Materials you will need

33 Metres of dressed 140×45 (actual size) lumber suitable for exterior use. Ensure you can get 10 pieces @ 2000mm long out of it.
I kg 90mm Flat head galvanized nails.
16 only 12mm galvanized bolts 120mm long with nuts and washers.

Cutting detail

Note: All wood is dressed 140×45 (actual size)

Tabletop board: 2000mm long. Cut 6 pieces
Seat board: 2000mm long. Cut 4 pieces
Middle rail: 1700mm long. Cut 2 pieces with the ends angling in 5 degrees
Leg: 912mm long overall. Cut 4 pieces. Cut like so – 830mm along the sides with the ends angled 30 degrees. The ends will be parallel
Table strengthener: 870mm long. Cut 1 piece, chamfer the ends
Top rail: 870mm long. Cut 2 pieces with the ends angling in 5 degrees
Brace: 734mm long. Cut 2 pieces and angle the ends in 45 degrees (not parallel). Mark and trim the obvious protruding point.
Seat strengthener: 290mm long. Cut 2 pieces, chamfer the ends

The angled pieces

picnic table angled pieces


Cut all the pieces according to the Cutting detail and the drawings The angled pieces above.
Then follow the step-by-step pictures and instructions below

picnic table construction making the end frame

Lay the legs on a flat surface in approximate position as shown in the plans.
Place the top rail so that the top of the top rail is flush with the top of the legs and the outer sides of the legs are flush with the bottom corners of the top rail.
Simply follow the plans. Fix with four nails at each meeting as shown in the drawing above.

picnic table construction adding the middle rail

Fix the middle rail in place as per drawing and plan. Make the top of the middle rail 320mm down from the top of the top rail. Fix with four nails at each meeting.
That is one end frame made up, repeat the procedure for the other side frame.

picnic table construction adding balancing blocks

Here’s a neat trick. Clamp a balance block to each leg flush with the bottoms. That will allow the end frames to be able to stand up by themselves without the need of another person.

picnic table construction tanding the end frames

Stand the end frames apart in approximate position.

picnic table construction the first seat board

Lay the two outer seat boards in place – flush with the ends of the middle rail and overhanging each end 150mm.
Fix with one nail at each meeting, check all is square and then add another nail at each meeting.

picnic table construction adding the table boards

Fix the rest of the seat and tabletop boards in place.

picnic table construction adding the strengtheners

Clamp and fix the table and seat strengtheners to the underside of the tabletop/seats in the middle of the picnic table.

picnic table construction fixing the brace

Fix the under table braces in place.

picnic table construction all the pieces assembled

Note bad eh?

picnic table construction bolting the legs

Just the bolts to go. Drill and bolt in the center of each leg and rail join. And that’s it!

About the author
Les Kenny with a background in building, has been authoring DIY projects for his website www.buildeazy.com since 2001. He wrote two “DIY for Kids” books (co-authored with his daughter Roseanne) published in 2004 and 2005 respectively by Harpercollins.
www.buildeazy.com is populated with his work.
This content was authored specifically for Hill Lumber. © All rights reserved

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