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Novice Women Woodworkers

Robyn's build Instructions Plans

Build an 8 seater picnic table   By Les Kenny

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8 seater rectangle picnic table

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This picnic table was designed as a project for Robyn. It was her first woodwooking project.
She had never used any power tools before.
Robyn wanted an 8 seater picnic table.
The basic design is extremely popular but there are many variations.
In this case, the design focused on readily available wood and comfort. This 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.

These instructions are given in both standard (inch) and metric (mm) measurements.
Where the measurements are given together, the inch measurements are given first followed by the metric in brackets ().
In some cases the inch measurements and the metric equivalent are not an exact match. This is for practical reasons.
Just use one or the other and you will be fine. The inch measurements are suitable for North America, and the metric for Australasia. The rest of the world should be able to work out something between the two.

The picnic table has a seat attached to each side.
It is 80" (2000mm) long and 65-1/2" (1662mm) wide.
It stands 29-3/4" (755mm) high and seat height is 17-1/4" (435mm).

Two different size woods are used.
In North America: 1-1/2" x 5-1/2", and 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" treated Lumber.
And the Australasian equivalent: 140mm x 35mm, and 190mm x 35mm treated timber.

At the time of writing some Lowes stores in North America stocked 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" and 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" Pressure Treated Lumber in 8ft, 12ft, and 16ft lengths.

Bunnings in Australia stocked 140mm x 35mm and 190mm x 35mm treated timber in various lengths up to 6 meters long.

1-1/2" x 5-1/2" means wood that is 1-1/2 inches thick by 5-1/2 inches wide.
140mm x 35mm means wood that is 35 millimeters thick by 140 millimeters wide.

If you are a first timer attempting this project, ensure you have a qualified person to oversee the safety aspects of the job and show you how to use tools correctly. Do not use power tool unsupervised if you are a novice.

Wood:
  40ft of 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" stock, ensure you can get 6 pieces @ 80" long
  56ft of 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" stock, that allows for a little bit of wastage. Always cut the longest pieces first and cut the shorter pieces from the off-cuts

Screws:
3" exterior type wood screws, you will need around 90

Wood
  12 metres of 190mm x 35mm stock, ensure you can get 6 pieces @ 2000mm long
  16 metres of 140mm x 35mm stock, that allows for a little bit of wastage. Always cut the longest pieces first and cut the shorter pieces from the off-cuts

Screws
  14g x 75mm galvanized bugle head screws you will need around 90

The list is in order of length i.e., the longest lengths are given first

[A] tabletop board 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" (190mm x 35mm), 80" (2000mm) long, cut 4 pieces
[B] seat board wide 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" (190mm x 35mm), 80" (2000mm) long, cut 2 pieces
[B2] seat board narrow 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 80" (2000mm) long, cut 2 pieces
[C] middle rail 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 65-1/2" (1662mm) long, cut 2 pieces
[D] Leg 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 36" (912mm) long, cut 4 pieces
[E] table strengthener 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 30-3/8" (770mm) long, cut 1 piece
[F] top rail 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 30-3/8" (770mm) long, cut 2 pieces
[G] Brace 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 27-1/4" (694mm) long, cut 2 pieces
[H] Seat strengthener 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" (140mm x 35mm), 13" (330mm) long, cut 2 pieces


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