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I’ve made dozens of these picnic tables in the past, mainly for birthday presents but also to sell, and they’ve always gone down well.
They seat 4 young kids comfortably, and are quite economical, these normally start life as around 8m of 90mm x 35mm treated(kidsafe), structural pine.
My wife found them really handy when the kids were younger and her mother’s group would get together for lunches and things like that, the kids were happy to bunch up together at these tables. They’re nice and light so you can easily move them around and even bring them inside the house.
They are quite sturdy for their weight, I can stand and put all my weight on top of it and still feel secure (though of course I don’t recommend doing that), kids naturally clamber all over them and I’ve not had a problem yet.
They aren’t too difficult to make so I haven”t created really detailed instructions. However they can be a little time consuming if you laminate the panels yourself, so I generally like to make 2 or 3 at once to save setting everything up again. I’ll shoot a video the next time I put one together, but for now, here are some photos, a sketchup model you can download and a cutlist below.
Frame – All parts are 40mm x 35mm pine. (I rip lengths of 90x35mm in half to get these pieces.)
- Legs (4) 600mm – Cut a 60° angle on each end
- Seat Supports (2) – 840mm
- TableTop Supports (2) – 400mm
- Centre Brace (1) – 800mm
- Round over all edges and sand it smooth, it’s also far easier to paint before assembly
Panels – To save money rip cut the pine and laminate the strips together. To save time, just buy around 5m of 140mm x 20mm and cut to size.
- Cut 5 lengths at 950mm
- Rip each section into 20mm wide strips
- Glue 4 strips into one 140mm panel
- Sand and plane panel smooth
- Trim panels to around 930mm
I use 16 bolts on each table, 2 in each meeting of the legs to the supports. Each panel is held down with 4 screws. The 2 A frames are connected to the centre brace with a 120mm bolt, the type normally used to keep laser light sheeting attached to a pergola. (I had some leftover)
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Let me know if you make one or something similar! Send a photo in of your kids enjoying it, I’d love to show it off!