How to Build an Octagon Picnic Table
Building your own picnic table can be fun and a little bit tricky, But this step by step article will give you a good understanding of what goes into building a Octagon Picnic Table.
Get your boards ready, first we will cut out all of our main boards needed to build the frame. Our example picnic table will be the standard size of a family picnic table. Start by putting a mark on a 2x4 at 99", at your measurement of 99" you will then make a mark on both sides putting a angle on the ends making what looks like a V shape using a 60 degree angle. Next you will cut the following 2- 2x4s at 48-1/2" leaving one side square and putting a 60 degree angle on the other side, 4- 2x4s at 48-1/8 leaving one side square and putting a 60 degree angle on the other side on the square side of the cuts you will need a 45 degree bevel cut, so that when you look at your 2x4 from the top it looks like one end has a point.(the way you make your bevel cut on your square side would be to measure in 3/4" on both side and then cut a 45 degree angle on both sides of the board) them cuts above are for the lower frame of your picnic table. For the top its the same just different measurements first cut a 2x4 at 64", at your measurement of 64" you will then make a mark on both sides putting a angle on the ends making what looks like a V shape using a 60 degree angle. Next you will cut 2- 2x4s at 31" leaving one side square and putting a 60 degree angle on the other side, 4- 2x4s at 30-5/8 leaving one side square and putting a 60 degree angle on the other side, on the square side of these cuts you will need a 45 degree bevel cut. last we want to cut out our legs, the legs will have angles on both sides but this time they need to go the same way, The measurement should be from the long side of your angle to the short side of your angle, The best way to mark this out is to put your angle on one side, pull your measurement down then mark it and make a angle going the same way as the first one. we will need to cut 8- 2x4s from long to short of a 60 degree angle at 30". Quick check of your cuts you should now have 1- 99" long angle to long angle(b1) 2x4, 1- 64" long to long(t1), 2- 48-1/2" long to square 2x4s(b2), 2- 31" long to square 2x4s(t2), 4- 48-1/8" long to square 2x4s(b3), 4- 30-5/8" long to square 2x4s(t3) and 8- 30" long to short 2x4s.
Next we cut out our 2x6 lumber for the top of the picnic table. We will need to make 8 sets of these cuts to fill in the top and the seat of the table after the frame is built, there will be 7 cut boards used for each set. These cuts will all be from long to long of a 22-1/2 degree angle (making the V shape) Cut 1, 5" cut 2, 10" cut 3, 15" cut 4, 20" cut 5, 25" cut 6, 33-3/8" cut 7, 38-3/8" Please note you will need 8 of each cut 1-7
Framing, Start by putting all the cut together T's go with T's and B's go with B's, Take the b1 board set it on the ground with the angles facing up take your b2s and center them to your b1, it should look like a + on the ground, take your b3s and set them into the corners of where all the boards meat in the middle. At this point after all 7 boards are in place you should start to see the shape taking place, you would repeat this step using the T's in the same way. After all boards are in place and or ready, start strapping them using 4" galvanized flathead nails and your 12" x 1" galvanized strap to strap the boards to the frame. (drill nail holes first to keep lumber from splitting.)
Now that you have both the top and bottom frame work done add in your cut broads from step 3 using cut 1-5 for the top of the table and using 6-7 for the bottom (or the seat) when adding the boards to the top of the table/frame work start from the center and work your way out. Next we need to add the legs on, start by measuring 7" in off the top frame from the point of the 60 degree angle and put that mark on all 8 sides, Then repeat this step for the lower frame but measuring in 17" this time putting the mark on all boards. This measurement is for where your table legs start on both the top and bottom of the frames built, attach these boards using a carriage bolt one for every place the two boards meat. Tips: from the ground top the top of your seat and or bottom frame the measurement should be 15-1/2" and from the ground to the top of the table it should be 30"
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure, saw, measuring square,
- 110' of 2x6
- 85' of 2x4
- 16- galvanized carriage bolts
- 12- 12" long x 1" wide galvanized strap
- only use treated lumber and galvanized hardware
- always use safety glasses when cutting lumber
- a sliver from treated lumber can kill you, if you get one and can't get it out yourself you should go see a doctor asap, also burning treated lumber is not good the smoke can kill to.