Wow! You guys are the best. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on our deck refresh! If you missed it, click here.The furniture that Luke built us has really transformed this outdoor space into a little oasis of calm. A place to sit and chat and to gather over a delicious dinner.
Luke truly made my dreams come true. As you know, I had my heart set on a teak patio set down in the harbor. Well, that was until I saw the price: $4,000! Well, we just don’t have that kind of money right now. Sooooo. He built one for me out of white cedar. I’m happy to report that we’ve had lots of rain and the furniture still looks great (as does the rug) and everything else.
I know you’re eager to create your own (or have your hubby do it for you). Luke’s going to share all his tips and tricks for the table and we’ll be following up with the build plans soon for the benches (which were quicker to build)! Take it away, Luke (oh, and listen out for his cute English accent):
Hi there, first off, please be kind to me, as this is my first real post here! I built the table from the bottom up, and if I were to do it again, I’d work top down, I did that for the bench (which I’ll be writing about soon) and it was much easier. Click on image to enlarge for measurements and full sketch up is available for FREE download at the end of this post. We would have loved to do this set in teak but priced it out and the cost was too high for us right now, we decided on white cedar for good durability in our climate. We’ve included a few affiliate links for your convenience. Here’s what I did:
Step 1 – Build the frame
The first step was to build a frame that would hold the table. This consisted of four main lengths of 4×1 (or as it’s known in the States 1×4). This is actually about 3/4″ thick, and 3 1/2″ wide, since it’s finished wood. The frame should look something like this, the lengths of the wood are 68″ and 34 1/2″:
You can see that the timbers are set back 3″ from each other. I did this by taking a piece of 4×4, same in the states ;), and marking a 1/2″ in from two sides (this is the part that is going to stick out from the skirt). The next part was to cuts some diagonal supports, a little over 9 1/2″ long, these are going to hold the corners, and are the parts where the legs attach. The diagram below shows the layout
With the Kreg jig I made pocket hole joints at the ends of each of the diagonal corner pieces. Using a cut piece of 4×4 as a guide I attached the corners together:
Once the rectangular(ish) frame was in place, it was time to put horizontal supports in. The simple supports were 1/3rd of the way along the length, these just went between the main lengths of 4×1. In the middle, because I wanted a piece of 3×1 to go across, and I needed support for that and the 2×1 later, I needed 4 pieces of 4×1 to go across. These were spaced at 1/2″ from the centre line, however two of them could not be full lengths as I needed to cut a hole for the umbrella. The double lengths of wood were screwed together, and the ends, that butted the sides, were connected with pocket hole joints. Below are two images showing the layout, they are standing on the legs, we’ll get to that part.
Step 2 – Connect the Legs
The legs were cut to a length of 29 1/4″, this is because the top would be 3/4″ thick, and we were aiming for a 30″ high table. I then clamped the legs to the table, in place, and drilled holes through the diagonal corners, directly into the corners of the legs. This meant that I could screw hanger bolts into the legs, and attach them to the frame with nuts. This makes for easy dismantling:
Step 3 – Top with 3×1
Once all of the support was in place, I could put my 3×1 tops in place. The first step was to cut the middle piece, and, using a hole saw, drill a slightly less than 2″ hole in its centre, this was not super fun, the saw I had was cheap and blunt, so it made a lovely burning smell. Next time I’m getting a better hole saw.
Once the pieces are all cut, I drilled pocket holes with the Kreg Jig, from below, along all of the 4x1s that were going to support the 3x1s.
All of the edge pieces of 3×1 were made to overhang outwards, so that their inside edge was flush with the inside of the 4×1.
The final layout of all of the 3×1 is displayed below
Step 4 – Add the 2×1 slats
In order to do this, I cut all of the 2×1’s to length, then I put pocket holes in all of the right places along the 4×1 supports, the aim was for a 1/4″ gap in between each 2×1:
Sadly, because the corners were already complete, I could not put pocket holes in for the ends of the outside pieces of 2×1, so I had to get creative. This is where I wish I had done the top first! For the outside two slats, I drilled dowel joints, so there were two small holes (big enough for a small length of dowel) in to the end of the slats, and then two small holes in the end piece of 3×1 that matched locations:
The positions of the holes in the ends of the 2×1 doesn’t need to be perfect; BUT the corresponding holes in the 3×1 must match. The overall layout of the slats is as below:
Here’s what you need:
- Legs: 2 4x4x8′ cedar posts ( We got these from Lowe’s)
- Framing: 5 4x1x8′ cedar boards (All the cedar boards and screws were from Home Depot)
- 3×1 top: 5 3x1x8′ cedar boards
- Slats: 18 2x1x6′ cedar boards
- 8 1/2″ hanger bolts + washers and nuts
- Box of 500 1 1/4″ Kreg screws for cedar (these are the loose thread)
Using the Kreg Jig was a breeze, I bolted mine to my bench to make drilling much easier:
The nice thing about this kit is that it comes with parts so that you can attach the jig to the table, and drill holes there. It was a pleasure to use.
As I said, if I were to do it again, I would have done the top first, and then worked down. I could have pocket holed the slats into the 3×1 and then framed on top of that, which is what I did for the benches, but that is to come. . .
Thank you to Luke for sharing this brilliant tutorial with all of you.