This table can be created for indoor or outdoor use, as a garden table for summer picnics and BBQs or as a compact seating solution indoors – perhaps as your conservatory table.
This easily built table is created using bolts and bird-mouth joints.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BUILD A GARDEN TABLE
MATERIAL FOR DRAWINGS
NB: Any solid timber can be used
o Bolts: eight 10 mm coach bolts at least 150mm long, complete with nuts and washers
o Braces: two 815 x 63 x 38 mm lengths of softwood
o Legs: four 1170 x 75 x 38 mm lengths of softwood
o Screws: forty-four 45mm No.8 countersunk brass for exterior use
o Seat bearers: two 1345 x 75 x 38 mm lengths of softwood
o Seats: four 1525 X 140 x 32 mm lengths of softwood
o Table top: four 1525 x 140 x 32 mm lengths of softwood
o Top bearers: three 610 x 63 x 38 mm lengths of softwood
TOOLS & POWER TOOLS THAT YOU WILL NEED
o Bench plane
o Bradawl, screwdrivers and spanner
o Panel saw
o Power drill and bits
o Sliding bevel and protractor
o Try square and long ruler
If your table will be used outdoors then it should be treated with a wood preservative designed to protect against the elements.
Solid wood is affected by the surrounding humidity and temperature causing the wood to expand and shrink, so the appropriate steps need to be taken when using solid wood. Here are some simple step by step instructions to help you build your garden table
Making the drawings
1. The first stage of your project is to create full-size to scale drawings of the side and end elevations. Having accurate drawings allows you to establish the angles of the legs and braces, the positions of the fastening bolts and check that measurements and cuttings are correct before you assemble the various parts. Using a square and a long rule, draw on a thin sheet of MDF.
2. It is important that the parts that are square to each other are at precise right-angles.
Preparing the timber
1. Plane all the timber as per the widths provided in the above cutting list, then clean the faces of the components.
2. Cut the boards to length for the table top and the seats, and then chamfer their edges.
1. Mark from one drawing the angles at the top and bottom of the leg pieces, mark the centres for drilling the bolt clearance holes, and then mark out the top and seat bearers.
2. Saw to size the legs and bearers.
3. From the waste material, cut two spacers for each frame – these should be the same thickness as the other components and be approximately 100mm square. If you want a neater look you could cut them into an octagonal shape.
4. Drill either a clearance hole or a bolt through the centre of each spacer.
5. Whilst securing the workpieces, drill clearance holes in the legs for the bolts – the holes should be quite tight and the bolts should be tapped through with a hammer.
Making the braces
1. Using your drawing, carefully mark off the two braces. If this is not done precisely the components will not lock the whole structure.
2. Firmly anchor each brace to your workbench and then use a tenon saw to carefully cut out the bird-mouth joints in the ends of the braces. This is similar to cutting a lap joint, except that the cuts are not made parallel to the edges of the timber.
3. Take care when making the angled cuts at the other ends of the braces.
4. Check that the faces of the joints are square, otherwise the table may be unstable, and use a sharp chisel to pare away slivers of wood until the ends of each brace perfectly match your drawings.
5. Cut the two braces and then check against your drawing.
6. In the top of each bird-mouth joint, drill a countersunk clearance hole – ensuring the correct angle for screwing into the seat bearers is used. Also drill an angled countersunk clearance hole at the top of each brace for fixing into the central top bearer.
Assembling the frames and top
1. Bolt the top and seat bearers to the legs, insert spacers where necessary. Slip washers over the bolts and tighten the nuts.
2. After you have finished assembling both end frames, mark out the centres for the clearance holes for the table top in the four boards. There should be two screw fixings in both ends of each board, and two in the middle for the centre bearer.
3. Drill countersunk clearance holes where marked out and then position the table top boards – these should be spaced evenly.
4. For the next stage you may need assistance. Use a bradawl to mark through the clearance holes, and then drill small pilot holes into the three bearers – you may wish to slide small brass rings into the screws before driving them home – do not countersink the holes if you do.
5. Whilst keeping the boards parallel to each other, screw the table top boards to the bearers.
6. Cramp one of the seat boards to each end of the seat bearers to create stability.
7. Position the two braces so that the end frames are square to the top and the ground. Adjust the alignment of the cramped board if necessary.
8. Check that the bird-mouth joints fit accurately and then mark through the clearance holes in the braces.
Fitting the seats
1. You may find it helpful at this stage to use an offcut of timber to help equally space and position the boards.
2. Remove the cramped board and lay out the seat boards on the seat bearers.
3. Drill countersunk clearance holes, and then cramp all four boards in their correct positions. Again, you may wish to slide cups onto the screws prior to tightening them.
4. Drill pilot holes into the bearers and screw the seats in place – double-check that all the screws are tight.
1. Use abrasive paper to round off any sharp corners, concentrate on the ends of the seal boards as there could be splinters.
2. To sand off pencil marks, wrap your abrasive paper around a square block and rub it along the grain of the wood. Do not rub against the grain as you may score the surface.
3. Apply a suitable finish, e.g. a weatherproof varnish or tinted preservative.
For mo0re information and plans check out this site: www.diywwplans.com
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