Picnic Table - Beast Mode

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Project by dakotawood posted 08-16-2015 11:53 PM 3844 views 24 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I built my grill cart for our deck, we decided that we wanted a matching cedar picnic table. I copied the look of a picnic table and bench from They have a lot of cool furniture there, but I did not want to fork over $3300 for the set I liked.

Cedar was purchased at my local Menards. I bought the rough sawn, which came out with an extra 1/4” – 1/2” thickness so I could mill it down so it was flat and true. It was all 2×6, 4×4, and 6×6 for the X-leg design. I used a half lap joint for the X-legs. I then did my first husk tenon. Was very fun and rewarding to see that joint come to life! I found it very annoying to try and chop out the square mortise with a chisel. The soft cedar just wanted to fold, instead of break off. The wedge piece is made out of purpleheart and has a 5 degree slope to it with a matching 5 degree to the mortise. Each leg assembly was then screwed to the top. So if needed, the table can come apart into 4 separate pieces for easy transport. I primarily used my Domino for the bench construction. I gave a breadboard end for the top to help keep things flat over the years (and it looks good). I filled all the large knot voids with epoxy with a dark dye in it. I tried smoothing the top with my hand planes, but I was getting tear out everywhere. So I resorted to a belt sander, then random orbit starting with 80 grit. The finish was a deck stain – Sikkens – and the color is butternut.

At a little over 7’ long, it’ll hold a lot of stuff. With a few of my small children in the mix, we were able to have a birthday party on it and fit 12 people on there total. We really love it!

-- Travis, South Dakota

12 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


5384 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 08-17-2015 12:17 AM

Looks like a great picnic table set! I love those wedged tusk tenons!

I’m sure your family will get a lot of good use and enjoyment out of it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View rtbrmb's profile


523 posts in 1991 days

#2 posted 08-17-2015 12:30 AM

Not your ordinary picnic table. Great details.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View endgrainy's profile


247 posts in 1491 days

#3 posted 08-17-2015 01:31 AM

Nice! Love the tusk tenon. Also, great color variation on the top, flows very nicely.

-- Follow me on Instagram @endgrainy

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

23891 posts in 1941 days

#4 posted 08-17-2015 02:33 AM

Very nicely done sir

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DRSWoody's profile


54 posts in 982 days

#5 posted 08-17-2015 11:24 AM

Great looking table and certainly windproof.

-- R. Smith Central Iowa

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


25278 posts in 2469 days

#6 posted 08-17-2015 11:49 AM

That is a very nice picnic table. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


365 posts in 3086 days

#7 posted 08-17-2015 12:38 PM

Darn that is nice! The tusk tenon drew me in.

Great work!

-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 1554 days

#8 posted 08-17-2015 03:23 PM

Nice work!

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View Shuja's profile


270 posts in 1169 days

#9 posted 08-17-2015 03:45 PM


-- shuja

View BenR's profile


320 posts in 2231 days

#10 posted 08-17-2015 11:37 PM

Beefy and beautiful.

-- Ben in Va

View DrDirt's profile


4250 posts in 3345 days

#11 posted 08-18-2015 07:33 PM

Nice work –
I like projects like this that show that you can make stylish and beautiful pieces without having to buy 8/4 hardwood for 15 bucks a foot.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View TObenhuber's profile


147 posts in 1195 days

#12 posted 09-06-2015 02:34 AM

Very nice!!! That’s a dreamy picnic table. Great Work!!!

-- Travis, Virginia,

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