Bulletproof exposed outdoor dining table... but weatherproof?

  • Advertise with us
Project by WoodWheeler posted 03-16-2017 10:27 AM 3520 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an outdoor table I finished just after Christmas after missing the “outdoor table for Christmas lunch” deadline. Lucky for me it was too hot to sit outside on Christmas day in any case!

The table is 3.0m x 1.2m or 10 feet x 4 feet. Weight is around 200kg / 440lb. It’s made of Blackbutt sourced from NSW Australia.

It’s located outside in a fully exposed location aside from some retractable Shade awnings. For the most part it is exposed to full sun and rain. Thus I designed it to hopefully deal with a lot of expansion and contraction each season.

To cope with expansion and contraction and to resist warping the individual pieces are secured in a way to allow them to expand whilst still preventing cupping and each piece can “float” individually as well as float as am entire top. I used wooden cleats in oversized slots to secure the top structure to the frame. The breadboard ends are secured at the center and outer boards with full size tenons and and are drawbored whilst the remaining slats use floating tenons in oversized mortises to allow for movement as well.

The frame is full mortise and tenon construction and drawbored together with rived blackbutt dowels.

The finish is several applications of teak oil.

Fingers crossed it hold up to the weather. Still need to make some seats!

This is also my first large furniture piece and was a great learning experience for me.

Thanks, Dom.

-- Dom

13 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


1318 posts in 1252 days

#1 posted 03-16-2017 11:54 AM

beautiful table and @440lbs. you don’t have to worry about the wind knocking it over, or anything else for that matter lol

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1088 posts in 3437 days

#2 posted 03-16-2017 12:04 PM

Awesome build . . . many years of happiness around your masterpiece . . .

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View BB1's profile


687 posts in 478 days

#3 posted 03-16-2017 02:32 PM

Wow. That is a beautiful table!

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 1973 days

#4 posted 03-17-2017 02:50 PM

looks grea6t

View Gwhiz's profile


18 posts in 762 days

#5 posted 03-18-2017 02:26 AM

Nice job! I can’t wait to see the seating!

View WoodWheeler's profile


11 posts in 77 days

#6 posted 03-18-2017 08:11 AM

Thanks guys,

I forgot to mention that I also applied expoxy to the end grain of the legs and attached nylon feet under each leg to minimize moisture from being wicked up from the deck after / during rain. Hopefully this will prevent the laminated legs from de-laminating.

I also selectively cut saw kerfs along the center of many of the boards underneath to help minimize cupping over time (I varied the cuts depending on the grain of the individual pieces).

There are a few additional things that are difficult to describe without pictures; all intended to minimize cupping, bowing and warping but not constraining the timber from expanding and contracting; like lateral pieces attached across the boards underneath to prevent bowing of the boards (and ensure alignment between them) and also to minimize cupping of individual boards, however oversize holes were drilled for each coach screw used to allow individual boards to expand and contract.

-- Dom

View robscastle's profile


3803 posts in 1834 days

#7 posted 03-18-2017 09:07 AM

Blackbutt ….and your concerned about the weather! relax. its not only bullet proof it is also bush fire proof!

1. Now is that a bananna plant I see in the surrounding garden?
2. Nice pizza oven even nicer pizza plates ….whats with the knife and fork?
3. Good job on the creative coffees.

Did you spend much time resharpening all your tools?

A totally impressive build!!

-- Regards Robert

View WoodWheeler's profile


11 posts in 77 days

#8 posted 03-18-2017 09:47 AM

Hi Rob,


There is a bananna plant in the far corner near the pizza oven and if you noticed that I take my hat off to you, but the larger plants that look kind of like bananna are in fact “Bird of Paradise”.

The plates are actually place-mats and we were about to eat breakfast out there on the table for the first time; hence the cutlery and coffees!

The blackbutt is fairly hard, and after planing enough to fill three 150 litre bins in the dust collector I think the thicknesser carbide blades need to be rotated. My chisels and hand planes actually held up reasonably well but I needed to sharpen my shoulder plane a couple of times whilst trimming tenon shoulders. Not sure it’s all that abrasive really.

I made my decking with blackbutt as well, and some of the boards have shrunk nearly 6mm in 120mm, despite the boards coming “kiln dried” so it definitely moves a bit. Although as you say, it is fire-resistant and is also a durability class 1 timber that is resistant to termites/parasites etc so will definitely survive quite well. I was more worried about movement as this was my first outdoor furniture piece.

-- Dom

View kipibenkipod's profile


48 posts in 954 days

#9 posted 03-18-2017 10:18 AM

This is a beautiful table.
200kg?! This timber is very heavy.

View Paintress's profile


2 posts in 66 days

#10 posted 03-18-2017 10:52 AM

This is a very common wood in the costal forests of So Wales. & a very beautiful species. Very excellent choice for the exterior as well. When researching on line you will find quitea bit of information on oil’s though they don’t offer as much protective benefits as newer technology as European coating’s do. You won’t find much information on line in regards to these products which is sad because they will sustainanility sustain the lifespan of your wood products far longer. As for their technology its years ahead of the US,though we would deny this.
Care is needed in drying to inhibit its tendency to surface check on the tangential surface. Reconditioning is seldom advisable because of its effect in widening any surface checks
It is a poor base for paint because of its tendency to surface check but stain finishes can be used satisfactorily.
Lyctid susceptible sapwood: Only the sapwood of some hardwoods is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. No softwoods are susceptible to attack.

Natural durability ratings: The natural durability rating of a timber species is a rating of the timber’s resistance to attack by wood destroying fungi and wood destroying insects. The sapwood of all timber species has poor resistance and so the natural durability rating applies only to the heartwood of a timber species. The rating is based on the testing of stakes and poles embedded in the ground and on expert opinion of historical performance. There are 2 sets of ratings: one for above ground use and one for in-ground contact use. The lower the number the higher the performance in terms of durability. This information is useful for specifying material for external or exposed applications
All woods have pros and cons of some sort each being more beneficial for one type of use over another as well. The beauty of wood.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

24210 posts in 1968 days

#11 posted 03-18-2017 11:12 AM

Very beautiful piece

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

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

View gsimon's profile


1234 posts in 1743 days

#12 posted 03-18-2017 11:06 PM

Beautiful table and nice attention to detail
Welcome aboard!

-- Greg Simon

View robscastle's profile


3803 posts in 1834 days

#13 posted 03-19-2017 02:07 AM

Banana Plant, yep thats the one I was surprised that it wound grow in your area.
Your BOP may grow to a stage you have to remove them as they secete black gunge everywhere when they get bigger, and you would not want any of it on the table or deck area.

-- Regards Robert

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics