LumberJocks

Picnic table seat and table thickness

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by EdsCustomWoodCrafts posted 01-10-2017 03:58 PM 904 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EdsCustomWoodCrafts's profile

EdsCustomWoodCrafts

715 posts in 1177 days


01-10-2017 03:58 PM

Hi Guys

I have been asked to build a picnic table out of pressure treated wood frame and cedar table top and seating and I’m wondering will 3/4” thickness cedar be robust enough for the table top and seating boards I did want to use 1 1/2” thick boards but it will eat almost half of what I’m making on the project ..

I guess I want to know will 3/4” cedar boards stand up to the test of time and support the people sitting st it

Thanks Ed

-- Thanks Ed “A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown”


9 replies so far

View Rob_s's profile

Rob_s

171 posts in 455 days


#1 posted 01-10-2017 04:04 PM

I used 5/4 decking boards on mine. Been over 5 years with about half that time exposed to the sun and rain and no issues.

Edit:
Sorry, didn’t realize you wanted the cedar for the top. disregard.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

View ScottM's profile

ScottM

565 posts in 1980 days


#2 posted 01-10-2017 04:05 PM

If you make sure that you have good support underneath the cedar I would think you’d be fine. So it really depends on your design.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3202 days


#3 posted 01-10-2017 04:09 PM

Use the treated deck boards for the seats and top and cover them with 3/4” Cedar.

View EdsCustomWoodCrafts's profile

EdsCustomWoodCrafts

715 posts in 1177 days


#4 posted 01-10-2017 05:34 PM



If you make sure that you have good support underneath the cedar I would think you d be fine. So it really depends on your design.

- ScottM

-- Thanks Ed “A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown”

View ScottM's profile

ScottM

565 posts in 1980 days


#5 posted 01-10-2017 07:54 PM

Based on that design, I would say no. The cedar will not be stiff enough on the seats over that span. The plans call for 2×6 and you want to replace that the 3/4”. Not going to work.

If you still want to use the cedar, do what papadan suggested.


Use the treated deck boards for the seats and top and cover them with 3/4” Cedar.

View devann's profile

devann

2246 posts in 2526 days


#6 posted 01-10-2017 09:01 PM

I like to use a similar design to the one you have pictured in comment #4. I use 1 1/2” material throughout, be it pressure treated pine, cedar, or redwood.

I do make a couple changes from the picture you show.
1) turn 2×4s batten so I can use 2 1/2” screws to fasten the table top together from the bottom side of top. IMO it makes a better looking top not seeing any fasteners in the top of the table during use. Using 2×6s for the top I use three screws staggered in each 2×4 / 2×6 connection. Keep legs inside of 2×4 batten as shown.

2) Cut round corners at ends of top & seats. (I use a small coffee can for radius pattern)

3) Use an 1/8” radius round over bit on all top edges of seats & top, and all edges of seat supports. Use 3/4” radius round over bit on the outside table top & seat edges.

4) I use two, 2 1/2”x5/8” lag screws with washers at the seat support/leg connections. (this makes a connection that is human leg friendly, no screw threads to scrape ones legs on)

5) Reverse the seat support to the inside of the table legs. This shortens the seat span. It’s just a little stronger way of bracing the table.

Another tip: For assembly I like to use 4 rips of plywood on edge, building a crude box a little over knee high arranged so the box it’s size is around 7/8 the area size of the table top. This is my assembly table. I assemble picnic tables upside down on it until the seats have to be installed on seat supports. Then you can flip the table over by yourself and install the seats. I’ve found this to be the most comfortable way of assembling picnic tables by myself.

I have built picnic tables as described for restaurants, bars, & apartment complexes without ever having to replace any with the exception of thief & floods.
My own personal table is a six footer, going on 16 years and is made of cedar. It has always been exposed to the elements beneath a pecan tree. I did have to put some bricks under the legs due to the legs stating to rot from ground contact.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4475 posts in 2185 days


#7 posted 01-10-2017 10:33 PM

I guess I want to know will 3/4” cedar boards stand up to the test of time and support the people sitting st it

No it will not hold up, get 1 1/2” stock.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3258 posts in 2509 days


#8 posted 01-11-2017 03:55 AM

3/4 cedar will not be strong enough unless you are seating kids. Use 1 1/2 inch material.

View EdsCustomWoodCrafts's profile

EdsCustomWoodCrafts

715 posts in 1177 days


#9 posted 01-11-2017 04:22 AM

I have decided to heed everyone’s warning I’m going to use 2x pressure treated lumber underneath the cedar so I achieve the structural regidity and also the appearance of cedar.. I might even do a facedrame around the perimeter of the sandwiched material this hiding the substrate material

The customer agrees with this and will pay the additional cost but it’s a lot more work for me but I get the sale and above everything else it will more professionally done

Thanks everyone for your input

-- Thanks Ed “A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown”

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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

HomeRefurbers.com