The goal of our second summer at our off-grid shabin was to use up all the extra lumber leftover from our tiny bunkhouse build. We knew that keeping all the plywood and lumber under a tarp during winter wasn’t ideal, and everything would only get soggier if it stayed outside for a second winter.
While much of the extra building supplies went to finish off the interior of our shabin, this scrap lumber picnic table was perfect for using up most of the remaining 2x4s.
To be honest, I’m not going to provide a plan for this particular project. It was based on the same basic picnic table that can be found in most parks and campgrounds. But if you need a plan, Ana White has a pretty good picnic table plan.
Here’s how we modified it to work with our leftover SPF 2x4s.
Most picnic tables are made with wider lumber (2x6s or 2x8s). The width provides strength, stability, and style. In general, it’s recommended that cedar be used to make picnic tables. Cedar is naturally mold and mildew resistant, which improves the longevity of outdoor furniture.
We had a pile of SPF 2x4s… so not the ideal building supplies for a picnic table that would be left exposed to the elements year-round. However, we did have experience in using cheap construction lumber to build outdoor furniture. Our narrow patio table was also made from SPF 2x4s.
Here was our design:
- The legs were made from 2×6 cedar. This was to provide the necessary strength to support the table and benches. And we happened to have 2 lengths available.
- The tabletop and benches were mostly made of 2x4s.
- Though all the wood was 8 feet long, we made the table 6 feet long. Had we gone any longer, then we would have needed an extra support leg in the centre. And we didn’t have enough wood for that. However, we also didn’t want the table to look awkwardly long next to our very tiny shabin.
- To make sure the 2×4 benches were well supported, we added extra bracing. That way no single board would take too much force.
The finishing was probably the most important piece of our design. We wanted our table to last for a really long time. So we used a penetrating oil-based solid stain. It really was the strongest and most long-lasting finish available to us.
Una decided that the table had to be blue or purple. And Max made the final choice based on the name of the colour. So we have a Spellbound Blue picnic table to go along with our Labrador Blue shabin. 🙂