Picnic Table and Benches

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List

    Metal components (see cut list in procedure step 1)

  • 2” x 2” HSS Welded Steel Tubing (0.120 Thickness)
  • 1” x 1” HSS Welded Steel Tubing (0.120 Thickness)
  • 1.5” x 1.5” Hot Rolled Angle Iron (0.125 Thickness)
  • Wood components (see cut list in procedure step 1)

  • 2x6 Cedar (or alternative softwood)
  • 2x4 Cedar (or alternative softwood)
  • Fasteners, etc.

  • 22 sets of ¼” Galvanised Carriage Bolts, Washers and Nuts
  • 12 pieces of 2”x 2” plastic Square Tube Caps
Tool list
  • Tape Measure
  • Speed Square
  • Torpedo Level
  • Mitre Saw or Handsaw
  • Hacksaw
  • C Clamps and Bar Clamps
  • Welding machine, rod or wire
  • Hammer
  • Centre Punch
  • Drill and 1/4” drill bit
  • 5” grinder
  • Grinding disks
  • Orbital Sander &/or Sanding Blocks
  • 100 and 180 Grit Sandpaper
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Socket set and Ratchet
  • Tremclad Rustoleum Spray Paint
  • Wood Varnish &/or Stain
  • Paint Brush
  • Dust Masks
  • Face Shield
  • Gloves
Procedure

    Cut list

  1. Table cut list - 4 pieces of 2x2 HSS 28 ½” in length - 2 pieces of 2x2 HSS 21 ½” in length - 1 piece of 2x2 HSS 64” in length - 2 pieces of 1.5x1.5 Angle Iron 25 ½” in length - 5 pieces of 2x6 Cedar (or equivalent) 78” in length
  2. Bench cut list - 4 pieces of 2x2 HSS 16” in length - 2 pieces of 2x2 HSS 7” in length - 1 piece of 1x1 HSS 46” in length - 2 pieces of 1.5x1.5 Angle Iron 11” in length - 2 pieces of 2x6 Cedar (or equivalent) 62” in length - 1 piece of 2x4 Cedar (or equivalent) 62” in length
  3. Measure, Mark and Cut the HSS and Angle Iron to length using a hacksaw and following the cut list above. Alternatively, the material can be ordered pre-cut eliminating this step.
  4. Layout a pair of table legs (28 ½”), a lower cross member (21 ½”) and a piece of angle iron (25 ½”) on a welding table following Drawings 1 and 2 (see project photos). Clamp pieces in place.
  5. Tack the four pieces together then check to ensure nothing has moved before welding in place.
  6. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side of the table.
  7. Stand the two pairs of legs up, check for plumb and square and then tack the bottom rail (64”) in place. Double check that all is plumb and square then weld all the way around each joint.
  8. Layout a pair of bench legs (16”), a lower cross member (7”) and a piece of angle iron (11”) on a welding table following Drawings 3 and 4. Clamp pieces in place.
  9. Tack the four pieces together then check to ensure nothing has moved before welding in place.
  10. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other side of the bench.
  11. Stand the two pairs of legs up, check for plumb and square and then tack the bottom rail (46”) in place. Double check that all is plumb and square then weld all the way around each joint.
  12. If making a second bench, repeat steps 6 – 9.
  13. Measure and mark the drill hole locations in the angle iron. Ensure that these holes will line up with the centre points of each of the 2x6s and 2x4s of the table and bench(es).
  14. Hammer a slight indentation at each drill hole location with a centre punch.
  15. Drill holes using a ¼” bit.
  16. Lightly grind &/or wire wheel all welds.
  17. Sand all surfaces with 100 grit sandpaper then wipe dust off using a cloth. This will help ensure a good bonding surface for the paint.
  18. Spray paint using Rustoleum. Two light coats are preferable. Spray outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
  19. Measure, mark and cut 5 pieces of 2x6 for the table top each to a length of 78” using a mitre saw or, alternatively, a mitre box and handsaw.
  20. Sand any rough spots or edges until smooth.
  21. Dry fit the table top and mark the locations for the carriage bolts on the 2x6s.
  22. Drill the holes in the 2x6s using a ¼” bit.
  23. Apply one coat of varnish on all wood surfaces. Allow 24 hours for complete drying.
  24. Lightly sand using 180 grit sandpaper.
  25. Attach table top pieces with ¼” galvanised carriage bolts.
  26. Apply a second coat of varnish on all exposed wood surfaces. Allow 24 hours for complete drying.
  27. Insert plastic tube caps and gently tap into place with hammer and a block of wood.
  28. Measure, mark and cut 2 pieces of 2x6 and one piece of 2x4 for the bench top each to a length of 62” using a mitre saw or, alternatively, a mitre box and handsaw.
  29. Repeat steps 18 – 25 above.
  30. Plan BBQ or other suitable event to initiate your comleted project.
Extension Challenges
  1. Design your picnic table and benches to be left outdoors and secured in place: design a concrete pad to attach the table and benches to, either by setting the legs themselves in the concrete (making each leg longer and adding a horizontal bolt to anchor them), or by using breakaway nuts to fix the legs to bolts set in concrete.
  2. Build a picnic table and benches to donate to your local park, elementary school, women's shelter, community centre, etc.
  3. Incorporate the salvaging and reclaiming of wood to cut costs, as well as learn how to deconstruct structures and/or mill and dry wood such as driftwood or blow-down.
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