A while ago I decided to take down the fence at the bottom of my back yard and replace it with a hedge. The wooden panels were still in good condition so I took them completely apart and kept them stored in the garage, not sure whether I’d give them away or use them for something else. As it turned out it was something else. I like to have a barbecue from time to time outside and invite friends around. I have a couple of plastic tables and chairs but nothing really suitable for putting on a nice barbecue. So, my part of my old fence has become my new garden table. Here’s how:
Obviously I cut my own wood. I actually saw a picture of the type of table I wanted to build, so I came up with a plan that would enable me to use the panels that I already had. Within reason, you can change the dimensions that you cut to – if it’s your first time, ask someone who has more experience to take a look at your plan before you start cutting. This is going to be a lot easier if you use a miter saw (take a look at straightkerfs.com for some good ones).
Cut the apron ends according to your plan and with 45 degree ends. Then mark them at roughly 10-inch intervals, or whatever fits your plan, as this is where you should attach the supports. Always use glue with your screws. Most people find it easier to predrill and countersink the screw holes. Once you’ve done that you can attach the end aprons and square the frame.
Lay out the boards as they will be on the table top. Place the frame in the correct position on top of these boards, then screw them in. That’s the top of your table. You can put it to one side for now as you make the legs.
Your legs will be the outdoor ‘X’-type made of two of the longer pieces, cut according to the scale of your plan. Place one on top of the other, making sure that the angles at the end of each piece are correct. Screw them together. Do this again for the set of legs which will hold the other side of the table top up. Once you’ve done that, make sure the screw you used to attach the two pieces is on the inside (it looks better) and centre and screw the legs to the side apron.
The last piece of wood you need is for the stretcher – which keeps the legs from moving too much. Screw it to the center of the ‘X’ of each pair of legs.
Now, you’re free to paint and seal is as you see fit. I’ve done mine in dark brown with a waterproof sealant.
Now that’s one job out of the way and another created – now I have to make some chairs! I’ll get around to it some day…