Harriet Outdoor Dining Table for Small Spaces

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 04/27/2011 - 08:57
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A simple, inexpensive outdoor table with modern styling that you can build in an afternoon. Seats four and features a slatted top and bottom stretcher.

The goal really with this design was to create a simple modern style outdoor table, compact design, for less than $20 in lumber - or essentially, to leave no excuses on the table - pun intended - for having a solid wood stylish outdoor table to dine on this summer. 

That's frost on our deck this morning  :)
For a beautiful stained table, use cedar. We choose pine or whitewood boards because it's like the wood siding on your home or a wood fence - if you keep the paint job well maintained, it doesn't matter what type of wood you painted over. Just make sure you apply several coats of exterior paint with a waterproof topcoat. 
 You can also use different board widths for the decking, but I would recommend staying with a board under 6" wide, giving room for water drainage.

And yes, I did make a matching chair that is all of the above (modern style, simple, economical, easy to build) and will post later this week.

Dimensions are shown above. Seats four.


Shopping List

5 - 1x3 Boards, 8 feet long
5 - 2x2, 8 feet long
2 1/2" screws or 2 1/2" pocket hole screws
2" screws

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

7 - 2x2 @ 24 1/2" (Ends/Supports)
3 - 2x2 @ 44 3/4" (Sides/Stretcher)
4 - 2x2 @ 29 1/4" (Legs)
10 - 1x3 @ 47 3/4" (Decking)

Cutting Instructions

From the 2x2s, cut one 2x2 @ 44 3/4" and two 2x2 @ 24 1/2" from three of the 2x2s to conserve lumber.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Begin by building your tabletop frame as shown above. Mark the placement of all joints and either use the Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes or a countersink bit to drill holes from the outside. Attach with 2 1/2" screws and wood glue.

Check for square, and set aside.

Step 2

Now the legs . . . build two of these in the same manner as the tabletop. If you are using the Kreg Jig, remember to keep your pocket holes to the bottom, as water could pool in exposed pocket holes, and potentially destroy your table.

Step 3

Now simply attach the tabletop frame to the legs. I just turned the whole thing upside down and got my drill out :) Use glue and 2 1/2" screws.

Step 4

The stretcher really helps to keep the base square, and to keep the legs stable. Center the stretcher on the end boards and attach with screws and glue. Check out the dimensions diagram for center measurements - it's 12 7/8" from the outsides.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
For a modern style table, make sure you fill every imperfection and knot with wood filler. Sand well.

We primed and sprayed High Gloss Enamel Ultra Pure White by Valspar on, two coats. If you do not have a sprayer, you may consider painting your boards - decking especially - before assembly, as it is very difficult to get a pretty paint job on a slatted design such as this.



Sat, 09/10/2011 - 21:54

I do not know how to get 10 3" wide boards with a spacing of 1/4 between them into a space of 27 1/4".
Is the nominal width of the boards different than the real width?



Sun, 07/19/2015 - 14:21

How much longer do you think this could be extended?  I'm looking to build a somewhat long desk for the ofice to replace a computer desk and printer stand.  It's a pretty large printer and the computer has two monitors.  I'm think of something minimalist like this, or maybe the saw horse table.


What do you think?

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