(Picture of complete table)
I recently built a picnic table for our backyard. I came up with the idea while watching the movie The Descendants. The movie was so dull that I found myself contemplating whether or not it would be challenging to build the patio furniture George Clooney was sitting on in one of the more gruelling scenes. As it turns out, it was easy and it was actually a very fun project.
My first step was creating the legs. When I set it up, I realized that the legs were too short for my liking (just like counter tops, showers, basement ceilings, my desk, etc.). So I went back to the store, bought more wood and made the table a lot taller. My better half came down while I was midway through the setup and called it a "Picnic Counter." After that, I cut, drilled and assembled everything else. The dogs helped. Then I painted it.
(Picture of Simon and Emma on table)
All picnic tables share a fairly basic and similar design. There's no right or wrong way to build one, but I did deviate from most standard tables in a few areas:
1 - Avoided the use of shin-splitting extra-long bolts.
In part, this was based on the fact that lumber isn't actually the size it's referred to as (ie: a 2x4 is actually 1.5x3.5). So combining three 2x4's requires a bolt that's slightly longer than 4.5 inches, not 6 like it would seem.
2 - Spent 5 minutes sanding.
3 - Made it easy to get in and out of.
Adults of any caliber should be able to get in and out of this table with relative ease. The consequence is that it might be harder for children to use, but I see this as yet another advantage.
4- Harder for children to use.
Children will have to sit at a separate table, ideally situated across the lawn, and be obnoxious on their own. Plus, with today's brand of helicopter parenting, the kids will lure parents away from the main table, offering other guests a much-welcomed respite from those parents' stories about their kids.
(Picture of screaming child, preferably at something stupid, like a soccer match)