The ULTIMATE Picnic Table (Cup Holders Included)


In today’s video,
we’re going to be showing you how to build the ultimate picnic table. Not only is it weather proof, but it also has a built-in cooler,
cup holders, and condiment trays. [Captions by Judy V. at Y Translator]
[Music] [Music] Here’s the supplies we’re going to
need to get started on this picnic table. We’ve got five boards
of composite deck material. This is sort of like MDF,
if it were made out of plastic. It’s textured to look like wood, is extremely durable, and is pretty much
completely weatherproof. Each of the boards
I have is 8 feet long, and they are the same
width as a 2×6 board after it’s been planed down. I’ve got five 2×4’s
that are 8 feet long, and I have two 1×4’s
that are 8 feet long. We have some regular
2 and 1/2 inch screws, some 1 and 1/2 inch screws, and some 2 and 1/2 inch deck screws, which are specifically designed
to work with this composite material. I also have a scrap piece of board
that’s one quarter of an inch thick, and that will be used for
spacing out our other boards. To help with the structural
integrity of this build, we’ve also got some
3 and 1/2 inch bolts, and the washers and nuts
that fit onto those. Here’s the basic idea. The general design is
a straightforward picnic table, but we’re making some improvements. The tabletop and benches will be
made from weatherproof decking boards. Added supports under
the table will hold a plastic tub that acts as a drink cooler, and we’ll add closable cup holders, and two small removable
baskets to hold condiments. Let’s start by cutting
all of the major pieces that we’re going to
need for this bench. First up is our composite board, and we need nine pieces
that are 4 feet long. These boards are almost
exactly 8 feet long, but they have enough extra that
we’ll probably do a little bit of trimming. [Music] There are several pieces that
we need to cut out of our 2×4’s. The first is the legs, and for that, we need four
pieces that are 29 inches long. [Music] For the support pieces
that run parallel to the ground, and hold up the benches, we’ll need to cut two pieces
that are 51 and 1/2 inches long. [Music] We need two pieces
that are 28 inches long, and those will hold together
the top surface of our table. Finally, we need one piece
that will run crosswise, and that will act
as a lateral support. That needs to be 37 inches long. [Music] With all of our pieces cut, we now need to start
getting ready to assemble. The first pieces
were going to need are five of the composite boards, and our two 28 inch 2×4’s. These two 28 inch pieces
will work as supports for the five slats that
are the very top of the table. To avoid cutting and scraping knees
while sitting down at the table, we want to modify
the two side supports by cutting some 45 degree
angles into the ends of them. After adding the cuts,
our two supports will end up almost trapezoid shaped. Although I’m not going to try
and make the cut come all the way to the exact corner. To add a little bit
of strength to it, we’re going to have
our cut end right about here, leaving maybe a third,
quarter of an inch, about a centimeter at the bottom. So we’ll have a cut,
something like that. [Music] We’re going to be attaching
the five composite planks into these 2×4’s using
screws going down from the top. So we now need to line them up, just in the right spot on top of these beams, and spaced out just
the right amount. We want this support to be
4 inches in from the end of our board. Our scrap of 1/4 inch board
is going to be cut up, and we’re gonna
use that as spacers, to make sure that the slats are
evenly spread out across our table. [Music] We’ll start by securing
one board on this end, and then making sure
everything is pressed together, spaced out just right. Secure the other
board on the other end, and then secure two
of them in the middle. For the moment, we’ll leave
the very center board unsecured. [Music] Alright. [Music] With the four Corners attached, we’re now going to move
to the second boards in. For the moment, we’re not
going to attach our center board because we still need
to alter it a little bit, as we build the cooler
that goes into this table. Although we don’t want to
screw the center board down yet, we do want to pre-drill the screw holes. [Music] The reason we didn’t
screw down the center board is because we’re going to be
putting a cooler into this picnic table. We need to cut a slot
into this top center board that will allow us to
access the cooler down below. What we’re using for our cooler
is this plastic planters trough that I got at Home Depot
for about 8 bucks. This planter box is
25 and 3/4 of an inch long, and approximately 5
and 3/4 of an inch wide. This size of planter box works very well because it’s with
is almost identical to the space between two of
these boards if one is removed. We now want to cut
the length of board out of the center of this one
that matches the length of our planter. Some quick math shows
that we should come in 11 and 1/8 of an inch from either side. [Music] With our center board cut,
we can now replace the spacers, and use a couple of screws
to hold the end pieces where they belong. [Music] These end pieces are pretty
sturdy just as they are, but they are going to get a little bit
of additional reinforcements from below. We need to add some
supports on the bottom that will hold the
center top board in place, as well as holding our trough
right where we want it for our drinks. We’ll set up two
pieces of our 1×4 board, one on each end. That’s what’s going
to support our center board when it’s covering the cooler. We’ll take a piece
that’s just the right length, and make it overlap the gap
by about 1/2 of an inch. Let’s cut two
pieces of our 1×4 board that are 12 and 7/8 of an inch long. [Music] We’re using that length
because we should be able to fit two additional pieces
of our board right on the edges, and have it all lined up with the hole. At this point, we don’t want
to use our decks screws because if we did, they would just stab
the top of our table. That’s a terrible table. Tables shouldn’t stab you. These 1 and 1/2 inch screws
should be the perfect length. [Music] Our cooler will be able
to slide into place. So, the two sides will
have supports, as well as the back. To do that, we need three pieces
that are 24 and 1/4 inches long, and four pieces that
are 5 and 1/2 inches long. [Music] While it may not
be totally necessary, just to give ourselves
some cleaner edges, let’s trim off the excess from these 1×4’s. [Music] We’re using 2 and 1/2 inch screws,
which should be long enough to reach all the way
through these three boards, and just barely into
the composite board below. To be sure this bottom piece is
well secured to the surface of our table, we’ll use a few of the short screws on
here before we attach the other two pieces. [Music] Our cooler trough can now
easily slide in and out of place, and is held on quite
stably on three sides. The top of our table is constructed. We have a removable center panel
that allows us access down into the cooler, which slides in and out of place
for easy draining and washing. So now, it’s time to turn
this table top into a full table. The next step is to add some legs. Four of them in fact. I find that’s a good
number for picnic tables. So, it’s time to grab
the four 29 inch pieces of 2×4. These four legs will
go on at an angle attached to the cross pieces
that run the width of our table. Right now though, they don’t
sit very flush up against anything, so we want to cut all
of the ends at 30 degrees. When we cut these cross pieces, we made them both pointing
up in the same direction, giving us a sort of trapezoid shape. With the legs, we’ll switch it up, and all of the angles
will go the same direction, giving us more of a parallelogram. This time, we are going
to aim for the very corner rather than going
up about a centimeter. These legs will be installed so that the outside
corner of one angle lines up with the end of
the flat portion of the board. To attach each leg,
we’ll use one screw to start, and then two carriage bolts
to really hold it in place. The screw is really just so
we have an easy way of holding the leg right where we want it
as we drill the holes for the bolts. To keep the leg in place as
we pre-drill and screw in our screw, it can help to grab one of
the pieces that we just cut off the end. [Music] Our picnic table now has legs, which I think most people would agree
is an important part of a picnic table. One quick note, if you build
a picnic table that’s going to be outside, somewhere it’s going to get wet, or especially if it’s
going to sit on grass or dirt, you’ll want to make the
legs out of treated lumber, not the regular 2×4’s
that you see me using here. Treated lumber has chemicals
embedded inside it, that help prevent rot,
and bugs, and fungus, which is going to be important
if the legs are going to be sitting on wet ground. We now need to add some supports
that are going to hold the seats up. Those will run along the legs, and stick out the sides. That’s the two 51 and 1/2 inch
pieces we cut from our 2×4’s. We’ll want to measure so that’s
9 inches from the bottom of the feet, to the bottom of this board. And of course, we need
to make sure it’s level all the way across. This is what the benches
are going to be attached to, so if they’re at a weird angle, someone’s going to be falling
off the back of the table, and someone’s going to
be falling in to the table. That’s no good. It’s not starting at zero,
which is why it’s not ending it 9, it’s going from 1 to 10. Similarly to the cross pieces that
are holding up the top of the table, we want to take off the corners, making this into a
sort of trapezoid shape. Once again,
this isn’t structurally necessary, it just makes it
less likely for you to like, scrap a knee or leg
while getting onto the bench. [Music] We do need to make sure that
this cross piece is evenly centered. We don’t want to have
three planks on one side, and one on the other. We’re going to line
this up the best we can, we’ll clamp that in place, pre-drill,
and add one screw, and then we’ll use a level to
make sure the support is balanced just the way we need it. Just like in the
cross pieces of the top, we’ll use two bolts to connect
the leg to the support beam. [Music] With those cross beams attached, we have one remaining piece of our 2×4, and that’s the 37 inch piece, and what we’re going
to do with that is span the gap between the two supports we just installed, and add some screws to make it so our bench doesn’t shake
back and forth very much. [Music] [Music] Okay guys, time to
learn from my mistakes. I said before that
we needed to have 9 inches from the feet of the table up to this bar, and then I proceeded to attach
this beam on the wrong side of the 9 inch mark. Meaning that this whole setup
was one 2×4 width too low, too close to the ground. Leaving it like that
would cause a lot of problems, so I had to undo
the screws, and bolts, and lower it back down into place. With that sorted out,
let’s flip our table over, and add the benches. [Music] That is an assembled picnic table. It’s got a top. It’s got benches, and it’s honestly really sturdy. Now, this picnic table
is a mid-sized picnic table, which means if you
are over 6 feet like I am, it may be a little short, you know, my knees don’t
fit underneath it super well. This isn’t really meant
for full size adults, which I like to pretend
that I am sometimes. But, we do have a few more
little things that we need to add on to it still. So, let’s take it off
of the workbench, put it down at ground level, and see what we can do. Now, we know that we have
a cooler in the middle of our table, but at the moment,
it’s a little tricky to get to. There we go. Let’s drill a hole big enough
that we can reach through the board, and lift this out. [Music] With that hole drilled in the center, it’s a lot easier to access the cooler, and put the lid back on
right where you want it. I want another small addition, that will work as a sort of
condiment or accessories holder. I want these little trays
to be able to stay right at the edge of the table, so we can put you know ketchup,
mustard, or whatever we want in them. They should also be removable
so that when we’re not using them, you can just take them off, and drop them down into
the cooler for storage. Our goal with the trays
is going to be to drive two screws into the sides of the board, so that just the head is sticking out. We then want to be
able to put the trays on, and drop them down, which means we need
to make a small hole, and a small slot that will
fit over the neck of a screw. These plastic containers are actually
sold as desk organizing containers. I grabbed them at Walmart
for about 4 bucks each. This screw bit is just barely
larger than the head of this screw, so, if we put a hole
into the [inaudible] with this, it should fit over nicely. [Music] Excellent. To make the slot that will drop
down onto the neck of the screw, let’s hit this screw with a blowtorch, and then just melt our
slot right into the plastic. That way we’ll know
it will fit just right. [Music] Now, we can mark on the table
where we want the screw to be attached. [Music] Our condiment containers are working well. They’re easy to
put on and take off, and they store nicely
inside our cooler. But there’s still one more little
element that I want to add onto that, and that is cup holders. I have these 2 and 1/2 inch grommets that are designed for
cable management through a desk. But I also think they could
make some pretty slick cup holders if we just drill into the table, and apply these things. [Music] If you aren’t interested in
using the composite decking material that I built these surfaces out of, you can do the whole thing out of wood. A 2×6 board will be the same width, and just a little bit
thicker than these boards. This same design
should scale up nicely if you prefer the 6 foot long
full-size picnic table, rather than the mid-size
table that this one is. [Music] This is a good sturdy
picnic table design, and because the benches
and the tabletop are completely weatherproof, it should last for quite a while. Guys, there’s still more for you to see. That little box up at the top will
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