GARDEN TABLE
Not as difficult to make as it may look although an accurate mitre saw is essential. When finished it is approximately 39 inches (1M) across and will seat 4 people comfortably but can seat six people. Note that on this table the slats are screwed from the top while in the drawings they are screwed from the underside which will give a neater finish, especially if the table is to be varnished rather than painted.
Cut the spurs  for the table top and cut the lap joint. Assemble the two longer pieces and lay on a flat surface with the shorter pieces in place. Mark out positions for the holes but do not drill at this stage. Cut the slats for the top, ensuring that each set of six are exactly the same length and the ends are at 30. Starting with the centre segments, use a strap clamp to hold them together (a strong length of string tied around them will work just as well). Use G clamps to clamp these to the spurs positioning centrally and in line with the spurs. Also check that the distance between the ends of the spurs are equal. When all is aligned drill the holes with a suitable pilot drill for the screws taking care not to drill through the slats. Unclamp everything and drill the holes in the spurs out to the clearance size and countersink to suit the screws. Next screw the pieces together.
Now repeat this with the next set of six slats, centring to the hexagon created in the centre, continuing until the table top is complete
The sub-frame comes next, cut the pieces to length, mark out, drill and countersink the ends. The 90 lap joints can be cut before screwing the four pieces together but remember the are centred to the assembly not the individual piece. Screw the sub-frame together and mark out and cut the 90 lap joints if this has not already been done. Mark out the other joints by laying the table top face down and positioning the sub-frame centrally on this. Cut the remaining lap joints and drill for the fixing screws in the centre of each cut-out. Also drill through the corners of the frame for the leg fixing screws before screwing to the top.
With the top completed, the legs can now be made and fitted. Cut to length, make the two 45 cuts on one end and drill the holes for the cross-brace fixing screws. The holes for fixing to the top are then "spotted" through the holes already drilled in the table top frame. As each one is drilled it may be good idea to mark the legs and top to identify their positions, either by drilled dimples or notches. Once the legs have been fitted the cross-brace can be made. Measure diagonally between the legs and cut the two pieces to length to suit, then cut the lap joint in the centre of each. Drill for the cross-dowel nuts in each end and fit to the legs.

     
Cross-dowels used on legs

If the table is not to be dismantled the legs can be attached with normal wood screws instead of coach bolts and cross-dowels.

 


                                            
This completes the table apart from finish sanding ready for painting or varnishing and some adjustment to the legs if there is undue rockiness. 
To give better protection against rotting, paint the joints and all mating surfaces before assembly. 
Copyright 2005

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