How To Make a Small Picnic Table From Scrap Wood

  • By: Monica Shulz

A small, foldable picnic table is an excellent aid you can conveniently take on trips, hikes, and all other outings. It can help you hold drinks, food, and other items quite comfortably.

So, in this article, we’ll show you how you can create an awesome small picnic table cost-effectively from scrap wood.

What You’ll Need

To create the foldable picnic table, you’ll need a few items. They include:

  • A ½ inch thick piece of scrap wood
  • Four hinges
  • Wood paint

Once you’ve rustled all these up, let’s start building!

Cut Out a Blank for The Tabletop

Using a pencil, mark out a 400mm x 400mm section on the ½ inch thick piece of wood. Cut it out with a table saw.

Be careful when using the saw to avoid injury to your hands.

Create a Cutting Jig

To cut a circular tabletop shape from the wooden blank, you must create a jig. To create one, you’ll need a blank piece of wood, at least the same size as the tabletop blank.

Mark a point at least 150mm from its edge. Using a bandsaw, cut a straight groove on the blank to where you marked it.

Now, remove the blank and measure a point 200mm (half of the tabletop) from where you marked it. Mark the point and drill it halfway through.

 We’ll call this point C.

Cut Out the Circular Tabletop From The Blank

Draw a line to join the corners of the tabletop blank using a steel rule or a straight piece of wood. The point where these lines intersect is the center of the blank.

At this point, drill it halfway through. We’ll call this point D.

Insert the cutting jig back into the bandsaw through the groove you cut on it. Be careful not to go past that groove. Insert a nail with the head cut off or any other small rod into point C.

Now, place the blank’s point D onto the rod on point C. Make sure both surfaces are flush. Now, slowly rotate the tabletop blank against the bandsaw and cut out the circular shape.

Drill Some Cupholders

Measure and mark a spot 40mm from the table’s edge on the centerlines you drew earlier. Repeat this for all centerlines.

Using a 30mm diameter hole saw attachment, drill all holes through at the four points where you marked.

Cut Out a Bottle Holder

Select a spot right in the middle of two cup holders and mark it. Make sure the spot you mark is at least 3 inches away from the edge.

Using a 41/3 inches hole saw, drill a hole right through the tabletop.

Cut Out an Entry Point for The Cup Holder

Draw two lines parallel to the centerlines on both sides of it. The lines should be at a distance of about 2mm to the centerline.

Using a bandsaw, cut through the lines till you reach the cupholders. DO this for all four holes.

Sand The Tabletop’s Surface

Sanding the tabletop’s surface will eliminate wood chips and splinters and make it more receptive to finishes like paint and varnish. So, go over the tabletop’s surface with an electric sander to clear all the imperfections.

Chamfer The Tabletop’s Edges

Chamfering helps get rid of the sharp edges on the tabletop, giving it a more even finish. So, add a chamfer to the table’s edge using a handheld router with a chamfering bit.

Do the same for the Bottle Holder holes.

Cut Out the Table Legs

Grab the ½ inch thick piece of wood and place it on the workbench. Cut two 2cm wide sections from it using the table saw.

Angle your cutter at 15 degrees to the vertical and cut a little piece off the top of both sections. With the cutter at the same angle, cut four 250mm long table legs from both pieces.

Add Hinges to The Table Legs

Take one of the table legs and clamp it to the workbench. Place a hinge on the protruding side of the angled edge.

Place another table leg against the edge to ensure the hinge is in the correct position. Secure the hinge by drilling in two screws. Do this for all the table legs.

Join The Table Legs to The Tabletop

Take your tabletop and place it flat on the workbench. Make sure the chamfered surface is the one on the workbench.

Using a meter rule, draw a square that touches each cupholder hole. On the line that passes through the bottle holder, that’s where you’re going to place the first set of legs.

Place one leg on either side of the bottle holder and make sure they are on the line. Also, make sure the angled edge is flush against the tabletop. Screw the hinges into place.

Once you’ve attached the first set of legs to the tabletop, fold them down. Place the second set of legs inside the first leg.

Make sure their hinges are placed correctly on the opposite line. Secure them by screwing in the hinges.

Add Braces to The Table Legs

Braces help stabilize the legs of the table and, in this case, also provide a resting place for bottles on the table. Measure the distance between both sets of legs on both sides of the table.

Cut a 2mm wide piece of wood equal to these distances. While both legs are folded down, glue and nail the braces to the leg.

Secure the braces with clamps until the legs dry. Make sure you leave enough clearance between both braces to avoid them intersecting.

Paint The Picnic Table

Your picnic table is almost complete; all it needs is a coat of paint. You can paint the picnic table in any color you want.

You can even coat it in varnish, primer, or any other finish you like!

Final Product

Your mini picnic table is finally complete! You can take this beauty on hikes, picnics, and other outings.

You can get more ideas for amazing DIY crafts at the Visiting The Master YouTube Channel. You can also check out his Visiting The Master page on Yandex.

Photo by Visiting the master / CC BY 3.0