If you're handy with a measuring tape, a power saw and a screwdriver, then you can devise a patio table customized with your own look and embellishments. You can construct one of virtually any size or style and preserve it to last for years.
This blog post won't spend too much time on the countless design and finishing options of a patio table, and instead will use a particular table that we built as an example, and you can apply the same building principles to your own project.
The patio table shown here measured 6 feet long and was built high enough to match an existing patio bench. It’s a simple recreational table with rugged construction techniques that you can apply to a range of DIY projects around the home.
Step one: Choose the right wood. Pressure-treated lumber or Western Red Cedar are good options because they withstand the outdoor elements. Application of wood preservative can prolong the table's durability, and some products can even provide UV protection for tables exposed to direct sunlight. The table in this article was built of pine boards that were charred with a torch to preserve the wood and give it more decorative character.
You can construct the table with a variety of wood-joining techniques. This table was built primarily with pocket screws.
The table shown is built from 4x4 legs and 1x4 pine boards used as framing and cross-members.
Most of the joints were made with a combination of pocket screws and Titebond 3 wood glue (which I recommend when gluing charred wood).
To build the table with sturdy leg connections, I wrapped the tops of the 4x4s with a 1x4 box apron and inserted carriage bolts to join each leg to the apron. I strengthened the connection with wood glue to arrest any movement.
To make the corners of this short table more "shin-friendly," I use a shot glass as a marking template then rounded off the points with a jigsaw.
I installed four 1x4 cross-braces to strengthen the apron and ensure the table remained square. The cross-braces provide support for the 1x6 tabletop boards.
For the table top, I combined two 1x8 with a center 1x10. I added 1x3 stiffeners across the ends of the table-top boards and fastened them with glue and wood screws. The 1x3s will keep the board ends aligned and add strength and durability to the table edge.
Use plenty of clamps on a workbench to maintain alignment when attaching the table base to the table top.