Outdoor dining – one step forward, one step back…

The theme of this project is definitely “one step forward, one step back”.

Back in May, I thought I was well on my way to an outdoor dining table.

We finally decided on the wood species we would use for the table top. I tracked down some planks at a local lumber yard. I thought they could just plane the planks at the lumber yard and the table top would be ready to be finished. I was wrong. What the lumber yard considered “cleaned up” was no where near cleaned up enough for a table top.


So, they referred me to a local woodworker. Well, that woodworker came through. The white oak planks for my outdoor dining table are perfect! They are beautiful – all the same length and thickness, smooth radius edges all around, nicely sanded. He says that I should do a light hand sanding on one side. I will follow his instructions before finishing the wood. Though, I could probably get away without doing any sanding. The planks are that smooth.


One step forward.

The wood planks are different widths so I needed to decide if there was a particular design that I liked best. I laid out the planks in different order with different spacing. I had the cat vote. She preferred this version which also happens to be the version I like!


Next step is to get the base done. I want something interesting, something different, something unique. I thought it would be easy to get some custom furniture maker or metal fabricator interested in creating my outdoor dining table. I was wrong.

One step back.

I started the search a month ago. These are the specifications I have sent out – including the attached sketch:

  • I’ve got 4 white oak planks for the top of the table. All are 90” in length. All are random widths – 8”, 6 7/8 “, 5 1/8”, 7”. All are 1 5/16” thick.
  • That is about 27” inches worth of wood width for the table top. I was hoping for about 38” wide for the top. So, I need about another 11” of metal and spacing to fill in the difference (I was thinking only 1/4” between planks). I am leaning towards varied metal strips to separate the wood planks.
  • I prefer asymmetry on the table top for some interest if possible.
  • I was hoping for a natural steel look if that is possible with stainless steel. Stainless steel because I am hoping for minimal rust being that it is an outdoor table.
  • We were thinking that we would also like the table on locking casters. We would like the top of the table at 29-30” from the floor.
  • The total length of the table should be anywhere between 90” (the length of the white oak planks) – 96” maximum.
  • Finally, I was hoping for an easy way to attach the white oak planks to the top of the table.
  • I was thinking about picnic table X type legs.
  • I am open to suggestions.

Table top 2

So far I have struck out with getting anyone to want to take on the job.

I had hoped to have an outdoor dining table by now.

I continue to be in search of someone willing and able to help me complete my outdoor dining table.

I am not giving up – dang it!