Picnic Table Project – Check!

It is a miracle! I can check another completed project off my To Do List. Exciting!

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Our outdoor dining table is finished and ready to picnic on! It isn’t quite picnic weather yet here in Colorado, but I did want to give a quick progress report – because it feels good to get stuff done!

Hang on to your horses and get ready for the outdoor dining table ride – it was a bit bumpy…

First, we decided on a wood species. Here is why we chose white oak. The planks for the table top weren’t quite what I expected initially.

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Luckily, I was able to find a woodworker who was able to provide perfectly planed planks. I was excited!

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Then, we had to come up with a design – specifically created to accommodate the above mentioned white oak planks and other custom specifications. It was a process

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I finally found a local metalworker to create the base I wanted. It was supposed to arrive in August. It actually arrived in October. We did a quick fit test to confirm that all was well. It was. I was excited!

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For the wood we debated two different finishes – just Watco Danish Oil (on the left) or the cedar stain oil finish we use on our wood doors (on the right).

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We opted for the cedar stain oil finish. It has a warmer tone, adds a little color to the white oak, and compliments the other wood around our outdoor space.

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Then, the project came to a standstill. Tad felt like the table base wasn’t sturdy enough and needed some sort of additional support. The base was a bit wobbly, but I thought it would stiffen up once we secured the wood top planks. I also decided it needed a cover to protect the wood top from the winter elements. I hadn’t anticipated that. So, between the wobbly base problem and the lack of a protective winter cover – the finished wood went back into the garage for 5 months. I was not excited.

This was the last update you saw on this project. I walked by this unfinished project every day for 5 months – usually several times per day. It mocked me – every single day…

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Finally – a warm March weekend – I was excited! The protective winter cover had been ordered, made, arrived, and was ready for use. Despite the wobbly base problem, Tad and I agreed to just get the wood top planks installed and problem solve the “racking” afterwards. 48 pilot holes drilled. 48 stainless steel screws. 192 stainless steel washers – 2 different sizes. Only two trips to the home improvement store – because I initially miscalculated the number of washers needed. Just to clarify. It’s not that I don’t know how to multiply or count. I do. I just thought we needed only 2 washers per bracket/screw hole to make the wood level with the metal strips. We needed 3 per hole.

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Finished. Exciting!

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It comfortably seats six people – as planned. Exciting!

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The wood tone of the table top works well with the fir doors in the space – as planned. Again – Exciting!

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Oh – and the wobbly, “racking” base problem is no more. Securing the planks to the base fixed that. It is safe and sturdy. No additional support needed. I’ve mentioned that detail to Tad multiple times – because I am not right very often. I was right on this one. I won’t soon forget this victory. Doubly exciting!

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Sadly, though. It is only March. March is reportedly the snowiest month of the year here in Colorado. So, the tabletop is safely tucked under it’s protective cover – waiting until the last snow of the season flies – and spring finally arrives.

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For the final time (at least in reference to this post) – Exciting!