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Voiceover: The WoodWhisperer is sponsored by Powermatic, the gold standard since 1921, and by Clear Vue Cyclones. Clear the air and breathe easy. (boppy music) Marc:Recently, my wife, Nicole, made it pretty clear that she wanted an outdoor table.
She said something like Nicole:Build me a table, all right? God! Marc:Or maybe Nicole:Build me a table, and if not for me, then for your son. Marc:Well, it could have been Nicole:Build me a table, (beep)! Marc:Well, it was something like that. Either way, I ran out to the shop and I busted out one of these. A not so rustic, rustic outdoor table. Voiceover:Made from decay-resistant Western Red Cedar, this beefy table features breadboard ends, unique design details, and 2 sturdy benches. This piece would look good in anyone’s backyard or a kitchen. Marc:This table will take a couple of weekends to build, but it’s well worth your time investment. A table like this will last you a very long time, and will serve you and your family well. Let’s build it. Voiceover:The entire project is made from 8 quarter stock, but you can substitute construction-grade lumber if you want to save a few bucks. I’m going to start by laying out and prepping the stock for the legs. I use the chop saw to break the boards down. Table leg stock is on the left, bench leg stock in on the right. The pieces are then roughly ripped in half at the bandsaw. Each piece is then jointed on one face, and then planed to thickness. Each leg is comprised of 2 pieces, so we’ll need to glue them together. Since this is an outdoor table, I’m using waterproof glue, Titebond III. You see that little glue roller? That’s actually called a brayer, and it’s usually used for spreading ink. You can buy one at amazon. com. I’m clamping 2 legs at a time here. The boards are still oversized, so I’m not too worried about alignment or the rough edges. After the glue-ups, you should have 4 long table legs and 8 small bench legs. I scrape away the dried glue, and then clean up one of the rough edges at the jointer. Back at the planer, I’ll bring each leg to final dimension; 3. 5 inches square for the table legs, and 3 inches square for the bench legs. Each leg is then cut to length at the miter saw. Now we’re going to start cutting our apron and stretcher stock. Cutting these parts is the same process as before; rough cutting at the bandsaw and making the pieces flat and square with the jointer and planer. Each piece is then ripped to the appropriate width at the table saw. With a stop in place, cutting similar parts to the same length is a piece of cake. Marc:Now let’s talk a little bit about the joinery for this project. When Nicole asked me to make this table, she made it pretty clear that she wanted it done yesterday, so speed was definitely an issue. In most cases, when it comes to joinery, speed also brings with it a decrease in quality. There are a couple exceptions in woodworking. One of those is the Festool Domino, specifically what we’re going to use is the Festool Domino XL. The XL, of course, does larger scale mortise and tenon joins, perfect for a big table like this. This is something where I don’t feel like I’m necessarily sacrificing build quality, but I’m getting a tremendous gain in speed, as you’ll see pretty soon.
Alternatives to this, because of course a Domino’s not in everybody’s budget, a great alternative are the classic dowels. If you have a simple doweling jig you can get pretty good quality, strong joins using fairly substantial dowels. That’s something to think about. Pocket screws is always an option. I’m not a huge fan of pocket screws for big structural joinery, but it certainly could be something you would want to look into. Of course, there’s the classic motise and tenon join. Way back in Episode 10, I showed you how to build with motise and tenon joins, various different options for that, and a lot of the projects we’ve done over the years have included mortise and tenon joins. Perfect option if you’ve got the time and the setup to do it. Either way, lots of options for how you join these pieces together. Keep in mind, though, if you are going to use classic mortise and tenon joinery, make your rail pieces a little bit longer. You need to account for those tenons. I’d say maybe 3 to 4 inches longer will give you the extra amount of material you need here. We’re going to start with some layout and we will plow all these mortises and this thing’s going to come together really fast. Each stretcher will receive 2 motises for 12 mm Dominos. Layout is quite simple since you can either use the center lines for reference, or simply depend on the retractable stops to help locate the tool’s position. For consistency, each piece is clearly labeled so I know which end is up and which face is out. Just like that, I’ve got a mortise. Mortise number 2 is just as fast. As you can see, the pre-made tenons fit perfectly. The legs also require mortises, and I’ll use a story stick to help me lay out the mortise locations. This tool does not come cheap, but you can see why many think it’s worth the asking price. Now let’s cut some curves. The table has a curve on the lower rails as well as the long stretchers. The benches also have a small curve on the lower rails. The small curve is laid out using a scrap strip of wood with the work-piece held between 2 [dogs]. The bulk is cut away at the bandsaw. The oscilating spindle sander does the rest of the job bringing the curve back to the pencil line. Don’t have an oscillating spindle sander? Try a shop-made flexible sanding strip instead. The first piece can now serve as a perfect template for the remaining pieces. For the curve on the table rails, use a long piece of thin scrap stock or something like this, a Lee Valley drawing bow. Even though the pieces are longer, the cutting and smoothing process is the same. Now we need to measure and cut the half-laps for the long stretchers. With the table dry assembled, and a stretcher centered across the rails, I mark the exact locations of the rail on each side. With the dado stack mounted in the table saw, I cut the half-lap in the stretcher. Using a spacer and the fence gives me perfect repeatability. A quick test fit shows that we’re in good shape. Now the bottom rails need the complimentary half-laps. These are also cut at the table saw using a very similar setup. With the half-laps cut, we can now cut the final long curve in the stretchers. For this, I use a scrap piece of hardboard. Even if the curve isn’t perfect, it’s so long and shallow that the eye will never notice. Cutting and smoothing is the same as before, only this curve is long enough to use the random orbit sander for that final smoothing. The ends of the rails receive a final decorative treatment, featuring a slight upward curve. All parts have been sanded to 220 grit and receive an 1/8 inch roundover. Now it’s time for some assembly. To make my life easier, I’m gluing the tenons into the mortises in the legs ahead of time. I then tape some scrap pieces of wood to the outside of the legs to protect the relatively soft wood from the clamp heads. I start by attaching the long rails to the legs making 2 subassemblies. Once those are dry, I drop in the top side rails. I then bring in the stretcher and side rail assembly, which is held together with some quick clamps. Now, for the other side assembly. That’s 12 perfectly sized mortise and tenon joins that need to come together. Keep your fingers crossed. Nice. A few clamps will close the remaining gaps. In preparation for attaching the top, I’m making some slots for the shop-made screw blocks. The screw blocks start off as a strip of scrap wood. I cut a rabbet into each end. At the miter saw, I cut the ends off, releasing the screw blocks. Each block is then pre-drilled and countersunk. We’ll put these aside for now. Compared to the table, assembling the benches is a cakewalk. I start with the side sub-assemblies, and then I connect them together with the long rails. (boppy music).