Monday, August 16, 2010

Picnic Table

This is my first wood project ever. Actually, it's really the first time I've ever wielded a saw or a drill. So while it's not perfect, it's not a half bad attempt at teaching myself basic carpentry with the fabulous instructions by Anna at Knock off Wood.

The process:
I didn't buy the super cheap wood. It all looked warped to begin with, so I bought the whiteboard. I figured I needed all the help I could since I've never made anything before. All together, screws and everything, I think I spent $30.

I didn't have access to a good electric saw. Well, I guess I could have paid a neighbor do it for me, but I kind of wanted to "own" this first project, cutting and all. I did all of this with a hand saw and a miter box and/or a make shift "miter box imitation" for the boards that didn't fit. I don't suggest doing either of these things. It was virtually impossible to get a square, level cut. At first glance it all seemed to be just dandy, but when I started putting everything together, it was not fantastic. I had to do quite a bit of sanding to make up for my less than perfect cuts to get the legs to sit level on the ground.

I did have fun with my 2 year old.
He enjoyed watching and "helping" me make it.
I love that he knows that mommy made it and not daddy.

When I got to the last two seat boards, I forgot to pre-drill the hole. I hit a knot and busted the support. I was SO angry. So very, very angry. I cried, and yelled. Maybe even cursed. I ended up having to unscrew and pry off the support board and re-do that side. It worked out in the end, but what a pain.

Here's the complete table with the first coat of paint (goblin husband used it for a Warhammer table top, and there was a lot left over, so I figured, why not?). I will do a second coat when it cools off a smidgen. I only did the first coat so I could put it outside and reclaim my kitchen (It was in there for over a month). 107* with 50% humidity is just not ideal for working outside! It's been above 90* at night, so I don't even want to do it then. Blech. This is the time I hate living in TX.

And here are a few videos of my 1 year old enjoying the table.


  1. You should be very proud of yourself - It is awesome!! I LOVE it in the Goblin Green.

  2. It is super cute. I want to do some kind of wood project, I need to post a picture of the cupboard I got to make into a toy fridge. Its made of wood so it can count as a pre-wood project since I'm not building it, I did cut some wood to change the shape of it a bit and fill in some spaces, etc. So if you don't recommend using the saw you did, what do you recommend? Getting a power saw? You're awesome! I'd really like to build some toddler bunk beds if I felt competent in my wood skills. Will you be making anything else with wood soon? if so what?

  3. I'd recommend having Lowes or Home Depot or a competent wood working friend who has the correct tools to do the cutting if you don't have the proper tools or cutting skills.

    I would love to makes some little storage solutions for toys and some bookshelves, but Matt doesn't want me to since we don't really have a good workspace since it's so hot outside and our house isn't big or accommodating for a project like that. I'd love to try bunk beds from her site, too, but we don't need those just yet.

  4. OH, for all wood that wasn't supporting (like the table top pieces), it's perfectly ok to use a hand saw. Those didn't matter if you had a square cut or exactly the same length. But the legs and everything else, having a squared cut was essential once you put it all together.