Another Redwood Project

This was what dad & I built last weekend. Would have been nice to have him back this weekend to project manage once again, along with mom, but they’re getting ready to head out any day now with the 5th wheel for two weeks, so they weren’t up to it. Had I told dad what I had in mind, I know he’d have come anyway, so I didn’t. I know mom wanted to stick around home, so I left well enough alone.

So here’s where it begins, with a load of construction grade heart redwood (conheart); 2×6 & 2×4, all 8 footers.


So, what’s it gonna be? Any guesses? More photos & descriptions below the fold.


Rotor takes time out from stalking squirrel & other small prey to have a look at what I’m up to. Nuke doesn’t much care for the noise of construction, so she remains well clear.


It just won’t do to have visible hardware on the table top, so the drill bit with the tape is the mark to drill down such that the 3 1/2″ #10 screws will go just far enough, but not too far. Then, of course, the carriage bolts are recessed, such that my guests don’t come away with cuts & scrapes.


So I guess that by now it’s pretty obvious I’m building a picnic table, plans for which were easily obtained in a 5 second Google search only moments before heading out to get materials. I did a number of mods, like for instance redwood instead of pine, all screws & bolts instead of nails, and I used 2×6 instead of 2×4 for the table top, and two 2×6 for the benches instead of a single 2×10 called for in the plans. I also knocked off all the corners where people tend to get legs & clothes caught on.


When working alone, one has to improvise clever ways to hold things prior to permanent fastening.


Diagonal braces installed, and now it’s time to flip over, install two 2×4 support braces beween the seat stretchers on both sides, then the last four 2×6 for the seats. And…


There she is, freshly sanded & washed. It’s a real tank, I’ll tell ya. Solid. Total lumber and hardware cost, about $350, give or take. Pine would be lots less. It’s 8 feet long and will easily accommodate 10 people. I build it right off the back door, which is right off the kitchen. Total build time about 6 hours. Progress slowed considerably yesterday afternoon, once I began pouring scotch. Here’s a final view.


Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Richard Nikoley on July 27, 2008 at 17:14


    Buddy. Well, I bought some lemon oil today, for both this and the kitchen counter tops, which you know, having been up here.

    To my mind Teak is a far different animal and can be safely weathered with, preferably, nothing but an annual sanding. Some of the boards were very wet owing, probs, to being in the stack at the yard. I want to let them dry out for a few weeks, and then apply the oil to the table top, benches and maybe a few other areas. It's more about protection from permanent food stains than protection from elements.

    We'll need to exercise care next weekend when we head up, which I'm already looking forward to.

  2. Lute on July 27, 2008 at 15:48

    Beautiful job, looks to me like my help was not needed. Except with the scotch maybe, ha?

  3. robert chon on July 27, 2008 at 16:45


    Looks great.

    I know that redwood, like cedar or teak can be left untreated. Are you planning on treating the piece?

  4. Matt on August 1, 2008 at 23:53

    Very nice bench! That is excellent worksmanship, seems like a fun outdoor activity. Nice job again!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.