Estimated Cost: $$$$
Total: 5 Hours
For this project, we combined the classic picnic table with a relaxing pair of benches to create a single multi-purpose piece of furniture. The duo presents two unique ways of enjoying the outdoors, and requires no complex cutting.
With a few angle cuts on a miter saw, the processing time is minimal. After the two bench seats are assembled, it's on to the arm assemblies and backrest.
Once the four components are complete, they are assembled together in such a way that the arm assemblies rotate to allow the backrests to become a table top.
Tackle this project if you'd like to spend a little time in the shop and extend your time outdoors. The dual function truly maximizes this piece's value, and you'll likely finding yourself switching between benches and tabletop often enough to consider building this project again for a friend or loved one.
Begin by attaching Part (A) to Part (B), ensuring the top and sides are flush, with two 2 ½" screws diagonally placed.
Secure Part (A) to Part (C) with just one screw. Pivot Part (C) until the distance between Part (B) and Part (C) is 20 ½".
Then, attach another screw to Part (A) to secure Part (C).
Place Part (D) 9" down from bottom right edge of Part (A) and secure one end.
Secure the other end after checking flush.
Repeat Steps 1-3 on another bench leg so that it mirrors the first one.
Take the new leg and place it flush with the completed leg to find placement for Part (D).
Attach Part (D) to Part (B).
Repeat the previous steps until you have two pairs of mirrored bench leg assemblies.
Space two bench leg assemblies apart the length of Part (E), and place Part (E) centered between Parts (A) and Part (D). Clamp Part (E) to Parts (B) so that it is 8 ¼" from the bottom edge of Part (B). Use two 2 ½" screws per side.
Flip the assembly over and attach another Part (E) so that it is 3 ¼" from the top of Part (C). Secure Part (F) on this side so it is 2 ¾" from Part (E). Use two 2 ½" screws per side. Repeat until you have created the second bench frame.
Next, space three Parts (H) on the work surface with their best face down and ¼" spacers in between them. Clamp the boards together, ensuring edges are flush. Secure one Part (G) centered within the Parts (H) with 2" screws.
Place a bench frame upside down on top of the bench seat you just made. Center the frame on the seat. Slide a Part (G) on the inside of the frame and attach to Parts (H) with two 2" screws per board.
Repeat on the other end.
Secure Part (G) to Part (B) and Part (C) on either end with one 2" screw, avoiding the adjacent screws on top of Part (G). Repeat on the other end.
Repeat Steps 12 — 15 to create the second bench.
Attach Part (I) to Part (J) using two 2 ½" screws. Ensure their edges are flush.
Next, flip the component so that Part (I) is on the work surface, and attach Part (K) in the same manner.
Attach Part (L) on top of Part (K).
Secure Part (I) to Part (L). Ensure the spacing is the same between Parts (L) and (J) on both sides.
After you've made four arm assemblies, sand all the Parts (l) faces with coarse/ medium grit sandpaper with a radial sander or sanding block.
Lay out three Parts (H) with ¼" spacers in between and apply a clamp to the ends. Place an arm assembly 2 ⅝" from the ends of Part (H) and ⅛" from the top Part (H)*. Clamp as needed and secure with six 2" screws.
*The two ⅛" gaps from Part (I) to the top of Part (H) add up to ¼" when placed together, and thus continue the ¼" spacing through the table top.
Continue attaching the other three assemblies until you have two completed backrests.
Orient a bench so that the angled leg is facing you. Then measure and mark a line 9 ⅝" from the front lip of the seat as shown. Do this on both ends of the bench seat.
Place the backrest assembly on top of the bench with Part (K) face down. It should be centered and placed at the line you made in the previous step. Ensure that Part (L) has some clearance at the back of the bench.
Secure just the middle screw on the top and bottom of the hinges first.
Test that the backrest pivots easily from backrest position to half-table-top position.
Then you can secure all screw holes in the hinges. Repeat the previous steps on the second bench seat to have two benches.
With the two benches facing each other, secure one end of a barrel lock onto the backrest so that it sits just shy of the edge of Part (H) as shown. Attach with provided hardware using appropriate bit.
On the facing bench, attach the receiving end of the barrel bolt using the same layout as the lock. Test that the barrel locks mate properly.
When placed together, the backrests continue the ¼" spacing through the table top. Add another bolt pair on the other end to complete the assembly.
Ease any sharp edges using a radial sander or sanding block with medium grit. Apply preferred finish to the wood.