How to Make a Simple A-Frame Picnic Table

Standard 6ft "A" Frame Picnic Table

This basic table is tried and true and has been around for many years and as a piece of outdoor furniture it will enhance your patio .. It is very simple to construct and will last for years.

It comes in many different designs. This one is made solely of 2 * 4 dressed, treated lumber.

Equipment Required

It could be made with a hand saw and miter box however it would be easier with an electric circular saw. (Or even a drop arm miter saw.)

A hammer. A square. A small hand plane. Adjustable spanner. Tape measure.

A drill with a 3/8 bit. (2 1/2 "holesaw)

Materials list

117 ft 2 * 4 "dressed treated lumber (pine)
8 3/8 "* 4" galvanized carriage bolts
Approx 110 3 1/2 "galvanized flathead nails

Cutting list

1) Seat & table top 14 pieces @ 72 "(1830mm) cut square

2) Seat supports 2 pieces @ 63 "(1600mm) 60 degrees opposite angles

3) Table support 2 pieces @ 29 "(735mm) 60 degrees opposite angles

4) Legs 4 pieces @ 33 "(840mm) 60 degrees parallel angles

5) Braces 2 pieces @ 24 "(610mm) 45 degrees opposite angles

6) Table cleat 1 piece @ 29 "(735mm) 60 degrees opposite angles

7) Seat cleat 2 pieces @ 10 1/2 "(265mm) 60 degrees opposite angles


1) Cut all the lumber as per the cutting list.

2) On a flat surface make up one of the end frames to the measurements in the diagram. Tack it together with nails.

3) Make up the second end frame so that it is a perfect match of the first.

4) If all measurements are ok, drill the 8 holes and bolt the frames together.

5) Stand the frames up with the legs on the inner side facing each other. Place one of the table top pieces on the outside edge and tack in place 7 "from the outside edge. Then tack the other outside table top board in place.

6) Check the distance between the legs. Adjust and then tack in place the 2 outer seat boards also at 7 "from the end.

7) Check for square. (Measure corner to corner.) Check to see if 8 boards are going to fit on the table top. (Some lumber varies a little in width.) If ok, nail in place all of the table top and the seats so that the 2 * 4's are hard up against each other.

8) Mark the center of the table top and fit the table cleat underneath. This is on its flat side. Nail in place from the top.

9) Mark the center of the seats and nail in place the 2 seat cleats from the top.

10) Turn the table upside down. You now need to make sure that the end frames are square and vertical. Use your square. Tack a temporary brace to make sure it does not move. Now fit the 2 braces. These you have cut to 45 degrees. One end will be attached to the seat support and the other to the 2 * 4's of the table top.

11) Turn back upright. Nail the braces from the top and the ends as well. Tidy up the furry edges with a hand plane.

12) If you require an umbrella hole you will need a 2 1/2 "hole saw to drill a hole in the center of the table.

13) Enjoy.