Step 8: Prep the Slats

routing a rabbit into the slats for a picnic bench
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Measure the openings in the tabletop frame, rabbet to rabbet, and cut the slats to length. Clamp four of the eight slats together edge to edge, then clamp the assembly to your work surface, as shown. Use the router to cut a ¾-inch-wide by ½-inch-deep rabbet across the ends of the slats. Rabbet the other end of the assembly as well as the other set of slats.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • router
      Router with a ¾-inch straight bit
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • 3/8-inch doweling jig
      -inch doweling jig. Go to Rockler
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 3/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch bit with a combination countersink
    • 1/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    1. 5/4x4. Get three 8-footers for the benches and one 10-footer for the table.

    2. 5/4x6. Get two 8-footers for the benches and seven 10-footers for the table.

    3. 5/4x10. Get one 6-footer for the table.

    4. -by-2-inch spiral-cut

    5. wood dowels

    6. exterior-grade wood glue

    7. ¾-inch brass or stainless-steel screws

    8. 1½-inch deck screws