• In this video, This Old House contributor Christopher Beidel shows how to build a trestle-and-slat design picnic table and benches.

    Download and print the picnic table and benches cut list.

    1. Cut the Boards
    2. Rout the Rails
    3. Dry-fit the Tabletop Frame
    4. Draw Registration Marks
    5. Drill Holes for the Dowels
    6. Glue the Dowels
    7. Assemble the Pieces
    8. Prep the Slats
    9. Attach the Slats
    10. Lay Out the Brackets and Feet
    11. Make the Cuts
    12. Attach the Feet and Brackets
    13. Join the Leg Assemblies
    14. Secure the Stretcher
    15. Find the Location
    16. Bore Countersink Holes
    17. Attach the Foot Pads
    18. Drill Dowel Holes
    19. Make a Clamping Jig
    20. Clamp the Bench Assembly
    21. Cut the Feet and Brackets
    22. Attach the Feet and Brackets
    23. Secure the Stretcher
    24. Assemble the Bench
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Cutting and joinery are straightforward, but it's a big, multipart project.
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      Tools List

      • 30-foot tape measure
        Measuring tape
      • miter saw
        Miter saw
      • adjustable clamp
      • straight edge
      • 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
      • 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