Octagonal Picnic Table

For her birthday this year, Dad bought Mom a beautiful cedar gazebo to go out by the pool, replacing an ugly blue canvas tent that had stood there since they'd purchased the house 6 years ago. Appointed the task to furnish it, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to construct one of the octagonal picnic tables I'd long admired, ever since first encountering one in the outdoor picnic area in front of Book People, where I used to work. I looked around on the web, and was pleased to find free plans for a very similar model available at BuildEazy.com.

Dad and I followed their plan very closely; the only change we made was to double up each table leg to enhance the symmetry of the finished design. We had to buy two additional 8-ft 2x4s to accomodate this modification. The stain we used, the same as that with which the gazebo itself had been finished, was sprayed on, and the excess wiped off with rags The project took about 20 man-hours.


melody said...

Good choice on the double-legs. Looks much better that way. :D Very nice!

melody said...

Check out this table...thought it was a neat idea. And fairly cheap and easy to make, I'd think. Doubt it's cheap at this place though, haha. http://www.lofthomedecor.com/furniture26.htm

Give me a shout if you know of any good bed shopping places. Thinking maybe Copenhagen. I'll just sell them my first born or something. That ought to do it.

sean michael ragan said...

Thanks as always for your comments, Mel. Hope you're doing well.

That table is pretty cool. And yes, I think it would be easy to make so long as you don't try to duplicate the endangered prohibited recycled brazilian hardwood that they claim to have used to build it! If you wanted to build one out of oak or something, though, I bet we could put our heads together and figure out an easy way to do it. All you really need is a display-top table; then you just fill it with rocks.

Platform beds are easy to make oneself. If you want traditional styling with visible legs and a headboard and/or canopy, etc., it starts to make sense to buy one. I think I'd start with Craigslist; lots of people moving in this town and not wanting to take their beds with them.

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

melody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maya said...

This is really cool.

Also, I like that you used the word "man-hour". It made me picture you as some kind of alpha male lumberjack performing various feats of strength.

"Mister, can you help me to twist this stop sign in to the shape of a pretzel?"

"Certainly, little lady. That shouldn't take more than a half man-hour or so."

sean michael ragan said...


Glad to hear from you little lady. How did you know about my stopsign pretzel idea? I must have told you in a drunken stupor at some point.

I sent you an e-mail recently gloating about Stephen Colbert's presidential bid. Did you not get it? Or did you just not reply out of pity? Anyway I hope you're doing well. Are you coming back soon? E-mail me when you get a chance.


Matthew said...

any chance I could get the Table construction plans? I was hoping to build one as a wedding gift for my sister

sean michael ragan said...

The plans are at


The only change I made was doubling up the leg members for symmetry.

Matthew said...

looks good