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.