A New Bench/Picnic Table for the Veranda

By , May 24, 2017

When I built the new veranda last autumn (see The Deck’s Finished) I knew I’d need to put off building furniture for it till spring. I just finished building the main bench, which folds out to become a picnic table.

I found these plans for the project on Buildeazy.com. I bought the plans so I could print them and haul them around the homestead with me till I completed the job. Besides, the designer is also worthy of the hire.

bench that folds out to picnic table

The new beach seats three, or one space hog (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger).

I built it over several days, working a couple hours or less at a time. I intended to haul the pieces needing angled cuts to town, where I could use a friend’s chop saw, but I did it all here, with a battery-operated Skilsaw. I only had to buy hardware, since I had all the cedar lumber I needed for the project under the cabin. I’d picked it all up over the years at garage sales and scrap sales at a local company that builds beautiful cedar hot tubs.

The completed bench folds nicely into a small table. It’s not quite as big as I’d imagined, but it’ll work well for our needs. In bench mode, the three of us can sit close but comfortable. As a table, it’ll hold all three of us and one additional person, at least.

folding out picnic table bench

Folding out the picnic table is easy as One . . . (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger).

folding out the picnic table bench

Two . . . (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger).

picnic table/bench folded out

Three! (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger).

I’m glad to move the old benches off the veranda to make way for the new bench. Soon enough, the red-blond cedar of the new bench will weather to silver, but for now, they look well together. We will either use the old benches as plant risers, or find places for them down on the beach, where we can continue to sit on them as long as they last, possible a couple more years.

Unfortunately, I discovered on Sunday that this bench isn’t as stable as the old ones—it got knocked over in a few higher gusts during a 30 knot (34+ m.p.h.) gale. We may need to consider opening it out into a table when higher winds blow.

I’d like to build another bench to make the old seating configuration. I’ve found a plan for a bench that folds out to a one-sided picnic table, which will give us a second bench shaped very much like the old ones, and offer additional table space, either for guests, or as a credenza to the new picnic table. Hopefully, I can build that quickly in the coming days, so I can return to other homestead projects that need my attention.

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