Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:02 pm

For the last twenty years I have had a little side hobby building picnic tables. These are your run of the mill six footers with attached seats. This year my neighbor who runs the little store on the corner suggested I put a couple on his lot to generate business (I’m retired, I don’t want to make this a business). So I said sure, why not. Thursday he called and said a customer wanted to know if I would build two benches to replace the ones she had with her table. I’m not really into that, but since Tony has helped me out in the past I decided to help him. I called the lady and she said her dad built her table twenty years ago and now the benches were rotting away.

She lived a couple miles down the road so I said I would stop down to take a look. They were your run of the mill benches so I said I would take one home and work up a price. I called the next day with the price and she said she decided to replace the table also. So I went back too her house and loaded the table. She said she wanted an additional 2x6 added to the top to make it wider. This thing is eight foot long so I knew I was in for some heavy moving when this baby was done.

As simple as these are, I have never built one so I measured up everything, recalculated the angles on the legs due to the additional width and threw a price at her. She said “Do it”. Deep inside I was hoping for a no go. So yesterday morning I ran over to Home Depot, loaded everything and commenced working on this little project. It took a bit longer than I planned since I never did one but it wasn’t too bad once I got going.

I dropped it off tonight. She was happy, her husband was happy and their dog barked at me. Either he was happy too or he smelled my border collies scent on me. The husband said to get ready for some more business because he come from a family of nine kids and several of his brothers have wanted new tables also. I really, really didn’t want this right now.

The whole thing was pretty much straight forward. I just used one of the old legs on the bench as a template
for the new ones. I had to play around with the table legs since it was being altered a bit from the old one.

Once completed, everything got a good sanding to remove mill stampings, pencil marks and such.

You can't see it in the photo, but there is a brace running from the X in the legs to the bottom side of the table top.

It turned out better than I thought it would. If I have more time I would probably do a couple more for others.

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:34 pm

Looking good, Bill. Wish I still had access to woodworking tools. Back in the late '70's or early '80's I built two short benches to go at either end of a six foot table. Still have table and all four benches, some have been repaired and table needs a new top. Can send paper patern if you like, pix too.

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:38 am

I'll take two sets, Bill. When can I pick them up? :lol:

A good deed never goes unpunished. :D

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:51 am

Looking good bill. I will take one as well. Do you deliver.

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:14 am

Nice work Bill !! :D
One question - where is the red paint and IH decals? :lol:

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:52 am

Hi Bill,
Being a former woodworker :roll: I admire your skills with timber. :{_}: What type of wood did you use to make the table & stools :?: and what kind of wood preservative will you put on them as they will be exposed to all weathers. :?: You have no transportation issues with that beautiful truck in the background :{_}:
A great job well done :-:-):
Donegal Cub.

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:43 pm


Very nice looking picnic table and benches. You built them right .. they seem to be well crafted with attention to those finishing details :!: These kinds of projects can make you a very popular person ... get used to it. Remember what we told you about wondering how you ever found time to go to a real job :?: :?: Well, it's already starting :lol:

I feel for you.... truly do :roll: :wink: A couple years after I retired and had recuperated enough to actually do something, I built 4 Adirondack style chairs and 4 side tables to go with them and a pair of picnic tables. Finished them with a cedar coloured water proof stain and set them on the lawn to dry. Wasn't an hour go by and I had 3 people stop in asking if they were for sale. I was not healthy enough to take on any projects like this for others so I said.. nope, not for sale. Finally doing something for my family. I could have sold a hundred sets of those or more in the ensuing years.

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:07 pm

Rudi - I have been building standard picnic tables since a friend lost his after the tornado ripped through Harrison 1990. I usually sell eight or ten a year. This was the first time I built one this style. When I gave the woman the price I told her it would include a small amount to cover my time which she agreed to. I may possibly make more of this type but I don't plan to make it a full time hobby. I only do a few of these for a little pocket change and I seldom make them after the fourth of July.

Bernard - I use normal pressure treated lumber. I never finish coat them. I always let the buyer do what they want with them. The truck has no problem hauling the tables, but the driver has a bit of a time getting these heavy babies in the back of it. :lol:

Re: Helping a neighbor. (Sort of)

Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:19 pm

Barnyard wrote:.............. The truck has no problem hauling the tables, but the driver has a bit of a time getting these heavy babies in the back of it. :lol:
Maybe you should go check BOB, isn't there a loader Cub in there somewhere???????