1. Set the Tabletop
Construct your table in four phases, beginning with the tabletop. Lay the five wide slats on top of the two tabletop brace beams (see step 1 above) on your flat work surface, leaving about a screw’s-width gap between each slat to allow for drainage. The brace beams should be positioned one and a half inches from the ends of the slats on both sides, but flush to the long sides of the slats. Use your speed square to ensure that each slat is perfectly perpendicular to the brace beams before attaching. Screw the slats to the brace beams one at a time, using three screws on each end of the slat. Place the outer screws one inch from the edges of each slat, and also place one screw directly in the middle of each slat (see step 4 on next page).
2. Give It Legs
Next, you’ll construct your table’s two identical leg structures.
1) Start by laying two legs on your work surface, slanting upward toward one another in an “A” shape. Leave a six-inch gap between the inner edges of the tops of the two legs so that they will align with the tabletop’s slats.
2) Mark a spot 15 inches from the bottom of each leg on its inner edge and lay the bench brace beam across the two legs at that spot, beveled corners facing down (see step 2 above).
3) Make sure that the brace beam is centered on the legs, and use your speed square to ensure that the brace beam is level—it should create angles on the legs equal to those at the ends of the legs (60 degrees and 120 degrees).
4) Drill three screws through the brace beam into each of the two legs. Repeat the process for the opposite set of legs, maintaining an acute level of precision—two identical leg sets are the most important factors for a wobble-free picnic.