3. Lock It In

You’ve got your tabletop and leg sets; now it’s time to lock them in and create a freestanding structure. With your tabletop upside down and flat against your work surface, place your leg structure upside down inside of the tabletop brace beam, aligned with the two next-to-center tabletop slats. Drill three screws inward from the outer surface of the tabletop brace beam, keeping the legs as perpendicular as you can. Repeat on the opposite end for the second leg structure. The most important structural elements of this table are the diagonal brace beams (see step 3 on the previous page) that run between the tabletop and the bench brace beams on either side. They pull the structure together and secure the lasting perpendicularity of the legs to the tabletop. Align each of the beams between the middle of the center tabletop slat and the middle of the bench brace beam, drilling two screws at each attachment, perpendicular to the diagonal beam’s 19-inch side.

4. A Place to Sit

Now that you have your basic structure, turn it onto its feet and lay your bench slats. Each bench will consist of a narrow and a wide slat, with the wide slat on the outside, flush with the outer edge of the bench brace beam. There should be a small gap between the inner slat and the table’s legs on both ends.

The final step? Have a seat, crack a beer, and prepare to regale backyard dining guests with the story of one lazy afternoon when you built this charming, rugged dining space with your bare hands.