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How to Build an Outdoor Table and Planter Boxes

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Build by These Winning Plans to Create a Sturdy and Stunning Outdoor Dining Table with Matching Planters of Weather-resistant Cedar

Construct beautiful DIY outdoor furniture--a wooden table and planter boxes--with cedar four-by-fours, two-by-fours, and two-by-sixes. The refined design is simple yet rather elegant for a patio table and planters, despite its stout cedar construction. The table is assembled with invisible biscuit joinery and dressed with a top coat of natural-colored waterproofing that adds gloss and a long life.

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cutting the tenons with a Japanese handsaw
Step 1

Notch out Tenons on Table Legs with a Japanese Handsaw

Cut table legs. Use a combination square to transfer the thickness and width of a two-by-four table rail to the top of each four-by-four table leg to define cut lines for tenons. Cut out the tenons with a Japanese handsaw.

assembling the table rails
Step 2

Pre-drill Countersunk Shank Holes and Assemble Table Rails

Cut two-by-four table rails for a frame and cross rail and pre-drill two equally-spaced countersunk shank holes through each end. Apply glue to joints, assemble and clamp the rails and then secure the joints by driving in screws.

butting rails against the tenons on the table legs
Step 3

Pre-drill Tenons on Table Legs and Attach to Rails

Bore shank holes through the two outer surfaces of the tenon on each leg. Butt the rails and tenons against each other to form a corner joint. Secure from the inside, driving screws through the tenons into the rails.

inserting biscuits in glued slots
Step 4

Slot Surface Planks and Assemble with Invisible Biscuit Joinery

Cut double rows of slots with a plate joiner in the ends of two-by-fours and sides of two-by-sixes for the surface planks and frame for the table top. Glue the slots, insert biscuits to join, and clamp them until dry.

securing cleats along table rails
Step 5

Secure Cleats along the Inside of the Table Rails

Cut strips of wood to install for cleats to support the tabletop. Bore clearance holes on cleats, position, glue, and screw along inside of table frame/rails. The tabletop will be attached in a later step.

popping out the cut plug with a chisel
Step 6

Cut Cedar Plugs with Special Bit to Fill Screw Holes

Use a power drill and plug cutter in a portable drill press to cut cedar plugs for filling screw holes. Pop out the cut plug with a chisel, apply glue, and insert while matching grain. Remove excess and sand smooth.

finishing the long edge of the tabletop
Step 7

Finish Framing the Tabletop and Secure It to Cleats

Add two-by-six frame pieces to the long sides of the table top, securing them with biscuit joints at the ends of the short two-by-sixes. Secure tabletop to cleats with screws. Coat the table with exterior wood protector.

nailing cedar tongue-and-groove facing on frames
Step 8

Assemble Frames from Two-by-twos for the Planter's Four Sides

Construct cedar frames from two-by-twos for the planter boxes' vertical sides. Apply construction adhesive. Attach tongue-and-groove cedar strips, nailing the first through its face and tongue and successive strips through the tongue only.

attaching four sides of planter box
Step 9

Attach Planter Box Sides to Legs and Attach Top Planks

Secure sides to legs with construction adhesive and screws, completing a four-sided frame open at top and bottom. Set the planter on its side, positioning top planks and driving screws from the inside through the frame to secure them.

setting the pressure-treated plywood liner in the planter
Step 10

Build a Liner and Fill with Potting Soil and Plants

Build a liner from pressure-treated plywood. Drill drain holes in the bottom and attach handles so the liner can be lifted out. Set liner in planter and cover bottom with landscape fabric. Add good quality potting mix and plants.

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