Octagon Picnic Table Plans
Of the many types of picnic tables available for your purchase or construction, the octagon picnic table is one of the most popular. Here is how you can build your own octagon picnic table for your backyard.
How to Build an Octagon Picnic Table
Picture the table pieces from a set of octagon picnic table plans as a pie. The 8 pieces of the pie are all identical and they are made up of several other pieces to make the whole.
You will use all pressure treated lumber for this project.
4 each 2" x 6" x 10′
8 each 2" x 6" x 8′
4 each 2" x 4" x 8′
1 each 2" x 4" x 10′
1 each 2" x 4" x 12′
1 lb. #16 galvanized nails for nailing the center frames together
5 lb. 2-1/2" galvanized screws
Hammer, miter saw, miter box, drill, measuring tape, sandpaper, carpenter pencil
To cut the 2 x 6’s for the tabletop and the seating, you will need to set your miter saw on 22.5 degrees. Lay the boards on their sides to make these cuts. You will cut 8 sets of boards. When you are finished, you will have 56 pieces, and each set will have 5 boards for the tabletop and 2 for the seat.
Each board will have the angle cut on each end so that when you look down on it, the angle will come in from both sides, making each board shorter as you work toward the middle of the table.
The seat boards are 36-3/4" and 32" on the long side. If you cut them correctly, you can lay them side by side and they will fit together. Continue cutting your 2 x 6’s, making cuts to produce the least amount of waste. Double check the octagon picnic table plans before you make any cuts.
The boards for the tabletop are 23-3/4", 19", 14-1/4", 9-1/2", and 4-3/4". When you cut the last short piece, it will end in a point on the short side.
The 2 x 4’s for the tabletop will be cut on a bevel, so that the lower side of the board will angle back to the center of the table when the pieces are put together. Set your miter saw to 30 degrees for the ends facing to the outside of the table. All lengths given on the octagon picnic table plans are to the long point on the top of the 2 x 4.
Cut one board 61", and it will have the 30-degree bevel on each end. Lay the 2 x 4 flat to cut it. Cut 2 each 2 x 4’s 29-3/4" with a bevel on one end and a square cut on the other. You will attach the 2 short pieces to the sides of the longer piece to form a perfect "X" with the bevels turned the same way on all 4 ends.
The last 4 pieces of your tabletop frame are the hardest to cut. Cut the beveled end first, then stand the 2 x 4 on the edge and measure in from the long point 29-3/8" and mark the center of the 1-1/2" part of the 2 x 4.
Set your miter box to 45 degrees, and cut the 2 x 4 standing back from the center. Turn the miter box to the opposite side for a 45-degree cut, and cut from the center again. If you do this successfully, you will have a square end with bevels on both sides. Check your octagon picnic table plans before you make these cuts.
Putting It Together
Attach these to the crossed 2 x 4’s so that you have 8 equal lengths coming from the center. The 8 sets of 5 tabletop boards should fasten to the top of the 2 x 4’s to make an 8-sided table. Start from the center and work to the outside, being careful to start each board in the center of the edge of the board.
The 2 x 4’s for the seat are cut the same way as the framing for the top, with the 30-degree bevel going to the outside. The long board is 95", the 2 that make each side are 46-3/4", and the 4 with bevels are 46-3/8". Put the frame together the same as the tabletop and attach the seat boards starting at the outside of the 8-sided frame, using the longest board first.
The 8 legs are 32-1/4" overall with a 30-degree cut on each end. This time, the angled cuts will be facing in the same direction rather than coming in to the middle.
The next step requires you to lay the tabletop upside down on a flat surface, and then do the same with the seat frame on top of the tabletop. Line the 2 frames up with each other, and then fasten the legs to the tabletop first.
The bevel on the end of the legs must be turned so the legs go away from the center of the frame. Measure in 7" from the long point of the frame boards. This will be the short point of the beveled end of the leg.
Use 4 each 2-1/2" galvanized screws in each connection. Make sure the bevel fits snug against the tabletop boards when you attach it and put each leg on the same side of the frame all the way around.
When you are finished attaching the 8 legs to the top, you will need an assistant to help you raise the seat up to screw it to the legs. Before you start, measure 17" toward the center from the long point of each frame on the seat assembly. Mark this so you can see it on the edge that is facing down.
Now, measure from the long point on each end of the tabletop frames up to the outside edge of the table legs 12-1/2" and make a mark on the same side as you made the mark on the seat frame. These intersecting marks are the places to attach the seat frame to the legs. Hold the side up that you are going to screw the first leg to while your assistant holds the opposite side.
Only place 1 screw in each leg until you have done them all, then go back and add 3 more per leg. Turn the table over onto the legs, and you are finished. Now you know how to build an octagon picnic table. If you did it right, you will have 17" from the ground to the top of the bench and 29-1/2" from the ground to the top of the table.
If you followed the octagon picnic table plans correctly, you should have a table that will last you for years.