How to Design a Steel Frame Picnic Table

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A steel frame picnic table has a similar shape and style as a wood picnic table, but is more durable. Even treated wood develops damage from exposure to snow, ice, rain and wind. The wood develops a weathered look and the wood swells, leading to wobbling. A steel frame picnic table withstands environmental exposure and does not show signs of weathering. Designing a steel picnic table lets you pick the dimensions and shape of the table.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel beams
  • Metal tubing
  • Drill
  • 3-inch bolts
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Pick a design for the table. Picnic tables come in multiple styles, including round tables, rectangular shapes and octagonal designs. The design you pick depends on your own personal style and preference.

  • Select the dimensions for the table. The tabletop should sit approximately 30 inches from the ground, while the seat is 18 inches tall or slightly lower. An 8-foot long picnic table provides room for up to eight diners, but you might want a shorter table.

  • Place the steel beams used in the picnic table design on a flat surface. The top should consist of three beams approximately 10-inches wide, which creates an overall width of 30 inches. A single 10-inch-wide beam serves as the seat and you need two seats.

  • Decide on the style of the attached legs, made from metal tubing. The legs might have a rectangular or geometric design with sharp lines moving from the center of the table to the ends and to the seats. You can also bend the tubing into a rounded design, connecting the legs to the table and seat.

  • Lay three of the beams together as the center of the table and place one beam 2 feet away for the seat. Decide how you want to attach the beams together and the location of the bolts. You drill a hole through the beams, slide a bolt in place and screw a washer and nut onto the bolt. You must also weld the legs onto the underside of the tabletop and seats.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try using a computer program such as Photoshop when designing your table. The program lets you create geometric shapes that represent the different pieces of the table. You can rearrange the shapes or change the size of each piece until it meets your needs.

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