help assembling picnic table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-09-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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help assembling picnic table


I am a newbie working on a picnic table, making this one:

I have all the wood cut and I am ready to drill for assembly. But, I want to make sure that the holes are drilled perfectly so the angles and dimensions are right on - I don't want this sucker to rock!

My challenge is to get the 2 legs aligned at a perfect 90 degree angle and while they stay aligned unclamped, sandwich them between the 2 top beams so that the top beams are centered perfectly and at a 45 degree angle to the legs.

I can certainly come close. But 'wiggling' as the article suggests isn't getting it perfect for me. Maybe I don't have the right clamps but I haven't been able to clamp the legs together (odd angle) in a way that allows me to get the top beams on good enough.

I have a speed square to help get the angles right. The problem is more of clamping and holding it still while I 'wiggle.'

Suggestions on the best way to clamp the legs together while I get them situated on the beams?

I was thinking of starting with one leg, and using a small screw that goes only half way through the bottom top beam so as not to mar it. Then I can put the other leg onto the top beam, aligning it at the right angle, assuming the first leg is on the top beam properly. Then I can put on the top top beam, and drill everything and remove the 'clamp' screws.

Sorry for the confusion. I know this makes no sense unless you are familiar with this design. Just figured I'd give it a shot. Any and all help is most appreciated!!

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post #2 of 3 Old 10-09-2012, 02:05 PM
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Long time no posting. Happy to see the project is still active.

Off-the-cuff thoughts.

a) If the legs are 90 deg angle, get a piece of scrap plywood, drill some holes and use the holes as anchors to clamp the legs to the plywood.
b) Cut a scrap piece of wood with a 45 deg mitre angle at the both ends. Screw this to the bottom top beam where one of the legs will be located. Clamp the leg to the scrap wood then attache to the bottom beam. Remove and use for the other leg.
c) Rout a 1/8in deep dado the width of each leg at the 45 deg angle in the bottom beam.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-09-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave - as always, I appreciate it!

Oh yea, very active. Just really slow. I have everything cut. Bought a hand plane and am trying to figure out how to use it. Fixed a couple drawers. Loving it!

And thanks for the suggestions. Let me mull on that and see what I can make sense out of.


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