Favorites, Part 3: The "Picnic Table"
On a whim, after seeing something vaguely similar, I decided to build a little picnic table between the posts of our (still unfinished) arbor. It's smaller than a standard picnic table, but can still seat our whole family. It's also in close proximity to the clothesline, so it can double as a laundry folding area. Or a planting bench. Or a platform for Amelia to play with her random collection of objects, or a shady spot for the cat & chickens, or a sunset viewing station, or any of the other sundry things a table is good for.
Since I was working with the existing posts, the dimensions of the table were pretty non-negotiable. I made the table top out of 2x4's. I wanted something wider, partly for aesthetic reasons, and partly for less screwdriving. But as I will never understand dimensional lumber, I had to go with 2x4's to make it work.
I may start referring to dimenional lumber as pan-dimensional lumber, because it makes no sense in this realm. I mean, a 2x4, as you may or may not know, is not 2 inches by 4 inches. It's 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. You lose a half inch each way, and you gain a math headache in trying to fill a fixed space. One might think that 2x6 boards would be half again as wide as 2x4's, and that 2x8's would be twice as wide. But you'd be wrong on both counts. You lose 1/2 inch on the smaller boards, and 3/4 of an inch on the wider ones. It all seems very arbitrary.
I thought about going with a mix of sizes for a more rustic look, but the mixed fractions were giving me a headache.
At any rate, it still needs some screws, and a coat of stain or something to keep it from rotting away, but I'm pretty happy with it as an improvised, one weekend project. It was also a lot of fun to work with e5 on something, and let him do some of the actual labor.
Now if I can just finish that arbor....