Tables are always a functional addition to any outdoor living space. These custom tables can be created as the centrepiece of your conversation area or a place to set potted plants, refreshments, or a good book.
As someone who likes to create unique and useful projects, I always keep an open mind during visits to my local Home Hardware store. Inspiration for my projects can come unexpectedly when something catches my eye and I consider how it will work in different applications. This was the case when I spotted the hand cast aluminum gate inserts and thought about how they would make a great tabletop for outdoors. They have strength with beauty and allow water to pass through.
I decided that a coffee table and a couple of side tables would be appropriate for my needs. The larger 20" round insert was chosen for the coffee table and two smaller 14" round inserts for the side tables. I selected 2" by 6" cedar to create a border for the insert. This added dimension to the table and accented the black polyester powder coat of the inserts. I continued to rip and smooth the edges of more cedar to create the legs and braces before fastening them with 3 1⁄2" brown deck screws and exterior wood glue for extra strength. To protect the cedar from water and ultraviolet damage, I applied one thin coat of Thompson's WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector. The addition of adjustable furniture levellers to the bottoms of the legs ensures that the tables will sit level on any surface.
With a few basic woodworking tools and the drawings provided, it will be easy to create your own set of tables to enjoy this season.
That's The Finish
Ralph Swan is a wood care expert for Minwax® and is a frequent contributor to Home at Home magazine.
What You'll Need
- 2" by 6" cedar
- 20" round fence and gate insert 5423-396
- 14" round fence and gate insert 5423-395
- 3 1⁄2" brown deck screws 2182-410
- exterior wood glue 2020-850
- threaded glides 2346-312
- Thompson's WaterSeal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector 1886-640