Troy Dolittle/Topdog Illustration

Add finishing touches

1. Cut five 2-by-4s and eight 2-by-6s to 95 inches long.

2. On each bench, center, space, and attach two 2-by-6s and one 2-by-4 between them, with the 2-by-6s overhanging the frame sides by about 1 inch. Space and countersink two 2 1/2-inch screws at each board intersection.

3. Alternating the 2-by-6s and 2-by-4s, attach the tabletop, with the 2-by-6s slightly overhanging the frame sides. Notch the outer 2-by-6s and the adjacent 2-by-4s to fit around posts.

4. Each of the 13 poles for the roof secures to the 2-by-6 beams with two 3 1/2-inch deck screws. Be sure the poles extend equally at each end. It speeds construction if you predrill slightly oversize holes vertically through the poles. Align the screw tips on the equally spaced marks you drew on the beam.

5. Finish the table by sanding the boards smooth and sealing the wood with a clear wood preservative designed for decks.

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