Table and bench frames

Tackle the frames once you are done with the ends

Peter O. Whiteley

1. To make the frames for the table and benches, cut four 90-inch-long 2-by-4s and two 87-inch-long 2-by-4s (the latter will be used for the inner sides of the benches).

2. Cut eight 10-inch-long 2-by-4s for bench crosspieces and three 29-inch-long 2-by-4s for table crosspieces. Cut two 15 1/2-inch lengths of 4-by-4s (from the remainder of the 10-footers) for the center leg of each bench.

3. For the table frame, center one crosspiece and equally space the remaining two. Join the butted joints with two 2 1/2-inch screws running through the frame sides.

4. Center two of the bench crosspieces on opposite sides and flush with the top of each 4-by-4 bench leg, and attach with 2 1/2-inch screws. Center and attach this assembly at the midpoint of one 90-inch and one 87-inch 2-by-4, using 2 1/2-inch screws. (The shorter board will be on the inside of the bench.)

5. With the aid of a helper, stand up each end frame, space them 90 inches apart, and add temporary diagonal bracing to keep them vertical. Attach bench frames to connect with bench beams at three places per end: (A) two 2 1/2-inch screws through end of inner (87-inch) bench frame into shorter (44-inch) 2-by-6 bench beam; (B) two 2 1/2-inch screws through longer (67-inch) bench beam into end of inner bench frame; and (C) two 2 1/2-inch screws through ends of outer bench frame into longer bench beam.

6. Attach table frame. At each corner drive two 2 1/2-inch screws through frame into each post and two 2 1/2-inch screws into ends of each 2-by-4 table brace. Remove diagonal bracing.

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