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Post-Mounted Patio Table

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Stretch your deck or patio dining space by adding these built-in DIY tables directly to your deck posts to supplement outdoor furniture. You can adapt the height to eat standing or seated on an outdoor stool or chair.

DIY patio table attached to a deck post.

Project Overview

Skill Level

Intermediate

Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools & Materials

Tools

  • Miter saw or miter box and handsaw
  • Electric drill/driver, drill bits, countersink, driver bit
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Sanding block and sandpaper

Materials

  • See Project Diagram for lumber required
  • 2-in deck screws
  • 2-1/2-in deck screws
  • 3-in deck screws
  • #8 x 1 1/4-in trim screws
  • Olympic Elite solid-color stain, Rustic Cedar

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Instructions

This is the perfect way to add a table or two to an under-deck patio on the walk-out-basement level of your home. The height at which you mount your table depends on how you intend to use it. For a stand-up table, 42 inches is a good height.

The cedar boards used in this project have one smooth-planed face and one rough-sawn face. On the parts with exposed surfaces, orient the rough face out. The table is designed to fit around a 6 x 6 post (5-1/2 inches x 5-1/2 inches actual dimensions).

Build the Table Frame

Step 1

Mount the table rails.

Cut the rails (A) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List, Cutting Diagram). Mark the mounting height on the post—remember to lower it 13/16 inch for the thickness of the table-top slats. Clamp the rails to the post, centered end to end and square to the post (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). The table protrudes about 18 inches at the front, 11-3/4 inches at the sides, and 11-1/4 inches at the back. Orient the rails (A) so the front of the table faces the desired direction (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Drill pilot holes through the rails and drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).

Good to Know

Drilling pilot holes through the rails allows the screw threads to grip only in the post, not the rail. This allows the screws to draw the rails tightly against the post.

Step 2

Install the table sides.

Cut the sides (B) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Mark lines on the inside faces of the sides 10-1/2 inches from one end. Clamp the sides to the ends of the rails (A), aligning the marked lines with the inside face of the rear rail (A) (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Drill countersunk pilot holes through the sides, and drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws into the rails.

Step 3

Add the ends of the table.

Cut the ends (C) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Clamp the ends between the sides (B), drill countersunk pilot holes through the sides, and drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws through the sides into the ends (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).

Good to Know

Where the screw holes are very close to the ends of the parts, drilling countersunk pilot holes prevents splitting when driving the screws. When drilling the pilot holes, only drill through the sides (B) and not into the ends (C). The screws will drive easily into the end grain of the ends without a pilot hole and will hold more securely.

Step 4

Anchor the table brace.

Cut the brace (D) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Then make the angled cuts on the brace ends (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Holding the top of the brace flush with the top edge of the front end (C), drive 2-1/2-inch deck screws through the end and into the brace.

Step 5

Drill pilot holes through the lower end of the brace (D) and drive 3-inch deck screws through the brace and into the post (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).

Add the Slats and Trim

Step 1

Add the slats to the table.

Cut the slats (E, F, G) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Position the slats, drill pilot holes for the screws at the slat ends, and screw the slats to the rails (A) and ends (C) (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).

Step 2

Cut the side trim (H) and end trim (I) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Screw the side trim to a side (B) and the end trim to an end (C). Drill countersunk pilot holes through the ends of the end trim and screw the end trim to the side trim (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).

Step 3

To prevent splinters, sand slight bevels on all exposed edges and corners. Remove the sanding dust and apply an exterior sealer/stain to all parts, double-coating all exposed end grain (Rustic Cedar shown). If you wish, stain the post, too.