Sunday, March 24, 2013

Picnic Table

This is "the husband."  You know, the one who objects to Tiffany's excessive use of vegetables and lack of meat in many of the dishes she posts on this blog.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Most of the food she prepares is delicious,  but I am required by the rules of manliness to object when the meat/vegetable ratio becomes skewed in the wrong direction. 

Anyways, I have commandeered Tiffany's blog to bring you a recipe of my own:

Picnic Table

No, it is not edible, but many delicious things can be eaten on it (like meat).

Now, without further ado, here is my recipe for Picnic table:

1 "Octagonal Picnic Table" blueprint from
1 Compound Miter saw
1 handheld power sander (belt, or otherwise)
1 power drill
1 hammer
Lots of galvanized screws (details in blueprint)
Lots of galvanized finish nails
2x6's and 2x4's in massive quantities
8+ trips to Home Depot
2+ trips to Lowes

Step 1: Go to Home Depot, ask if they carry cedar wood.  Salesman takes you to the fence aisle.  Ask if they have 2-bys.  They say no.

Step 2: Go to Lowes.  Repeat step 1.  They finally find the 2-bys.  Rummage through entire stack of 2x6's, looking for wood that is worthy of your table.  Fill half of your quota.  Ask the salesman if he can open up another stack.  He says no.  Rummage through stack again.  Pick out less suitable 2x6's.  Note annoyed look on salesman's face.  Rummage through stack again.

Step 3: Repeat step 2, except looking for 2x4's.  Note at this point, salesman starts pointedly telling his co-workers he will "take his lunch break later."  Add an extra rummage through this stack for good measure.

Step 4:  Bring wood home, begin following instructions on blueprint.  Cut a few pieces as specified in blueprint.  Quickly realize that measurements in blueprint are wrong.  Commence cursing.

Step 5:  Find out jig saw is required.  Go to Home Depot.  Purchase one.  Continue following instructions.

Step 6:  Learn that not only are 2x4's not actually 2" by 4", and some of your pieces are not even 3.5", but vary by at least 1/4".  Realize you need to re-cut everything again.  Continue cursing.

Step 7: Finish Step 3 in the blueprint. Admire your handiwork thus far:

 Step 8: Realize you have just spent a week on these three steps.  And you have 11 more to go.  Commence crying.

Step 9: Begin work on table top.  Start ignoring blueprint.  Feel better about your project.  Learn the subtle art of "eyeballing it."  Feel much better.

Step 10:  Get to step 7 in the blueprint.  Notice it says "due to the differences in mass produced lumber, you should double check each board and measure separately for fit."  Yell at blueprint "Why couldn't you have told me that in step 1!!!!"

Step 11: Admire handiwork:

Step 12:  Attach frame to table top, remembering once again to pointedly ignore the measurements in the blueprint. Admire handiwork:

Step 13:  Start work on table legs and seats.  Realize you are actually starting to have fun. 

Step 14: Realize none of your drill bits are long enough to drill through 6" of wood.  Take a trip to Home Depot to purchase longer drill bit.

Step 15: Finish step 13.  Admire handiwork:

Step 16:  Sand everything.  This will take several hours.  At this point a neighbor will come and visit, note your progress on sanding, and offer you a larger power sander.  Graciously accept the sander.  Finish sanding in 1 hour.

Step 17: Stain and attach table top to table frame.

Step 18:  Have a friend help carry your table to the backyard.  Admire handiwork:

Step 19:  One day later, while admiring your handiwork, notice that someone else has been admiring your handiwork:

Step 20:  Log in to computer.  Begin searching for bird deterrents.