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Sunburst Patio Table Revere MA

Tired of outdoor tables made of metal or plastic? This table has the richness and warmth that only wood can provide. Read on to learn how to make the table by yourself.

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware #4
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Cambridge, MA

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403 Main St
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Boston, MA
 
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Sunburst Patio Table

Sunburst Patio Table

By David Radtke

Download the pdf file.

Tired of outdoor tables made of metal or plastic? This table has the richness and warmth that only wood can provide.

It’s built to stand up to the weather, so it’s perfect for a patio, porch or sunroom. The 44-in. top features a stunning sunburst radial design and seats four comfortably.  The sturdy base construction makes for a rock-solid table. There’s a center hole for an umbrella canopy and plenty of room beneath for the counterweight. 

I built my table out of rot-resistant white oak with splines and grooves in the tabletop and dowel joints in the legs. I chose epoxy for strong, weatherproof joints.

I simplified the tabletop’s complex construction by using an MDF pattern board that doubles as a machining and clamping jig. The pattern board is used along with a simple trammel to accurately machine the fussy curved joints on the pie shaped slats and to cut the outer ring and the center hub. I’ll  show you how to make cam clamps that lock the top’s parts in position for routing and gluing. 

The base may appear challenging to build, but I’ll also show you a system, using a pair of ordinary handscrews, to make the job go smoothly. 

Make The Pattern Board

The best way to deal with the geometry and joinery of the tabletop is to draw it out on a 4x4-ft. piece of 3/4-in. sheet stock (Fig. B) I call it a pattern board. 

Build The Outer Ring

1. Measure the length (long point to long point) of a section of the outermost ring on the pattern board. Our measurement came to 11-13/16 in. but check yours since it may vary. 

2. Cut the outer ring segments (A) to length on a sled (Photo 1; Fig. C).

Photo 1: The table is built from the outside in. Start by mitering the outer ring segments with a sled. Cut one end of each segment without the stop in place. Add the stop and miter the opposite end. A shop made cam lock holds the piece in place.

3. Dry fit the segments on the pattern board to make sure all the miters are tight. You may have to adjust the angle of the last miter. If you do, mark the joint so it can be reassembled correctly.

4. Add backer blocks to support the inside edge of the outer ring (Photo 2).  

Photo 2: Dry-fit the ring segments on a pattern board that has a full-size drawing of the top. Pin backer blocks behind each segment.

5. Cut the cam locks on the drill press using a 2-1/2- in.-dia. hole saw and a table that slopes 10 degrees (Photo 3). 

Photo 3: Make eccentric cam locks on the drill press using a 2-1/2-in. hole-saw and a support. The angled edges of the disc act like a cam lock when screwed to a board.

6. Screw the cam locks onto the pattern board so the short radius is just shy of the spacer. The sacrificial spacers keep the cam locks from being cut as the ring is routed out in the following steps. 

7. Cut the slots in the mitered ...

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