The old picnic table and benches we had that were 50 years old finally died. They were redwood, and I did stain them every other year since my parents gave them to us, with redwood stain containing water seal. The table collapsed when we put a six-pack of seedling veggies from a garden center on it. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. The benches did not collapse, but the wood was on its way out.
So, with a bunch of ash logs on hand, and a sawmill, it was not difficult to cut some lumber to assemble a new one. It took over a week to get the 3.5″ carriage bolt assemblies in quantity from a place in Charleston, SC, that specializes in fastenings. They shipped the next morning, but it took the damned USPS eight days to deliver it, from what’s an 11 hour drive away. I get it that mail has to go through some transfer stations, but then it sat in my local post office for three days before they loaded it into the delivery truck. *headdesk*
Anyway, the new picnic table and benches are solid ash, built to much sturdier specs than the original set we had. The benches weren’t all that heavy, but the table had to weigh over 200 lbs., so it took both of us to get it out of the barn, onto a trailer, then unload it, and get it onto the upper patio level.
My mother was impressed that their half century old picnic table and benches lasted as long as they did. She was equally impressed with our homemade replacement for the set. This ash version is rock solid. I’ll probably just soak it with a few coats of water sealant, rather than stain. Some of the rough edges could use a little planing first, though. That’s easy. Won’t take me more than 20 minutes. I don’t want colored stain all over that patio after I power washed it a couple of weeks ago. We don’t have enough newspaper to lay down to catch the drips, and it’s too damn heavy to carry out onto the lawn, and back up there, like I used to do with the old set.
Yes, we have other patio furniture for the one right outside out back door — 40+ year old tables, chairs, and a new sectional, but our upper patio did not look right with only a kettle grill on it. It needed the picnic set, for posterity, if nothing else.