FAQ - Tables
- Care & Finish
Can we use Thompson's Water Seal to protect our outdoor table and benches?
After years of experimentation, we found the following products give our Redwood, Douglas-Fir and Mosaic Eco-Wood the best finish available on the market: For all our wood grades, we use what we believe to be the best wood outdoor sealant on the market. It is a penetrating oil finish that applied correctly should give you at least a 3 year finish in almost any year round weather. After thorough fine sanding, we apply one coat of the Sikkens Proluxe Cetol 1 RE Exterior Stain, 077 Cedar and allow up to 24 hours for drying and curing. Then we handrub with a rag Sikkens Proluxe Cetol 23 Plus RE Exterior Topcoat, 077 Cedar as the second coat and allow it to also dry and cure for 24 hours for optimum results. Another coat of the Proluxe Cetol 23 is then handrubbed for the third and final coat. The rag used to apply the finish is an extreme fire hazard and should always be burned and never stored. You can purchase the finishes online at:
- Custom Tables
Can you help me build a custom kitchen nook?
Thank you for your email. I am sure we can make the nook seating for you. We just need you to decide what type of table and benches you'd like and the exact dimensions. A photograph of the nook area would help so we can consider any possible obstacles (power outlets, wood trim, windows, etc…).
Let us know. The guys in the shop love custom work because it takes them away from the daily production work a bit and allows them to be creative.
Can you make a 10-Foot Patio Table with only 4 legs?
Yes, we can make our 10-Foot Patio Table with just 4 legs. In this case, what we normally do is recess the legs on the ends in a bit more. It actually looks good to do this. Instead of having the apron recessed under the tabletop 4 inches on all sides, we'll recess the apron 8 inches on the ends and 4 inches on the sides.
The reason we do this is not structural but due to weathering. These tables often are left outdoors for years, and if the sun bakes the table on a particularly hot day with the legs so far apart, the tabletop can end up drooping a tiny bit in the center. It's rare (this has happened to 2 tables from hundreds we've built) but to avoid it ever happening again we made this change. If your table is going to be in partial sun, under a covered patio, or in an area that is not known for very hot summer days, we can just leave the apron at 4 inches around all 4 sides. (The 12-foot tables have to include the third pair of legs for structural reasons.)
Can your conference table work as a dining table?
We can make the conference table the length, height, and width that will work best for you. If you're planning to ever use the table for a large dinner gathering, I'd recommend going at least 42 inches wide. This way, when you place a large platter or two on the table the place settings opposite the platter will be large enough to eat comfortably.
You can also order a patio table customized with the alternate diagonal bolting on the legs, if you don't mind going from a 3" thick tabletop down to our already massive 2" thick tabletop. This would save you hundreds of dollars. Just contact us if this is something that interests you or if you'd like a sizing you don't see listed.
What if I want to customize my order?
Need a custom order? No problem! Just use the contact form to email us, and we'll respond promptly to help you out.
- General Questions
Do the armchairs slide fully under your patio tables?
As of May 2009, we've implemented a combination of changes that will become permanent so all 3 of our armchair designs will fit under the table's apron and slide out of sight when not in use. Specifically, we've increased the tabletop height of the patio table ½" to 31". We've also decrease the size of the apron from 3 5/8" to 3" and slightly change the way it is bolted to avoid sacrificing any long-term structural integrity. We've redesigned the armchairs with the seats and armrests lowered by ½". These changes are barely noticeable, but will make ordering the armchairs less of a space consuming decision since they will no longer have to sit out nearly 20" as before. Some photos on the site still show the old design, but rest assured that all new table sets now allow the armchairs to slide fully under the table.
How can your benches/tables be secured to the ground?
Connecting any bench to the ground can be done with off-the-shelf hardware from any hardware store. When we install orders in public places, we usually attach the bottom of the legs to concrete using Simpson Ties. There are many sizes and shapes available. If you let us know what you are planning to purchase and where it will be installed, we can send a couple suggestions or even include the hardware with your order at cost, which is very little.
What we do when we install benches in public undeveloped areas is pour a bit of concrete (2 bags is more than enough). One bag under two of the 4 bench legs is usually sufficient. Pour the concrete underground about 18 inches and maybe 8 inches in diameter (unless in a snow prone area - then go to below the frost line) and set a metal anchor on the inside of the leg of the bench where it is not visible when walking by. Set the anchor while the concrete is wet so it will set in the concrete. Then attach to the inside of the bench leg with a couple stainless steel deck screws that will not decay. Repeat on other bench side but diagonal. Make sure to measure the bench accurately prior to placing the metal anchors to make sure they'll line up to the inside of the bench legs you want to attach.
How much weight will your benches support?
The 8-Foot Picnic Table has the legs recessed 18 inches from the edge of the table. So, there is 5 feet between the legs. Plus there are diagonal braces under the legs that limit the span to less than 4 feet.
The 8-foot attached bench is built with a real 2" thick pair of boards that have several support timbers underneath as well. It's built to hold over 1,100 lbs per side without giving an inch. The entire 8-Foot Forever Picnic Table with Attached Benches weighs over 300 lbs. The set is truly built to last forever with all stainless steel hardware. The tables have decay warranties of up to 30 years.
How strong is the 14-Foot Heritage Picnic Table Bench and how hard is the Picnic Table to assemble?
The 12- and 14-foot tables come with 3 sets of legs. There is a leg in the center so there is no need to worry about any sagging or bowing for either the tabletop or the attached benches. The legs are attached with 3 carriage bolts to the bottom of the tabletop. Then the bench seat is attached to the 3 bench support timbers that stretch out from the legs. If you'd like to see the assembly instructions prior to receiving the table, go to About Our Furniture on our main menu and click on Assembly Instructions. The picnic table with attached benches can be downloaded as a pdf file.
Feel free to call or email with any other questions.
- Seating Capacity
What are your recommendations for a few smaller tables that seat 4 and 6….tables and chairs?
Chairs always need more space than bench seating.
If you want to use as little space as possible, then you want to go with benches for most arrangements. A 5 ft picnic table with attached benches easily sits 6 large adults (see second photo below).
If you want chairs in as little space as possible, we can fit 4 adults comfortably around a 3 1/2 ft square table with 4 chairs as shown below or a square version. Chairs are not as compatible with the flairing leg design of the picnic tables because the legs will collide. You want to go to a straight leg design like that of our patio tables:
Here is an example of a 3 1/2 ft square table with 4 chairs if you want to sit 4 using chairs:
Square Patio Table
To go to 6 persons in a small space, you can go to a 5 ft picnic table like this one:
Forever Picnic Table (Attached Benches)
If you have someone older that is not comfortable sitting on a bench of a shorter picnic table (because they do not have the same 18 inches corner seating capability because they are too short), you can have a few armchairs sitting around that you can scoot up to the ends of any length picnic table. These armchairs you can keep as flex seating to be used when needed. The 4 1/2 to 6 ft long picnic tables only have 12 inch seats outside the legs on the 4 corners. The 8 ft tables have 18 inch seats.
Here is one example of adding an armchair on the end that is popular with our patio tables. The armrests glide under the apron and stop at the patio table leg which is 5 3/4" recessed under the tabletop (plenty of room to eat comfortably):
San Francisco Patio Table
We can also do a round table with 4 chairs or with benches. The possibilities are endless. Just keep in mind that bench seating will always get you more bodies per square foot but also a bit less comfortably. That is the trade off.
Also with chairs you need larger round tables than square tables to make it work. Below, as a last visual, I am sending a picture of a 3 1/2' round patio table. It has 2 chairs and a bench on one side. It is the same size as the square table above that fits 4 chairs just fine. You can see that a 3 1/2 ft round table will be hard pressed to sit 4 in chairs comfortably like the square table obviously does. But, you can make a picnic table version of this table with 4 attached benches that will work fine for 6 adults (having some on 2 benches and some on 1)...
So, to sit 4 with chairs, I'd go with a 3 1/2 ft square patio table like the one shown above (no cushions needed). And for 6 persons, the best option is either a round 3 1/2 ft with benches (do not have any photos of this size) or a 5 ft rectangular picnic table with benches (as shown above).
Round Patio Table
- Umbrellas Options
I am thinking purchasing the Round Wood Picnic Table with Wheels. Can I put an umbrella in this table? Do recommend any umbrellas or do you sell them as accessories?
Yes, you can add an umbrella. We do not sell them.
We actually recommend you consider the large rectangular umbrellas with tilting poles that sit outside of the table. The table umbrellas look great, but almost always do not cover the entire party sitting around the table because the sun is rarely directly overhead.
Please go online and look at the dozens of manufacturers that offer this type of umbrella. They come with a heavy stand that can take some wind...
If you prefer a tabletop umbrella, you can find umbrellas that mostly fall into one of two categories: they have either a 1 1/2" or a 1 7/8" wide pole. Once you choose the pole diameter you prefer, you can decide on the umbrella hole size to order for the table (go to More Options for the table). Our umbrella hole are 1 5/8" and 2" respectively (1/8" wider than most poles) so you have a bit of wiggle room depending on the size pole you purchase or own. The More Options tab is right above the Add to Cart button (it is green).