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How to make an outdoor trestle table

Weather forecasters and ice cream trucks might tip us off to summer’s start–but we all know the season hasn’t really begun until you’ve fired up the grill. In the spirit of packed coolers and good company, we’re kicking off the Ultimate BBQ Giveaway with our friends at Fresh Home magazine, where we’ll serve seconds (and thirds!) of outdoor tools worth over $1200–everything you’ll need to keep the grill hot, and your guests cool. Find out how to enter here.

But before you invite all your neighbors over for a backyard BBQ, Fresh Home magazine has this great guide to build an outdoor table using leftover building materials you might have lying around your garage.

Photo by Robert Reichenfeld


Don’t trash your leftover building materials. Use them! Here’s a great project for using scrap boards: a multi-purpose table with rustic elegance.

Built from everyday 1x4s and 2x4s, the sturdy slatted top perches on a pair of trestles (or sawhorse, if you prefer), making it easy to build, easy to move and easy to store!

Step 1: Lay Out the Top Boards

Lay the ten 1x4s upside-down on a large flat surface and use one of the shorter cross-braces to even up the ends. Use a square to make sure the top boards are positioned perfectly square.

Photo by Robert Reichenfeld

Step 2: Mark the Position of the Cross-Braces

Make marks 12-in. in from the ends of the boards, then use a square, pencil and straight board to draw a line indicating the position of the cross-braces. Do the same at the very center. Use a washer or quarter to create a small gap between the boards, then position the cross-braces, insetting the ends by about 1/4-in.

Photo by Robert Reichenfeld

Step 3: Attach the Cross-Braces

Secure the cross-braces to the top boards using 2-in. galvanized drywall screws. Use three screws to secure the outermost boards; two screws for the inner boards.


Photo by Robert Reichenfeld

What You Need

Check off the tools and materials you need to make this project.

* Ten 1 x 4 x 72-in. boards
* Three 2 x 4 x 34-in. boards
* Two trestles
* 2-in. galvanized screws
* Paint
* Drill
* Saw
* Tape
* Square

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