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Thread: Picnic tables

  1. #1

    Default Picnic tables

    Is there a standard for the picnic tables used at the AT shelters? I am a member of FoOT(friends of the Ouachita Trail) located in Arkansas and Oklahoma and our shelter picnic tables are not to sturdy. I remember when I did 500 miles of the AT in 2003 that the picnic tables seemed uniform, ugly but very, very sturdy. Any plans or where to buy?
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    Registered User Graywolf's Avatar
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    Hey Beancounter, When did they start putting shelters on the OT?? Last I hiked it, there were no Shelters and the guide book I have dosnt mention any.. Nice if they did, That would be a great addition to the trail..

    Graywolf
    "So what if theres a mountain, get over it!!!" - Graywolf, 2010

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    Here you go. The heavier the lumber you use the longer it will last and stay around.

    http://wayneofthewoods.com/picnic%20table.html
    Hokey Pokey

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    Registered User Graywolf's Avatar
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    hey Bean, WOW, your right..My guide book is outdated anyway..The new one does list the new shelters..

    That is a great addition..I was wondering when they would start doing that..I love hiking the trail and until now, didn't even know there was a trail club..THAT is fantastic.

    I know this was a little off topic but I am greatful to learn this information.

    I live in Dallas so the OMT is the nearest long distance trail to me..Thanks again,

    Graywolf
    "So what if theres a mountain, get over it!!!" - Graywolf, 2010

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    Pretty much all the ones in the south are Forest Service standard picnic tables. They should have plans available upon approval of placement.

    I found some plans that look pretty close.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ed=0CBsQ9QEwAw

    and

    http://www.bconnex.net/~zirgo/picnic.html
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  6. #6

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    In 2004 3 of us did a though hike of the Ouachita Trail. It was in terrible condition. Kris one of the hikers kept detailed records of where the worst sections were and FoOT (Friends of the Ouachita trail was activated. It had existed before the hike but was not active. Working with the forest service volunteers adopted and cleaned up the complete trail. Now with 9 shelters mostly in the eastern section it has become a true backpackers trail. The one remaining problem in hiking the trail is water. I am trying to promote the establishment of springs along the trail. I know the water is there, it just needs to be discovered and developed.
    The Hiking club email address is http://www.omhikers.net/
    The FoOT email address is http://www.friendsot.org/
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    The shelters in the Smokies have gotten away from the picnic tables. Instead, they installed tables with bench seats between the supporting rafters of the extended 'common area' of the shelter. I can send pics and probably get detailed designs if you want to consider something like that.

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    Registered User gunner76's Avatar
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    Default Boy Scout Picnic Tables

    Not a heavy duty picnic table but my son's scout troop used these plans to make theirs and they held up and had the advantage of being able to take apart and only use a sheet of plywood

    Attachment 7627 Boy Scout picnic table
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  9. #9

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    In Mass, they are donated by the State Forest, and are often "gently used" surplus. If you are making your own, consider pressure treated lumber for the legs, they usually rot first. I would stay away from plywood, as it does not last very long and succumbs quickly to abuse from flaming stoves, boy scouts and porcupines.

    Some may consider a picnic table an "intrusion" on the "wilderness experience", but it sure beats squatting in front of a flat rock.

    Cosmo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    If you are making your own, consider pressure treated lumber for the legs, they usually rot first.
    Cosmo
    Agree.

    Another trick. After cutting legs, stand them up in a bucket or coffee can with some nasty preservative like Cuprinol in it. Soaks up the end grain. It is the bottom contact with the ground that rots first.

    PT is better, but costs more and is heavier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    Some may consider a picnic table an "intrusion" on the "wilderness experience", but it sure beats squatting in front of a flat rock.

    Cosmo
    I sure agree with that!!!

    Why some hikers abuse picnic tables and shelters with stove fuel, knives, etc. is beyond me. Apparently, none of those folks ever carried lumber and tools into the shelter areas and helped build one in the forest.

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    Registered User World-Wide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beancounter View Post
    Is there a standard for the picnic tables used at the AT shelters? I am a member of FoOT(friends of the Ouachita Trail) located in Arkansas and Oklahoma and our shelter picnic tables are not to sturdy. I remember when I did 500 miles of the AT in 2003 that the picnic tables seemed uniform, ugly but very, very sturdy. Any plans or where to buy?
    Looks like you asked this question at just the right time! According to another thread on this site, prostitution rings will soon be common place on the trail. Since a sturdy picnic table w/a Big Agnes Air Core pad is the "Hooks" preferred foundation while turning tricks on trail, trail managers are hastily testing table strengths to avert needless trail injuries!! Sorry, no blue-prints! W-W

  13. #13
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    An Eagle Scout for his project built a few tables for the shelters up near me in Pawling. They are very sturdy and he incorperated a square of sheet metal onto one end for people to be able to use for with their stoves to prevent burns. You can possibly get the infro through the NYNJ Trail Confrence. The Shelters are the ones near Pawling.

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    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    MATC likes to pretend that our state is a wilderness, and doesn't provide picnic tables at shelters -- or didn't the last time I visited a Maine shelter.

    But I've made several over the years for picnics, outdoor lobster bakes, and parties at my house, and to give to kids and relatives.

    They are easy to make. A basic design can be found here:

    http://www.handymanwire.com/articles/picnic.html

    My first table used the design then used by Maine Department of Transportation for its roadside rest areas. It's essentially the same as the above. My version has evolved to use only 2 x 6, by 8 foot spruce or pine, except for the 2 X 10 inch seats.

    I also moved the legs in so that there is room for one person to sit outside the legs on each end. Aesthetically, it looks better, and makes more efficient use of space.

    They are simple to assemble. If you use standard 8 foot timbers, there's only a dozen saw cuts. I use a table saw -- sometimes a chain saw if I'm in a hurry.

    After the cutting I use 3/16" by 3.5" lag screws to hold everything together. Drill quarter inch holes first to avoid splitting the wood. The tops and seats are always untreated wood because I dislike sitting on, or eating off chemicals. For the legs, I sometimes use treated timbers.

    Weary

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    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Just a quick correction. Think "lumber" not timbers. I've been building too many bog bridges. Also the lag screws for fastening 2 bys together are more appropriately 2.5" by 3/8ths.

    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    MATC likes to pretend that our state is a wilderness, and doesn't provide picnic tables at shelters -- or didn't the last time I visited a Maine shelter.

    But I've made several over the years for picnics, outdoor lobster bakes, and parties at my house, and to give to kids and relatives.

    They are easy to make. A basic design can be found here:

    http://www.handymanwire.com/articles/picnic.html

    My first table used the design then used by Maine Department of Transportation for its roadside rest areas. It's essentially the same as the above. My version has evolved to use only 2 x 6, by 8 foot spruce or pine, except for the 2 X 10 inch seats.

    I also moved the legs in so that there is room for one person to sit outside the legs on each end. Aesthetically, it looks better, and makes more efficient use of space.

    They are simple to assemble. If you use standard 8 foot timbers, there's only a dozen saw cuts. I use a table saw -- sometimes a chain saw if I'm in a hurry.

    After the cutting I use 3/16" by 3.5" lag screws to hold everything together. Drill quarter inch holes first to avoid splitting the wood. The tops and seats are always untreated wood because I dislike sitting on, or eating off chemicals. For the legs, I sometimes use treated timbers.

    Weary

  16. #16

    Default

    last time I was in the Candian Rockies (which was a while ago), they were in the process of upgrading back country camp sites with picnic tables made from available, on site matterials - pine trees - and were massive. No doubt these are still there and in exactly the same place they were put when made. Once assembled, it would take heavy equipment to move them!
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