My original patio table was once a full blown picnic table that we bought and set up when we moved into our house. It was an easy one piece item that could easily seat my family for some outdoor dining. We used it that way for years.
A few years ago I wanted to change to a regular table with seats you could sit back into. Instead of just buying a patio set, I went to work with what I had and turned the picnic table into a regular table, then purchased some basic chairs to go around it. To top it off, I stabbed a hole in the middle to put a large umbrella for shade. It was perfect!
After a few more years of use and a repainting or two, the wood showed its age. Muck and insect life had gotten to it and I couldn’t see much salvage from it. I looked at new tables but again it was cheaper(and better) to build my own.
I used 2×8 AC treated lumber for the top that is capped by 2×4 AC treated wood at the ends. It sits firmly on 4 4×4 AC treated wood that has 2×4 treated lumber running around the perimeter to put it all together. I added a couple more feet over the previous table so at just under 8 foot long it can seat 6 very comfortably and I could easily go up to 8 in a pinch.
Some of the wood is still “wet” from the treatment so it’s very heavy! That will change as it dries out. Eventually it will get some paint on it to seal and get some color.