Outdoor Table Top – Replacing Our Demolished Barn Door Table

Aug 23 2020
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Building a lasting outdoor table top. Last winter we had an unprecedented amount of ice on our roof, I have NEVER seen icicles like that before either on my home or on any of the homes in my neighborhood. (Normally it would be a sign of heat loss but not last year, last year it was EVERYONE’S house.) A combination of a lot of moisture and just enough (but not enough) melting created one crazy amount of ice. I’m adding a pic of the front of the house for reference because it was just unbelievable.

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

A post revealing my deck, my outside living space and living room, my 700 square foot dance floor, how I built it, designed it and finished it!

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

We had noticed a good several inches deep of ice build up along the roof line in the back in late winter but there really wasn’t anything we could do about it. One night we heard some serious thumping…

Thank goodness no one was standing there to get hit!

The entire length of the ridge of ice let loose and BOOM, shattered across the deck taking out everything in its way. The table I built out of an old barn door a couple of years ago didn’t stand a change!

Everything else (fortunately) was OK though.

Grandpa’s benches are so tough it didn’t surprise me at all that they didn’t have a mark on them. (Lodi thought that they’re too awesome to be left outside all the time and I concurred after this so they’ll be getting retired to garage seating this fall – I plan on purchasing these outdoor chairs from Amazon as a replacement.)

As with all catastrophes I always try to look on the bright side of things.

One: my table base I built out of treated 2x4s was still good to go and Two: I loved that old barn door but, to be honest, it really wasn’t all that great as a table top.

For one obvious thing it wasn’t flat so you had to be careful when you put down a drink. Another thing, at well over three feet, it was much wider than it needed to be for a table. So, I took this as an opportunity to build us exactly what we wanted.

One great perk was how easy this top was to build!

After removing the old barn door I added green treated deck boards to the top until it was covered. Easy peesy! I started with a board in the center then just worked my way out using 3 inch deck screws.

I put them on so they hung over one end exactly 12 inches. Then, with the boards secure, I cut the excess off the other end with my skill saw so it had a 12 inch hang over on both sides.

All in the top ended up a few inches longer than the barn door and also a few inches narrower.

Green treated deck boards are less expensive than purchasing treated 1x6s – they’re a little differently manufactured and cut so they’re not exactly a “normal” 1×6 but there isn’t a huge difference…

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Like when I built the deck I smooshed the boards as tight together as I could.

Treated lumber is generally very very very wet when you bring it home and will shrink a lot over the first year it dries so there will be gaps next year, between the boards, in the table top for drainage.

Yes treated lumber is rumored to be terribly toxic especially the first year. There isn’t a whole lot I can do about it except cover the table top whenever we use it (which I would have done anyway).

I’ve had several pretty hard core trolls here on the blog absolutely berate me for using green treat instead of cedar or composite etc.

Here’s the truth: If I could have afforded composite decking I would have gone that route way back when I built the deck but ANY kind of wood in northern MN besides treated wood (like what I used here) will not last no matter what is done to it.

I watched my Mom’s extremely gorgeous and VERY expensive white cedar deck implode over the course of just a few Minnesota winters. The most painful thing I’ve witnessed though is countless decks, covered in very expensive “outdoor” sealants and stains that took DAYS to apply – look like absolute dog shit after only one year.

That’s thousands of dollars and hours that would need to be reapplied YEARLY.

Screw that!

When I build things I build them to last! One day when this deck needs replacing the plan will be to replace it with composite but, otherwise, green treated lumber (not stained, sealed or painted) is the absolute only choice I feel that I have.

Meanwhile, we are very happy with our new table top!

Replacing my barn door table top with a lasting outdoor table top for our deck after the barn door was damaged by ice last winter - green treated building

Comments

  1. August 23, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Great project! It looks amazing!

  2. Grace
    August 24, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Just be sure to move the table out from under the icicle line this winter! Good job.

    • August 24, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Thanks and yes we are absolutely going to!

  3. Karin
    August 28, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I love the table and I have 2 sets of those outdoor chairs.
    They’re very comfortable and they’ve lasted through 3 Massachusetts winters without any damage.
    I think about putting them away but life gets busy….and I get lazy.

    • August 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Karin, I’m right there with ya! Thanks for coming by!

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