Assembly & Planting Guides
First, take a deep breath and relax. This is not a race, so take your time, be safe, be careful, and use your common sense. The product of your labor will be around for a long time.If you follow these simple steps in order, the assembly and planting of your table will be easy and well done. It will also save a lot of time and effort.
These steps apply to all three models of the PicnicPedestal tables, the PP6 is not pictured. The primary difference between models is the number of posts in the pedestal structures. The PP4 has two posts, the PP6 has three posts, and the PP8 has four posts. The assembly steps are otherwise the same.
|PP4 Table||PP8 Table|
Some Helpful Hints:
- Tools needed:
- electric drill with a Philips screwdriver bit and a 3/16" drill bit
- It can also be handy to have a hammer available to tap parts into position before setting the screws.
- There are pre-drilled holes for every screw and clear markings for positioning of each part to make assembly easy and accurate.
- Use a concrete pad or other flat surface for the assembly area.
- Unfinished lumber is a natural fibrous product that is constantly in motion due to temperature and moisture variations, as well as tensions between the more dense and less dense fibers. Words like flat, straight, or square (in the strict sense) may not apply. Compromise and common sense are the best ways to deal with natural variations.
- Stripped screws happen. This is when a screw is fully seated yet it spins easily. They must be replaced to insure the strength of the structure. Remove it and drill another hole (3/16" bit) close by and try it again.
- Always pull the screw heads 1/8" below the surface for maximum strength.
- There are many tricks to digging holes and then firmly compacting the back-fill. Ask your neighbors about the tools and techniques for your local soils. Be creative and pack it down hard.
- Unwrap and remove all packaging materials. Be careful of anything that is rough, splintery or has sharp edges. Lay out the parts and take inventory.
PP4 PP6 PP8 Posts 2 3 4 Planks 7 7 7 Short Beam 2 2 2 Long Beam 2 2 2 Rafters 3 3 4 Stabilizers 4 4 4 2 ½" Screws 74 90 120 3" Screws 8 12 16
- The tables that have been made umbrella ready, must install the UMBRELLA STABILIZER as a first step. Position it as shown between the two specially marked and drilled POSTS, line them up nicely and attach with two 2 1/2" SCREWS on each side. Note: The 1 7/8" umbrella hole will be off center 5 1/4" in the PP6 table due to the pedestal structure, see Planting Guide point #9.
- Lay the POSTS on their sides with the branded logo facing out, spreading them apart as indicated by the markings on the STABILIZERS and SHORT BEAM. Attach the SHORT BEAM with one 3" SCREW at each post. (IMPORTANT: It is very important to use 3" screws for this joint) Check and adjust the square, then set the second 3" SCREW at each POST. Attach two STABILIZERS on each side as marked with two 2 1/2" SCREWS at each post.
- Turn the assembly over and attach the second SHORT BEAM and two STABILIZERS.
IMPORTANT: Be sure that the top edge is lined up perfectly with the top edge of the SHORT BEAM on the other side. This is easy to do with the EYEBALL COMPARISON with the SHORT BEAM on the other side as shown. If the top edges are parallel, your table top will be flat. This is far more important than being square.
- Now position the LONG BEAM against the SHORT BEAM, centering it according to the RED MARKINGS. The top edges of the SHORT and LONG BEAMS should be perfectly flush.
SIDE NOTE: The PicnicPedestal tables must be fully assembled in one piece. However, they can latter be separated into two parts (top and pedestal) to make it easier to move them to the site and plant them. If this is desirable, only set the outside four 2 1/2" SCREWS to attach the LONG BEAM to the SHORT BEAM at this time. This will make it easier to separate it latter for moving. See Assembly Guide point #10.
- Turn this assembly over and attach the LONG BEAM on the other side making sure the top edges are flush.
IMPORTANT: Do the EYEBALL COMPARISON again to be sure the top edges of both LONG BEAMS are parallel.
- Position the RAFTERS according to the markings in the LONG BEAM and attach with two 2 1/2" SCREWS at each position.
The PP4 and PP6 have three RAFTERS each and the PP8 has four.
- Lay the PLANKS out so you can arrange and coordinate the grain colors and patterns as you like, then flip them over long ways so they are face down in the same order as desired.
- Carefully invert the PEDESTAL ASSEMBLY on top of the PLANKS. Position the outside edges of the RAFTERS according to the markings on the PLANKS as closely as you can. A perfect fit is not likely so compromise will be needed. Press the PLANKS together firmly and line up the edges nicely. Attach with two 2 1/2" SCREWS at each PLANK. It's best to attach the outside corners first to hold it together firmly while the other SCREWS are set.
- You can now separate the table for easier transport and planting if you like. Remove the four 2 1/2" SCREWS used to attach the LONG BEAM to the SHORT BEAM on each side. Now you can lift the PEDESTAL ASSEMBLY off of the TOP ASSEMBLY.
- Now you are ready to move the table to the site for planting.
SAFETY CAUTION: AVOID ANY UNDERGROUND PLUMBING OR WIRING. IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, HAVE A LOCATOR CHECK IT.
- Lay the PEDESTAL ASSEMBLY by the site to locate and size the hole.The hole should be dug at least 22" deep and 15" wide, making the length fit the PEDESTAL. Digging to this size or larger will enable the PEDESTAL to be shifted and adjusted as needed for precise positioning.
- Carefully place the PEDESTAL in the hole making sure that the RED GRADE HEIGHT MARKINGS are below the desired grade height at this point. Add a few shovels of soil around and between the POSTS and roughly position the table.
- Rocking the PEDESTAL back-and-forth allows dirt to fall under the POSTS causing it to rise slowly, like a winch. In this way, raise the RED GRADE HEIGHT MARKINGS to the desired grade height. Do not raise it too far! Lowering it is much more difficult. Check the level along and between the two SHORT BEAMS, or on the TOP ASSEMBLY if your planting it in one piece.
- Add more soil around and between the POSTS and STABILIZERS compacting it firmly with each layer. Consider wetting the soil to help compact it. The blunt end of a shovel handle or an old fence post can be a good compacting tool. Pressing the soil down with your foot is not normally enough.
Note: If the soil is soft and will not compact firmly, you might want to consider using concrete. Normally, 40 lbs. will suffice around each POST and the STABILIZERS.
- Finer and finer adjustments to the level can be made as the hole gradually fills. Once the hole is full and the soil compacted, further adjustments will no longer be possible. The PEDESTAL will be planted "Sturdy as a Stump™."
- If you are planting your table in two pieces, you are now ready to place the TOP ASSEMBLY onto the planted PEDESTAL. Lay it in position and get it centered. Check the level in both directions before replacing all the 2 1/2" SCREWS needed to attach the LONG BEAM to the SHORT BEAM on each side. For an umbrella ready PP6 check to be sure the umbrella holes line up properly.
- Sand off anything that is rough, splintery or scratchy. Sanding will remove unwanted lumber marks or stains and brighten the redwood colors. Use rough sandpaper to start and finish it with a medium or fine sandpaper prior to applying a stain.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the finish you select. Normally, we recommend premium deck stains. If you want a high finish, consider using urethane varnishes with a steel wool rub down between coats. Nice!
- Enjoy. This is the part that lasts.