10 simple steps on how to create an outdoor table that seats ten people when you are on a budget.

This year it was the first time we were having Christmas around at our house.  The dream is to have a a covered outdoor area, fence and garden finished but this summer hubby concentrated on getting a table for our semi finished outdoor area so we could seat our big family for Christmas.  Because we were on a budget (even more so that I officially don’t have a job) he decided to build one himself because we really couldn’t afford what we wanted or needed.

For those that know how to use a tool, this table is quite simple to make and very cost effective.  Hubby completed this project after work over about three weeks and it took approximately three 8 hour days to complete and it easily seats ten people.  The cost for the table was approximately $310.00 NZD.




  • Paint Roller
  • Screw Gun
  • Handsaw
  • Saber Saw
  • 4 inch Angle Grinder
  • Circular Saw
  • Hammer
  • Measuring Tape
  • Sockets and Spanners
  • Electric Sander
  • Sand Paper



  • 1 packet of 60 mil nails
  • 1 pack of 100 75 ml galvanised screws
  • 2 packs of 100 40 ml stainless steel screws (170 used)
  • Polyurethane 6 litres (was approx ½ litre left)
  • 2 meter diameter x 1.15 m high cable reel
  • 2 sheets plywood 1.2 x 2.4 m
  • Spray gun

Step 1

First you need to cut the bottom end of the drum, whilst its standing on its end, to the shape and size feet you want at the bottom of your table by using the saber saw.  Unbolt the base ring feet end with sockets and spanner and put the base ring to the side.

Step 2

Cut the barrel part of the cable reel (the individual lats) with an electric saw and the threaded rod with an angle grinder to the height you would like your table (410 ml was cut off all the inner pieces).

Step 3

Sand all the lats on the outside with an electric sander and heavy grit sandpaper to a smooth and clean ready to paint finish.

Step 4

Bolt all the the individual pieces back in place, including the ring.  Sand the feet with a sander and sandpaper before flipping.

Step 5

15 mil lats (off cuts) were applied to bottom of each foot to stop the bottom of the table from rotting.  Flip the table over on its fee and give all exposed parts a good sand except the table top.

Step 6

Cut sheets of plywood to the circle shape of the un-sanded reel end.

Step 7

Paint the reel with polyurethane (a spray gun is the fastest and easiest way) except the plywood table to a water tight sealed finish or to your liking (this one has had five coats).

Step 8

Lift into place (we used a crane) then screw on plywood top with stainless steel screws.  Hubby did a pattern with this one and used 170 screws but you can do less than this if you like, it just need to be secure.

Step 9

Sanded the outside of the plywood table top down to the size of the reel.

Step 10

Roll polyurethane on with roller to the plywood table top and this one has had three coats.


  • Think about what you would like the bottom legs to be like before you start cutting.  It originally had eight legs but this restricted the number of seats.  So it had to be redone and took extra time.
  • May pay to get a hand when you put the lats back together.

We love our new table made of off cuts and free cable reel.  It was perfect for our Christmas day and we comfortably entertained 20 odd family for Christmas lunch.

If you have any questions, please comment at the bottom of this blog so everyone can benefit from the answers.

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