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Husky outdoor table ... with drop-in cooktop.

Husky outdoor table . . . with drop-in cooktop

There's nothing flimsy about this outdoorfurniture; it's built to last. Using fine materials and strong, simple lines, the chairs, sofa, and table convey a sense of both elegance and permanence.

A striking centerpiece, the table is alsoversatile: its top rises from coffee table to dining table height, and a section of its marble-tile top lifts out to make way for a drop-in cooktop. Casters hidden in the legs make it easy to move despite its considerable weight.

Frames for all the pieces share design andmaterials: legs are 6-by-6s milled to 5- by 5-inch posts; table and chair cross braces, chair backs, arms, and seat supports are 4-by-4s milled to 3-inch rounds. A local mill dressed all stock, which is redwood, to the required dimensions for a total of about $350. All were coated with an opaque black oil-base outdoor stain.

Black marble floor tiles--12 inchessquare and 3/8 inch thick--cover the top, which is a cut-down solid-core door blank. A ripped-in-half 3-inch round edges the door, flush with the mortar-set tile.

Seat cushions sit on lengths of 4-inchwebbing wrapped over and tacked to front and rear seat supports. All cushions for the two chairs and the sofa came from two 4-inch-thick 54- by 76-inch high-density foam mattresses. Seats are 8 inches thick, backs 4 inches. A foam shop cut the back pads to 14 by 24 inches, the seats to 24 inches square, sofa back to 14 by 53 inches, and the sofa seat to 24 by 53 inches. The shop also laminated the foam for the seats. All welted covers were sewn from heavy woven cotton.

To make the furniture yourself, you'llneed a drill press (several precisely positioned holes are required), a table or radial-arm saw, a circular or saber saw, and hand tools.

Chair assembly

Cut two 22-inch-long and two 32-inch-longlegs from the 5-by-5s. With a 3-inch core drill in a drill press, drill 1-inch-deep holes centered 9 1/2 inches from one end along two adjacent sides of all four legs. These holes are for the lower stringers.

Set the legs on end, arranged as they'll bewhen the chair is assembled. In all four, mark holes 17 1/2 inches from the ground for the arms and middle back rail. In each of the taller two, mark another--27 1/2 inches from ground--for the top back rail (see diagram, page 100). Then drill.

Cut eight 3-inch rounds to 26 inches andassemble the frame. Coat the tips with epoxy; use a mallet--or hammer and scrap block--to knock the rounds clear to the bottoms of the holes.

Sand the tops of all four legs slightlyround. After staining, wrap five bands of 4-inch-wide cotton mesh (available at fabric or upholsterers' supply stores) between front and back stringers, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Pull them taut, then tack in place with heavy staples.

Sofa assembly

Follow instructions for chair, but cut anadditional 5-by-5 middle back leg and three extra back stringers, and replace the front stringer with one 55 inches long. Drill inch-deep, 3-inch-diameter holes 9 1/2, 17 1/2, and 27 1/2 inches from the ground on opposite sides of the additional post.

Table assembly

Cut four 14 1/2-inch legs and four 8-inch-longleg extenders from the remaining 5-by-5s. With the 3-inch core bit, drill 1-inch-deep holes in each 14 1/2-inch leg, on two adjacent sides, centered 7 inches from one end. To install the 2-inch ball casters, drill a 2 1/2-inch-deep hole centered on the end you measured from. (First confirm width and depth of hole by drilling a sample hole in scrap wood; the caster should rotate freely and protrude 1/2 inch from the hole.) Also drill a narrow hole for the caster's shank, if necessary.

In the top of both the 8-inch and 14 1/2-inchleg sections, use the 3-inch bit (or other bits, depending on flange shape) to drill a shallow recess for the pipe flange. In each recess, and in the bottom of each 8-inch leg section, use a 7/8-inch bit to drill a hole for the connecting pipe nipple (see diagram for details).

Then cut pairs of 52- and 17-inch-long 3-inchrounds and assemble the base; be careful to keep it square.

Cut a 1 3/8-inch door blank to 36 by 80inches. Mount four 1/2-inch pipe flanges on the underside, centered 8 inches in from sides and 12 1/2 inches in from ends, and screw in 3-inch nipples; they must line up with the holes in the leg assembly.

If you're installing a lift-out panel, skip tothe next section. For a solid top, set tiles in mortar or waterproof adhesive flush to the edge of the door blank. Tiles butt together without grout. When the adhesive is set, glue and nail the edge band--a ripped 3-inch round--flush with the surface of the tiles (miter the corner joints). Set nails, fill holes, and stain wood.

Cooktop cutout option

Dimensions for the cutout will be specifiedin the installation manual supplied with whatever cooktop you choose. Position the cutout to require minimal tile cutting. Lay out tiles over the door blank; mark and make the necessary cuts in the tile, then matching ones on the blank.

Flip the blank over and install four pivotingcleats--4-inch-long 1-by-2s screwed through the center with a lag screw and a washer and mounted to support the cutout but pivot out of the way when the cooktop is dropped in.

With cutout in place (supported by thecleats), set tiles into adhesive. Take care to keep adhesive out of the gap between table and cutout. Attach edge band.

Changing heights

For the low table, simply slide the flangeswith screwed-in 3-inch nipples into the 14 1/2-inch legs.

For dining height, lift top, add the 8-inch-tallextenders, and reassemble.

Photo: Deep luster of black marble finishesthis handsome and substantial patio cocktail table. Its black-stained redwood frame adjusts to dining table height: add-on leg-top extension sections raise surface 8 inches. Sofa and chairs use same elements of 3-inch rounds in 5-by-5 legs

Photo: Chair or sofa: sturdyconstruction uses 6-by-6s dressed to 5-by-5s and 4-by-4s turned to 3-inch rounds. Cushions were cut from full-size foam mattresses

Photo: Table: pipe "pins' ontable bottom rest in holes in leg tops--or fit into 8-inch extenders to raise tabletop

Photo: Disguised panellifts out of tabletop to create opening for a down-venting kitchen cooktop. Grill unit drops into place, resting on its built-in lip
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 1, 1987
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