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DIY Outdoor Checkers Game Table

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DIY Outdoor Checkers Game Table
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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

Outdoor furniture should be functional, durable and attractive. Build this outdoor table that serves double-duty as both a gaming table and a dining table. It's big enough to seat six people comfortably but small enough to fit almost anywhere on your patio or deck.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you will need to Build a DIY Outdoor Checkers Game Table:

Things You Will Need

How to Build a DIY Outdoor Checkers Game Table

  1. Cut the Plywood Fiberboard and Cedar Boards

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 5 1/2 in. Circular Saw to cut the following pieces:

    • (1) piece of 3/4" CDX plywood, 38 1/2 x 69 3/4" for the sub-table
    • (3) pieces of 3/4" CDX plywood, 36 x 36" for the support base and top
    • (2) pieces of 1/2" MDF, 24 x 24" for the tile boards 
    • (2) pieces of 1 x 8 cedar board, 69 3/4" long for the sides of the top
    • (3) pieces of 1 x 8 cedar boards, 24" long for the center divider and both ends of the top
    • (4) pieces of 2 x 4 cedar boards, 26 1/4" long for the support base post
    • (2) pieces of 1 x 2 cedar boards, 71 1/4" long for the side fascia
    • (2) pieces of 1 x 2 cedar boards, 38 1/2" long for the end fascia

  2. Build the Frame for the Top

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium 2-Speed Drill/Driver, pocket hole jig, and 3/8" bit to drill holes in the ends of two of the 24" long 1 x 8 pieces. Pocket hole jigs are adjustable for depth, set the depth to accommodate a 1 ¼” screw.

    Apply weather-resistant wood glue to the ends of all three 24" 1 x 8's and fit them between the two 69 3/4" long 1 x 8's, with two short pieces at the ends and one in the middle. Fasten the pieces with 1 ¼”  screws to create a frame that measures 38 1/2 x 69 3/4". Each short piece should have two screws, evenly spaced on each end, with 12 screws total for all three pieces.

  3. Add the Table Bottom

    Place the 1 x 8 tabletop frame facedown on a flat surface. Apply wood glue liberally to the 1 x 8 frame and place the 38 1/2 x 69 3/4" piece of plywood onto the frame. Screw the plywood to the frame with 1 1/4" wood screws.

    Place one row of screws 1 1/2" from the outer edge of each 1 x 8, spaced at about 8". Place another row 1 1/2" from the inside edge of the 1 x 8's, with the same spacing, only alternating it from the first row.

  4. Build the Support Post

    Apply glue to the faces of two of the 26 1/4" long 2 x 4's, and screw them together with 2" screws, spaced about 6 inches. Apply glue to the two remaining 2 x 4's and screw them to both sides of the doubled-up 2 x 4's to create a post consisting of four 2 x 4's sandwiched together.

  5. Build the Base

    Apply glue to one end of the post. Screw one 36 x 36" piece of plywood centered over the glued end, and secure it with 2" screws. Do the same at the other end of the post. Apply glue to one of the plywood pieces and overlay one more 36" piece on top to create a double-thickness base.

    Screw one L-bracket reinforcement brace to all four sides of the post and the plywood at each end with 3/4" screws. Sand the sides of the base smooth, and add paint to finish it off.

  6. Mount the Base

    Apply glue liberally to the top face of the single-layer plywood platform on the base assembly. Position the top of the base so it is centered on the bottom of the upside down table assembly.

    Screw the base to the plywood bottom of the table with 1 1/4" screws. Stand the table upright.

  7. Add Fascia Trim

    Apply glue to one side of both 38 1/2" long pieces of 1 x 2 fascia. Nail them flush on the sides of the table with 1 1/2" finish nails. Set the nails with a nail set and hammer so the nail heads are slightly below the wood surface.

    Apply glue to both 71 1/4" long 1 x 2 fascia pieces and nail them on the long sides of the table to complete the trim.

  8. Add a Rounded Edge

    Install a ¼” roundover bit in the BLACK+DECKER 10 Amp Variable Speed Plunge Router. Run the router around the outside perimeter of the tabletop for smooth, rounded edges.

  9. Sand and Finish the Table

    Fill all visible nail and screw holes with stainable wood putty, using a putty knife, and allow it to dry as directed. Sand everything smooth with the BLACK+DECKER MOUSE® Detail Sander and 100-grit sandpaper. Round and blunt all exposed corners and edges.

    Apply wood stain and exterior polyurethane, following the manufacturers' directions for application techniques and drying times.

  10. Add the Tile Sheets

    Use a flat stick to mix the thinset with water until you get a consistency similar to toothpaste. Use a notched trowel to apply the thinset to the tops of both pieces of MDF. Carefully place the four 12 x 12″ tile sheets onto the board, side by side, and end to end, and press them gently into the thinset. Let the thinset dry completely according to the manufacturer's instructions.

    Mix the grout with grout admixture with a flat stick, until the consistency resembles toothpaste. Apply the grout with a grout float, clean it off with a wet sponge, and let it to cure as directed. Apply silicone grout sealer with a soft cloth and allow it to dry as directed.

  11. Make the Checkerboard Pattern

    Spray the back of the tiled inserts with outdoor white paint, and allow it to dry. Checkerboards have eight squares by eight squares, for a total of 64 squares. Use 3" wide painters tape to create 3" bands across the boards in a checkerboard pattern. Spray the taped-off boards with a contrasting color, allow it to dry, and remove the tape. 

    TIP: The tiled game inserts may be snug. Drill a hole in the bottom of the table, underneath the gameboard, if desired, and use your finger to pop the gameboard upward to get a grip on it and remove it.


  12. Paint the Washers

    Paint 12 of the 2" washers white and 12 of them black with spray paint to create a set of checkers.

  13. DIY Outdoor Checkers Game Table_15

    Drop the game inserts into the tabletop frame and have fun.

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