How to Make a Picnic Table with a Gutter Drink Trough

Adding a gutter drink trough to your picnic table is a great way to keep drinks cold and easily available for outdoor entertaining. Here’s how to go about it.

  1. Turn the picnic table over and remove any diagonal braces under the table that attach to the center board of the picnic table top.
  2. Cut the center cross cleat under the table 1½” back from the center board on each side.
  3. Attach 2×4 cleats across the bottom of the table at each end with 2½” screws.
  4. Attach 2x2s lengthwise to the bottom of the boards adjoining the center board with 2½” screws.
  5. Turn the picnic table upright, then remove the center board from the top.
  6. Measure the distance between the cleats and add 2” to it.
  7. Cut the center board into three pieces, with the long middle piece the length measured above.
  8. Attach the two short pieces of the top to each end of the table using nails or screws.
  9. Drill a 3/4″ finger hole in one end of the center board to allow for easy removal.
  10. Cut a piece of 5” rain gutter to length, and install end caps on each end with caulk.
  11. Insert the gutter into the table so it’s below the bottom of the top, and screw the gutter to the 2x2s with sheet metal screws.
  12. Drill drain holes in the bottom of the gutter.
  13. Reinstall the diagonal braces under the table.
  14. Fill the gutter with drinks and ice.

Here are a couple of examples

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