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A Picnic Table Story

Our family has been in need of a new picnic table since last summer.  The old one, which I got as a gift on my first mother’s day, was nearing 16 years of pretty heavy use and one day when Dale moved it to mow the law it just sort of fell apart.  So the search for a new table began.  You would think this would be a simple thing.  It certainly seemed to me that I saw picnic tables for sale on every corner . . . until I needed to get one myself.

So we looked last summer and we looked again this summer.  And we found nothing.  Sure, we could have gone to a Mill Store and got one but those aren’t generally very good quality.  A few weeks ago I asked our carpenter friend Bill if he knew anyone making picnic tables.  Now, Bill is a master carpenter (he’s the one who redid our dining room for us) so I honestly didn’t think he’d be interested in making picnic tables himself, but I thought he might have a lead on finding one.  He said he’d look into it and let us know.

Fast forward a few more weeks and we’re spending the day at my favorite pond and Bill’s wife Mary is there.  She asks if we’ve found a picnic table yet and I tell her that we haven’t.  She says that Bill has started making them.  He figured that if we couldn’t find one then other people couldn’t find them either and he thought it would be a good way to make a few extra bucks since master carpenters aren’t in heavy demand these days.   I tell Mary we definitely want one and offer to give her a check on the spot.  She says, no, you can pay Bill when he gets it done.  I’m very pleased with all of this and figure we’ll have the new table in a few weeks.

picnic table

We came home from the pond to find our new picnic table on our lawn.  You’ve got to love a friend who has talent. And a pick up truck.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Carol, don’t you love that there are still master carpenters still
    out there??? Love the picnic table!
    I have a question, have you ever been to the Vermont Sheep
    and Wool Festival and if so, can you recommend vendors that
    I should make sure I stop by to look at their yarn (not fleece)?
    Are the vendors centrally located or spread all over?

  2. What a fabulous friend!!

    A picnic table can’t get any better than one from a master carpenter. I’d buy one from him if he was near by.

  3. Ali’s BF works for a cabinet maker and is in the 2nd week of a layoff (not the first layoff) — master carpenters, electricians, plumbers, man, anybody with a job in a construction-related industry is spending a lot of days doing other things. Your friend was smart to see an opportunity — I hope the picnic tables are helping to fill the gaps (and pay the bills). Your table is wonderful — how great that he delivered it, too!

  4. OH now you need a picnic cloth so its beauty and newness doesn’t get stained too soon. DOn’t you think?
    You sit close at a picnic table and it makes for such good conversation.

  5. I hope you stick that in the front yard for a little while and advertise his skills! Gorgeous. (Who knew a picnic table could be a work of art? Besides Bill, I mean.)

  6. Nice table! My resident Master Carpenter made me take pictures of the very different ones we saw at the Maine Maritime Museum, but a picnic table is pretty far down my list of things I want him to make: I have at least five orders, IF he decides to make them again, for his Mr. Plyer plying boxes! And we need a wine bar/liquor cabinet for the family room. And he owes the granddaughter a bed for her AG doll.

  7. Not only is that a terrific story, but that’s a gorgeous table!! JUST the style I remember from years of picnics along Rt 11 headed north…
    I won’t try to describe the one my Dad made – it was functional, but nowhere near as beautiful…But then, he hated working with wood, and preferred metal. It was… um… odd.

  8. That is a beautiful table!

    How smart of Bill to start making them! I think that’s really an item that is hard to find these days in any kind of good quality. So much outdoor furniture is crap nowdays.

    Lucky girl!

  9. How great that you have a wonderful new table ready for fun times and memories, and all the better that it was made by a friend.

  10. It’s a nice table, and a nice story. I think you will enjoy it. I think your friend Bill will sell quite a few of them.

  11. Love it ! We are in the market for a nice table as well. So far we found a home made one we’d probably have to sand a little bit for around $200. I think it’s a 12 footer…

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