H-Leg Dining Table

If you saw my recent post for the J-pedestal table or follow me on social media then you knew this one was coming. If not then right when you get done enjoying this post then head over there. Nevertheless, the story goes, we were planning for Thanksgiving dinner this year and realized that we had a lot of people coming and no where to put them. So we came up with the brilliant idea of having Thanksgiving dinner in the workshop and making two huge dining table to boot. So naturally Jamie shot over to Pottery Barn and picked out a couple tables to use as inspiration. This table was based off the $2200 Stafford Dining Table. We built this one to be an outdoor table for when the spring comes so we built it out if cedar to naturally withstand the elements and gapped the boards for the top to allow drainage. This plan could easily be modified for an indoor table by using the top design seen on the J-pedestal table of just adding a 2×6 to the top and not gapping the boards. Either way, I hope you enjoy this project and video to go with it! Cheers!

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How to build a H-Leg Outdoor Dining Table

If you decide to take on this project I highly recommend you download the printable PDF below to have with you during the build. To do so just click the button below and subscribe to get weekly updates. In return I’ll instantly email you the PDF for free! It’s a win-win.

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Questions? Comments?

As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below and especially don’t forget to post pictures of your finished products in the comments! ENJOY!

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  • Drew Carpenter

    I like this one, too! Thick & “chunky.”
    Very interested to see if the pocket hole joinery holds up outdoors as the wood expands and contracts. Everything I’m seeing from other builders is floating tenons (don’t know if I have the jargon right), not screws.

    • Paul Ferrario

      I can’t wait to try this. I will put my faith in the rocket scientist 🙂

    • Thanks Drew! And I’m not worried about the pocket hole joinery. I’ve built many pieces like this with no issues.

  • Peter Rondeau

    Thanks for these designs! I’ve been looking for a sturdy design for table legs so I can build a table out of my IPE wood (“Ironwood”) deck scraps, they are very heavy.
    Any insight in how to build the bench pictured with the Staford table? I have a 48″ long piece that would be perfect for a bench to this table..In the picture it makes the legs on the table look like they 6×6 and the bench 4×4, but the description says the table legs are 4×4, so maybe the bench legs are a smaller size?
    I’m still debating between PT lumber, Cedar lumber, of IPE/Mahogany.. Probably knotty cedar.

  • Justin

    Great project… looking at building it this weekend. Any thoughts to notching the top 4×4 on the legs to allow the 2×4 runners to put weight on the leg rather than just using the pocket screws?

    • Yes, I think that would be a great addition. Plus you could extend those runners to help support the ends of the table top as well.

  • Amber Ramsey

    Might be a silly question… what does the 2 PL and 4 PL stand for? Currently in the process of building this table and don’t want to do something I shouldn’t. Thank you!

  • Allie Burke

    Do you think it would be possible to put an umbrella in the table? How would the umbrella stand fit with the 4×4 going across the bottom?

    • I think that is a great idea. Just drill a hole in the lower 4×4 as well and anchor it in there as well. Maybe a hole just big enough that it needs to be forced in and will create a friction fit.

  • Burke Jones

    I like this, but how necessary is the HD pocket system? I have the regular, but I also don’t want to sacrifice strength as this will be outside in the elements. Thoughts?

    • Not completely necessary. You will sacrifice a little strength but I think it would be fine.

  • Matt Henry

    Sorry if this is remedial but how is the long notch made on the bottom on the legs to add the bottom feet? Is it running it back and forth on a table saw like a smaller notch, just with a bunch more passes?

    • Not remedial at all. That is what I did. I’m sure there is an quicker way though. Maybe using a band saw?

  • Matt Anthony

    If we were to build this table for outdoor use and stain and seal it would cedar still be the best/right wood to use? It looks like my local big box stores don’t carry cedar boards in the dimensions you used so I’d have to use normal framing materials, which I don’t think we could leave untreated. Any tips on staining outdoor furniture and the best wood for the job? What about pressure treated materials? I have not made any outdoor projects yet so I want to make sure it holds up. I live in California so it doesn’t get really cold, and rain is sparse. Plus the table will be completely covered by an awning. Thanks for your detailed plans! Your site is definitely my favorite DIY site!

    • Doesn’t get cold… Sparse rain.. I feel so bad for you. Haha jk. Honestly cedar is the best option because it won’t rot. You can stain it if you want to hold a color otherwise it will naturally gray. If you can’t get ahold of cedar then untreated wood with a stain and sealer will be fine. I use spar urethane for outdoor application. Or you could paint with and exterior paint. Another option is to us pressure treated wood but it has that green tint to it and will effect stain color if you choose to do so.

      • Matt Anthony

        Well we spend most of the summer in the triple digits so… 🙂 I’ll probably have to try some local lumber stores to see if they have cedar. I definitely want the piece to hold up! Thanks for the feedback!

  • Nick Tortorella

    I just completed the base!!!
    I shortened the specs by 41″ and ended up using Pine and Doug Fir for the base. I wanted to go with a Hardwood for the top but i am having trouble finding any of the local Hardwood Yards in San Diego that have Dimensionally cut pieces. any recommendations for a hardwood i could use for the top that would be budget friendly.
    PS: this is going to be our kitchen table and we are planning on painting the base and staining/clearing the top.
    Thanks for the plans!! I have posted the picture on FB and been referring your page to all that are interested.


    • Hi Nick,You have done a great job on your table base! Looking for hardwood in San Diego? Do a search for “San Diego Hardwood Lumber” and there are several choices. You can see what the cost in you local area is …. but generally for lower cost hardwood say like poplar or red or white oak. could work well for you…..even alder…Alder would be the softest of these. Then Poplar. The oaks would be less likely to dent ….they are harder and will be less splotchy when staining.

      You are going to have the coolest table any where around. …. have fun.


    Here is the finished product, Modified H-Leg Dining table, several modifications to a console table/entertainment stand. I appreciate your work and vision.



    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63422f633028ad69d3d8f10d8b6b0651a8d1dbe16e3a20fa7522213e6de2612d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93dffdb59c4a5194a902113e058cb71a2acb054445125c5f9c733bde6f8d893c.jpg

  • John Sabo

    Thanks for a great design on a table! I made it as a gift for my wife’s birthday. Do you have any plans or ideas for a matching bench?


    • Plans for benches are in the works as we speak! Stay tuned!

  • Dan L

    Any issues with the wood movement of the top messing up the end boards?

  • Jonathan

    Any special wood I should use? I’m worried about the movement and have seen horror stories from other table plans. Anyways, great plans and nice build.

  • Dave

    Here is mine. It’s 102″ x 43″ (big family). As it is outside, I used almost full width mortise and tenons for the breadboards, glued and doweled in the middle with elongated tenon holes on the ends to allow for movement. Hope I described that correctly, I’m new to this.

    Thank you so much.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7312c0ac625e4a7e40b9ea2adddeca317f8f2696b3d1c66701008a431eb075db.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ece508904f46e39a4a3ccfb63f9f9bcb40c494cd6b6dc3a0f6f5b03328140640.jpg