a Modern picnic table

One of the planned elements for the back yard was a recreation (of a recreation...) of an outside table originally designed by Donald Judd (posted here). Here's a photo of the original at Judd's house in Marfa:

He tended to stain his outdoor wood black (which is somewhat masochistic given the blazing Texas sun).

We decided to build ours out of cedar and stain it clear to create a backyard tie-in with the clear-stained wood in the ceiling and eaves of the house. We hired our pal at Coulbury Design to build the table for us. Unlike the original and the Shark Pit knock-off, Dan decided to not use any metal at all, instead using wooden dowels:

Which is pretty cool and makes the piece even more minimal than it already is.

The entire table weighs a freakin' ton, so he and his bride brought it over in pieces and then doweled it all together.

A few hours later, we had a table!

There are still a few glitches to work out with the bench seats (may need more dowels), but all in all a gorgeous, sculptural table. It was a big hit at the green chile roasting and peeling party we had the next day.


  1. Beautiful table. Tell me more about the clear stain. I stripped down some reclaimed restaurant benches, applied an outdoor stain... and 9 months later the benches + sun = stain getting on people's rears. It's frustrating. I was thinking I should have just used teak oil or nothing at all.

    1. Dan used a spar varnish. He didn't tell me which brand. Let me know if you want to know.


    2. Thanks for the info! I think we used a spar on our stuff. Time to punt.