Most of the picnic tables I make are made from recycled pine. Pine is a soft wood. Generally speaking, soft wood doesn’t weather as well as hardwood.
People started asking me about hardwood picnic tables and whether I made any. To start with I didn’t. I didn’t know where to source the wood.
Then I got a request from a Rotary Club to build some picnic tables to go into the Kinglake (Victoria, Australia) area that had been ravaged by bushfires. A lot of schools, businesses and parks had been destroyed and Rotary wanted to contribute some tables to replace the ones that had been lost.
They asked me to build them.
I did some research on hardwood and what kind of hardwood would weather well in the Victorian climate. Redgum was my first choice, but the timber supply was unreliable. Then I discovered how good a timber Cypress was, and how hardy it was, and that settled it.
In May 2010 the Oakleigh/Bentleigh Rotary Club donated 15 Cypress picnic tables to a variety of organisations from the Kinglake Area. I went to the presentation dinner and was really humbled by how grateful the people who received the picnic tables were.
So if you’re in the Kinglake area and you see some picnic tables with Oakleigh/Bentleigh Rotary Club badges along the cross beam of the legs – I made them.
The Cypress I use isn’t recycled, but I believe it is from renewable forestry, rather than from cutting down virgin growth.
These cypress picnic tables are a lot heavier than the recycled pine picnic tables.