How To Make An Oyster Table?

Hey everyone! Jamie is one of the editors at Southern Bon Vivant. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Kelley Elder, a new author and friend of mine. Although Kelley was raised in Georgia, she currently resides and works there. Watch for future posts from Kelley, who will be our go-to source for information on Charleston and the low country!

As a huge Georgia Tech fan and lover of all things oyster, Kelley writes a blog called Coastal Kelder. Today, we’re syndicating one of her posts about how to build an oyster shucking table just in time for football season. Although this article was written in January of last year, we thought we’d share it with you today since oyster season is just around the way (a good rule of thumb is to never eat raw oysters during months with a “r” in the name).

Most people simply place a piece of plywood over some saw horses and cut a hole in the centre when creating a table for shucking oysters. We’re not like most people, though.

Hunter and his father constructed the table as I was driving from Georgia to South Carolina, but fortunately they took many of pictures as they went along. As a result, these directions are based on photos (which Kelley interpreted)!

To begin with, be aware that everything of the wood you use needs to be salt-treated in order to protect it from the oysters and washing/cleaning. It is quite weighty as a result.

Start by creating the frame of the table. This keeps the table flat and prevents it from sagging.

The table would have removable legs because we didn’t want it to be put up all the time. To begin creating pockets for the legs, measure the width of the legs and screw wood into the frame at a distance equal to that measurement from the end.

Once those are in, screw in a few additional boards across the table to keep it solid. I’m telling you, this oyster table is solidly constructed.

To complete the creation of pockets for the legs to fit into, add a small piece of wood to each corner. Make a template out of little blocks the size of the legs.

Once the pockets are complete, flip the frame over and check that the legs fit snugly inside.

To prevent oysters from simply falling off the table, Hunter and his father decided to construct a lip (and to class it up some). To create the lip, they measured, cut, and screwed some smaller pieces of wood into the frame.

Lastly, just cut a hole in the middle and put a trashcan underneath for the oyster shells to go in so you can recycle them afterwards. Done!

On New Year’s Eve, we broke in the table with two bushels of oysters, but we kept it in the garage for a little warmth. We now eagerly anticipate holding another oyster roast soon!

This table is most surely going to withstand the next hurricane and out-live the two of us.

One day I might paint the top to resemble a football field with end zones for Georgia Tech and Clemson. Who is to say?

For your upcoming oyster roast, set up an oyster table!

You must construct an oyster table. The simplest tables are constructed from 1/2 inch plywood and have two holes drilled into them so that they can sit on top of two 32 gallon trash cans. Your table’s hole should be made somewhat smaller than the openings of your trash cans. The containers serve as the legs of your table and the bins for your used oyster shells. Just keep a mind to put oyster shells in the containers so they can be recycled! You can use any table, but please remember to recycle the oyster shells. How are the shells recycled?

You’ll need a sturdy oyster knife, a hand towel, or gloves to grasp the hot oysters while opening them. On the table you will want a range of condiments like saltine crackers, spicy sauce and Cocktail sauce to dip your oyster in. For the oyster table, melted butter mixed with garlic, Buffalo sauce, or BBQ sauce are also growing in popularity. Additionally, they taste great hot out of the shell. Eating an oyster is not right or wrong in any manner!

Now that you know how it is done, head out to your local fish market and pick up a couple bushels and let the fun begin. Hot oysters, cold beers and excellent people make for a terrific time!

Roast Oyster Table

You’ll require:

Unfortunately, I don’t have exact size instructions, so this is what I have: The table was constructed using a 48″ by 96″ sheet of plywood, which is the industry standard. The table is roughly 50″ x 98″ in total when it is framed out because everything else was constructed around that. The legs measure 4 x 4 x 36 inches, making it the ideal height for standing.

Also, my husband and his dad used salt treated wood so the table isn’t harmed by all the oysters and wiping it down. It will be quite heavy as a result.

First you’ll build the frame of the table. This keeps the table flat and prevents it from sagging.

Then add a small piece of wood in each corner, to finish making pockets for the legs to go into. Make a template out of little blocks the size of the legs.

It’s time to finish by adding the tabletop! The top plywood piece should be screwed into the frame.

To prevent oysters from simply falling off the table and to dress it up a bit, Hunter and his father decided to add a lip. To create the lip, they measured, cut, and screwed some tiny pieces of wood into the frame.

On New Year’s Eve, we broke in the table with two bushels of oysters, but we kept it in the garage for a little warmth. We now eagerly anticipate doing another oyster roast soon!

This table will undoubtedly last longer than the two of us and the upcoming cyclone.

Update: This table is still in good shape after a few years, many oyster roasts, and a move! Since the legs are still separate, it can be stored on the side of our garage so that cars can pull up.