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3' on the backer, 4' on the top board then 5' on the angle from 3' point to the 4' point makes the first board square.
For a right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides: a2(3) + b2(4) = c2(5)
From there you can measure for the rest then at the end measure from corner to corner (they will be equal) and adjust.. you'll have the squarest picnic table on the block.
You know I always use electroplated fasteners, but read in a book just a couple of days ago zinc coated is better.. I, like you rp, haven't found that myself, I find the zinc get's knocked off easier especially with gun nails... hmmm? Goes to show you got to take everything with a grain of salt huh?