Trestle Table completed

Here are a few photos from my most recent woodworking project, a trestle table. The top is made from Black Walnut and the base is made from some select pieces of alder.
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I tried to keep the size appropriate for your relatively small dining room while allowing space for a planned side table built using similar woods.
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The breadboard ends were probably the most rewarding part of the process as they required close tolerances but were quite fun to produce with only a small handheld router and straightedge. Doing these by hand would have been possible but quite challenging given my lack of a wide rabbeting plane that would have made it easier to do.

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I finished the top with a wiping varnish (ala Bob Flexner), which is one part oil-based polyurethane and one part odorless mineral spirits. It took around four coats to get a decent coverage that will stand up against spills and messes resulting from eating every meal at this little table. So far it appears to be doing just fine.

The base is a combination of wedged through tenons for the stretchers (seen below) and for the leg to foot joints. This was my first project using these and I have to say I was amazed at the incredibly solid sound the wedges made when driven home in the kerfs cut into the end of the tenons to accept them. These joints were then drawbored with oak pegs to add belts to the proverbial suspenders. The joinery is conceptually sound so time will test my woodworking ability to determine if it is up to snuff.

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The feet were shaped using a coping saw (believe it or not) as I haven’t found a suitable bow saw and don’t currently own a bandsaw — maybe some day. They were then sanded by hand and joined to the table using wedged through tenons and pegs, not drawbored all of the way through to avoid the end of the oak pegs standing out against the visible part of the feet. I’ll have to wait to see if this was a mistake as the table absorbs the mechanical stresses of being used every day. It’s holding up just fine so far.

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So far the table looks to be holding up well. I’m not sure alder was the best wood to use for the base. If I was to do it over again, I would probably use a stiffer, more rigid wood like a douglas fir or perhaps even white oak as it would have provided a much more rigid platform for the top. As it stands now, I can easily replace the base since the top is attached using traditional buttons instead of being screwed or bolted on in some fashion. It might be a good time to revisit this after completing the side table.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the trestle table. I’ll post more updates as my next project nears completion.

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