Exercises in Artisanship #23: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 6 THE FINAL

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 08-14-2012 07:28 PM 1532 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 5 Part 23 of Exercises in Artisanship series Part 24: Practices in Spoonology: Part one »

This table is special I suppose because it is my first.
My shop being set in all natural conditions sure made this a spread out project, there were some truly brutal hot and humid days that let this sit and wait for a better time to work with it.

I wanted a piece that had touches of rustic warmth supported with lines of a Renaissance rhythm. To stand back and see the entire composition in it’s thought out form, from some ragged sketches to this on my living room floor is a nice reward for the journey.

This is a piece that now bridges my previous ideas to more finishing and larger work. I felt the tools gave me the best available chance for success and my 2 year experience provided good places to bookmark portions for better execution in future builds.

The pine is solid, it looks and holds as I wanted it too. The finish is in the eye of the beholder, some may enjoy it’s character and others might cringe…lol. I experimented using the following ingredients:

1 coat Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil, 2 coats Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, sand, followed by 2 coats of minwax paste finishing wax. Then after all that..I experimented using BLO which popped the grain nicely. I realize this was a bit out of order and wax after the BLO may have been the smarter route or perhaps choose one of the two and use….but I admit it made it look better so I kept it.

I thank all of the great knowledge out there on this site….and I think I can say that the two biggest discussed, stressed, obsessed, things I have discovered in the basic fundamentals of woodwork are sharpening, and finishing….lol.

If you ever want to feel totally confused read up on these two topics and you will surely want to wear a question mark on your favorite hat by the time you are done clicking through pages of multiple opinions on these

My advice to any beginners searching with hair pulling frustration on improving in these two areas is this….”try, play, prepare for some miscues, and if it’s for your own enjoyment do it the way you like it”......I also add in the old school wisdom from my Dad…....”Sharpen the dam thing, stain the dam thing…hell, it will cut and look fine!” Honestly…for me this always seems to work out pretty good as well…lol.

I will admit I do begin to get a little unnerved when I see such talented hobbyist woodworkers getting so OCD over chisels and things. I begin to think the working and enjoyment aspect of it is tainted with calculations and
measurements why the wood has little care or worry for any of the excessive fussing once the initial task
performs just fine. Probably my feelings are as such because I have discovered my own obsessed judgements or
concerns with situations involving my work or tools and yearn to tame the inner demons and enjoy myself more while performing the tasks set upon me. I usually am always able able to turn any lost confidence into good fortunes, but somedays we have those instances where the entire compostion looks like a third grader could chuckle at it….lol.

The summer has sure been filled with this table project and the new found adventure of getting into
learning new skills with carving some country spoons. Spoon making can be an easier physical avenue when the temps are too hot and the heat warnings have been advised. A few days here or there in the shop on my chair letting the fan whip some cooler breezes while carving away at some cherry made for some decent learning and most likely some even better therapy for the soul.

So this ends the long summer of trestle table ideas and creation. I am very happy with this piece being only my first table attempt. I was even rewarded with the old four legs with the one side wobbles fiasco…lol. But a few hidden shavings tucked under a hardwood floor and it’s just fine and in my case this is a rug sitter so I have the support to wipe some greenhorn sweat away and just keep smiling. Either way, just more things to learn, improve and hone on for next table session.

I am like so many of you out there, I have a wonderful talent for seeing all the mistakes first without stopping in my tracks and giving myself some credit. So many times I am forgetful a hand tool road for creating projects is an extremely challenging and practiced one. You have to a get at least a few tables underneath your saw blades before you can see large strides and improvements. My work has taken a few positive strides for all of my efforts, and I am grateful for being able to see it through and share with those who care to enjoy it with me.


Well I guess this wraps up this series. Time to put new plans, drawing’s and ideas into shape for a new project!

I hope all of your ideas are done with enthusiasum, becasue it’s a rather bit of wasted time I think to hide your imagination and wonder! Perhaps that’s another key to not letting ones mind grow old.

The body will have its say, look the way it is today, but the mind is a never fully filled glass to poor your thoughts in!

My best thoughts for all of you,

Have fun and be good to one another!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

4 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7890 posts in 3452 days

#1 posted 08-14-2012 08:43 PM

Great Job Joe. You’ve instantly aged it. Your finishing regime might be unorthodox, but it certainly worked.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3413 days

#2 posted 08-14-2012 09:37 PM

Looks very good.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3299 days

#3 posted 08-15-2012 01:53 AM

A very unorthodox finishing schedule produced a truly great finish.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3943 days

#4 posted 08-16-2012 05:09 PM

Looks great!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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