Urban Wood Trestle Table

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Project by chem posted 10-16-2014 01:45 AM 1582 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my latest and biggest project. The wood is urban lumber with a large walnut slab on a tulip poplar base. The poplar was a single gnarly mineral stained and heavily cracked piece of misery. By the end of the project it was 25% cyanoacrylate by weight (give or take a bit). I learned a few things. Walnut is very heavy. Poplar is very light. The Festool ETS 125 is an amazing product (no scratch marks with 80 grit is a non-intuitive but delightful result). I am not very good at cutting mortises much less large mortises. My hollow chisel mortiser is not up to the task. It was also my first time with Minwax polyurethane (inspired by a recent FWW article). May be my last time. I put it over a couple coats of Arm-R-Seal to try to get some depth. The top is attached to the base with 4 huge Spax screws. No other metal.

-- chemist by day, woodworker time permitting

6 comments so far

View Mark's profile


1010 posts in 2429 days

#1 posted 10-16-2014 04:05 AM

Beautiful table Chem. That Walnut top is killer. Well done.

-- Mark

View Ken90712's profile


17701 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 10-16-2014 08:38 AM

Great looking table!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DrDirt's profile


4588 posts in 4197 days

#3 posted 10-16-2014 08:44 PM

Gorgeous result, just make sure the screws are in oversize holes so the top has room to expand and contract, or the top slab will get splits where the screws are binding trying to fight it.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3144 days

#4 posted 10-16-2014 11:43 PM

Absolutely beautiful table. Love the wedged tenon joinery. And I would never have thought to use poplar and walnut in the same project! But your poplar and walnut play very well together. Your finish looks nice from here.

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


6979 posts in 3602 days

#5 posted 10-16-2014 11:58 PM

Beautiful trestle table—love that walnut top!

And +1 on enlarging those screw holes—wouldn’t want that beautiful walnut to split!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View chem's profile


34 posts in 2059 days

#6 posted 10-17-2014 12:26 AM

DrDirt and Mean_Dean thanks for the reminder on the screw holes. I actually worried about it quite a bit. I did not have an elegant way to make elongated holes in the support element so I just drilled/moved/drilled/moved/drilled on my drill press. The end result was an oval-like hole. I put the screws down in the middle and used large washers so there would not be bite into the wood that might cause problems with movement. If it cracks after that I will post a project on fixing it!

Thanks for all the positive comments and advice.

-- chemist by day, woodworker time permitting

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