Trestle table

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Project by FLBert posted 07-12-2018 01:41 PM 1302 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I friend recently came to me wanting to build his wife a dining table as a surprise. He had a picture of the basic style she mentioned liking unfortunately it was one of those poorly crafted “Ana White” tables screwed, no milling, warped, gapped up things. I pointed out the problems with the lack of craftsmanship and explained that I’d be happy to help him build it but if it was for my wife I’d do it much different and explained my thoughts on it. This young man grew up without a father in the home and never had anyone to show him anything about tools, construction, etc so I offered to let him come in and I’d tutor him as much as he’d like and just do the rest myself as needed. He jumped at the chance and it was a great experience for us both. I’ve done this a couple of times now and its just a great feeling to pass along my little bit of knowledge and see the embers getting stoked for future members of the woodworking community.
The table was requested to be built out of construction grade lumber (pine here in North FL)... man I hate digging through the shelves at the big box trying to find anything to work with. I bet I went through 50-75 crap boards to find anything to work with and even then it was a lot of knots, defects, etc to deal with. We did make sure to seal the knots with shellac so they shouldn’t have any problems. He decided on a white painted base with a grey stained top he had seen in my house on part of my entertainment center I built. I think the combination looked great. I saw a table April Wilkerson had built a while back and tweaked the dimensions to work for him. The wedges were stained to match the top and the top is held on by z clips (not in the pic, its just sitting there since we still had to carry it inside).
He hasn’t shown his wife yet I think he’s coming to get it in the next day or so but I’m stoked to see her reaction on her husbands first build.
If anyone’s interested the top stain is Minwax Classic Grey, the base is a gloss white (latex I think), the curved base was just 4 2×4s face glued then the curve cut on the bandsaw, the finish applied to the top and base is a mix of spayed water based polycrylic gloss and a couple of light coats of Arm r seal satin. The reason for both is I’d never sprayed the polycrylic before and being water based thought it sounded like easy clean up. By inexperiece with it showed though. The high temps lately probably didn’t help since some of it looked glossy other areas dry/satin. I got enough on it to protect it, sanded smooth then just wiped 2-3 thinned down coats of the arm r seal and that fixed it for me.

-- Bert, Lake City, FL

9 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


4577 posts in 2422 days

#1 posted 07-12-2018 02:07 PM

beautiful table and out of PINE ? golly, what a person can do when they put their mind to it. Pretty sure I’m not the only one here that’s IMPRESSED !!

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View FLBert's profile


73 posts in 1537 days

#2 posted 07-12-2018 02:16 PM

Thanks Dick! Pines a struggle to work with (for me) and not my preference for furniture typically but it has its place.

-- Bert, Lake City, FL

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2384 days

#3 posted 07-12-2018 02:22 PM

That is just fantastic!

I followed along as April built her version, and also thought it was a good looking piece of furniture.

Your efforts at spreading the craft are great to read about!

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View FLBert's profile


73 posts in 1537 days

#4 posted 07-12-2018 02:27 PM

Thanks Jim. I love April’s enthusiasm. The friend that we built this for was like that through the build. I thought it was funny when going through the initial milling when he commented on how much work went into it. He, like a lot of folks I’d guess, envisioned picking up some boards, screwing it together, painting it, and calling it a day…

-- Bert, Lake City, FL

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3208 days

#5 posted 07-13-2018 03:37 AM

Wow, great looking table!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4375 days

#6 posted 07-13-2018 04:43 AM

Beautiful work Bert!
That table came out super nice.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4394 days

#7 posted 07-30-2018 05:29 PM

Love it!!

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View JohnMcClure's profile


1035 posts in 1440 days

#8 posted 10-29-2018 12:55 AM

I love the look of this and believe I’ll duplicate the shape when I make my dining table.
A couple questions, if you don’t mind:
1) How did you secure the top to the bearers? Anything fancy to account for expansion of the top?
2) How did you do layout of the tenons at the end of the curved portions of the legs? I’ve done layouts on large curved pieces, and found it challenging to keep everything square when there’s no square line to reference off of. Maybe you have a more foolproof method?
And – Great Job! Looks beautiful.

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View FLBert's profile


73 posts in 1537 days

#9 posted 10-29-2018 11:50 AM

Glad to answer your questions.
To attach the top I used z clips (I think I ordered them off Amazon but others carry them too). It was my first time using them but found it really simple and effective. I don’t know if you’ve ever used them but basically either use a biscuit joiner to cut a groove in the legs or run it down there table saw for a shallow groove (I used the biscuit joiner). Then screw the clip to the top. The clips allow for the wood movement.
To set up to attach the curves I lay it all out BEFORE I cut the curve. I drew up the curve on the blanks so I had a reference for the layout. In this case I didn’t use tenons but rather recessed lag bolts through the top/bottom of the leg, but I’d probably do a tenon in the same manner. Marking it all up in the dry fit stage. Also, I used a dowel at the center point of the curve to connect to the upright to take out any lateral movement.

Have fun!


-- Bert, Lake City, FL

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