Timber Frame Trestle Ponies

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Project by kokaneesailor posted 06-22-2011 02:53 AM 19635 views 26 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Needed to find a use for the big ole tree that got knocked down by a wind storm and hit the house. Had a magazine article that showcased these trestle ponies. The plans were a bit sketchy, ( or I have a hard time comprehending the written word), but I finally figured them out.

I cut the tree ( pine) with a beam machine and chainsaw in the backyard. Then cut them down to 5×5’s and 3.5×5.5’s with a circular saw. Then fine tuned them with a old 5.5 bailey plane.

Used a old Snell timber frame boring machine to flesh out the mortise’s. Chisel and mallet to clean out the blind mortise and thru mortise. Used a Makita circular saw to cut the arch for the bottom speader.

Cut 3/4 inch birch dowels for pegs, then hexagoned them for more bite. Did a bit of sanding, and a couple of coats of Danish Oil for a finish.

Now that they are done, not sure if I want to use them a trestle ponies for timbers, might just make a 8 foot long top for it and viola, renaissance table.

It was fun to make, cause I don’t have a shop, so I had to keep one eye on the sky at all times. Rain and antique tools don’t mix well.

17 comments so far

View whit's profile


246 posts in 5260 days

#1 posted 06-22-2011 03:00 AM

WOW!! Saw horses . . . on steroids!! Very nice.

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View stnich's profile


130 posts in 4208 days

#2 posted 06-22-2011 03:32 AM

Those ponies are ready for some serious weight. Back when I used to build houses I would make 3-4 sets at a time all the same. Worked great I still have a bunch 20 years later. You mentioned that you cut the arch on the bottom spreader with a circular. Ho did you accomplish that on such a thick piece? I remember guys that did that with thinner material but not something that thick.

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4166 days

#3 posted 06-22-2011 03:42 AM

wow, now THESE are sawhorses!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View kokaneesailor's profile


35 posts in 4188 days

#4 posted 06-22-2011 04:51 AM

stnich, I only had the blade depth about a 1/8 of an inch on the circular when I cut the arch. After that I dropped the blade to it’s max and did slanted breadcut’s. I don’t have a bandsaw, so this was the easiest way that I could think of doing a half decent job. The french curve is an awesome invention!

View MichaelA's profile


778 posts in 4172 days

#5 posted 06-22-2011 05:20 AM

Kokoneesailor, These are a carpenters dream. Great job!!!!!!!

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5003 days

#6 posted 06-22-2011 05:39 AM

Now I see why these are so beefy, you’re getting ready for some timber framing. I think they’ll hold up! Nice build. Good luck on the house.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 5096 days

#7 posted 06-22-2011 08:42 AM

This is really carpenters dream.

-- Jiri

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3938 days

#8 posted 06-22-2011 03:21 PM


Where did you find the drill press? That is a gorgeous tool.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View DocSavage45's profile


9070 posts in 4126 days

#9 posted 06-22-2011 03:56 PM

Maybe both a table and a work bench and saw horses? Waiting to see the results! :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View FlairWoodworks's profile


71 posts in 3822 days

#10 posted 06-22-2011 06:54 PM

RG said it best:


Where did you find the drill press? That is a gorgeous tool.”

-- Chris Wong -- --

View Pacdad's profile


15 posts in 4201 days

#11 posted 06-24-2011 12:36 AM

Love the SUPER DUTY saw horses. But that old tool takes a back seat to NOTHING!! Love seeing the old tools being used. Super job.

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5082 days

#12 posted 06-24-2011 05:26 PM

Wow! Who made the statue in the last shot? It’s so life like.


Great trestles and heck yeah, now I’ve got a reason to buy a beam drill. Woohoo!


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Reginald's profile


21 posts in 3802 days

#13 posted 07-05-2011 03:55 AM

Great looking trestle ponies-I must say I would love to try my hand at making myself a set.Is there anyway I could get a copy of that magazine article. I am an aspiring timber framer and these look like a great project to start honing my skills on!

-- Reginald

View kokaneesailor's profile


35 posts in 4188 days

#14 posted 07-07-2011 04:45 AM

Thanks for all the positive comments. The snell boring machine was an e-bay bid win item. I purchased 75 percent of my timberframing tools off e-bay. The more beat up and abused ( within reason) they are the more I seem to love them. I love breathing new life into an old, forgotten item. Every day is like Christmas when you’ve finished a marathon of shopping on e-bay.

As I let Reggie know, you can get the plans for these trestle ponies from a back issue of BackHome Magazine Jan/Feb 2008 edition. I don’t believe it’s very much money, and well worth it in my opinion. I’m attaching a link to the magazines back order page. You will have to cut and paste it into your browser, cause the hyper link thingy is beyond my comprehension.

Thanks again…Robert

View kokaneesailor's profile


35 posts in 4188 days

#15 posted 07-07-2011 04:46 AM

Well it looks like the hyperlink thingy works all on its own… lol

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