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Project Information

This trestle table is now completed, finished.

I may buff on some more furniture wax. It should be maintained like this every now and then. However, for now I am just waiting for December 25. That is when this granddaughter comes here with her mother to open gifts; and to eat.

So I can transport this table to my granddaughter's house and room, I will disassemble the top and the stretcher from its two leg assemblies . In her room I will have her reassemble the table. There are three ways I can teach: tell, show, and participate. I know I remember better when I actively perform the tasks myself. This will engage her. Make her the owner. I made it to last the rest of her life, and then some.

I began this project with a printed scaled plan made by Gary Rogowski that he published in Fine Woodworking Magazine. It was a featured article. I selected this plan because of its dimensions. I liked this table for the purpose I would be making it. My granddaughter asked for a writing or study desk. I figured this table would fit nicely into her room. Later it could be used in an apartment when she left home for college. This could be used in a small dining room. It could fit into many places.

I knew also that I would make the stretcher straight across instead of curved like Gary did with his. For the top I also wanted a different look. I liked what Daniel Chaffin did to a larger trestle table. His table was a magazine cover article. He cut and planed several bevels on the table top's sides and then curved those sides plus he cut a steep bevel on the top's ends. That was the look I wanted for this table. I made the jigs necessary for cutting the bevels with my circular saw.

This was a very fun project to build; and to partially design. I enjoyed every moment I had while working on it. I gain valuable experiences using my bench planes, spokeshaves, making templates and jigs as well as gaining experience in finishing cherry hardwood. I had great time. I learned a lot from making this beautiful table.

My hope is that my granddaughter will have good memories of me with her whenever she sits at this table to put it to use.

Gallery

Comments

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1,191 Posts
Absolutely gorgeous! Nice work and thanks for sharing.
 

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240 Posts
Very nice piece. Now that I have two grand daughter I tend to understand that thought process a bit more.
 

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720 Posts
A fine piece. Simple, clean design. Understated and elegant at the same time.
 

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Cherry is such a beautiful wood and I don't see it as often lately but handsome table, well done.
 

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Very nice.
 

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That is a beautiful table. What a wonderful gift!
 

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7,855 Posts
Love it, I am a table nut and this one is really sweet.
Nice finish and workmanship!
 

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That's a great design, one that will stay in fashion no matter what the flavor-of-the-day is.
 

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Thank you all for your kind comments. I actually received help from members here at certain road bumps I encountered during this build. That is what I like about this site, forum. For an old guy just starting out in woodworking, having support like that is special. Thanks.
 

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Whoa! That is a beautiful table with a great finish. I love the plan of delivery you can rest assured that the involvement will be a bonding experince she will never forget.
 

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Trully woodworking skill! Very nice design and it looks so light and elegant.
 

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Nice work! I'm about to begin a similar project, only perhaps with slightly smaller top. May I ask you to comment on the thickness of the legs and stability of the table overall? My design was to use almost identical legs to yours but I'm a little worried about whether the table could tip at all if someone leans to much weight on the long sides of the table top.
 

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I followed Gary Rogowski's printed plan fairly closely for the dimensions of the legs, stretcher, and tabletop. My table is very sturdy under these legs. Of course, this table was a gift to my granddaughter. I do not see it often, but I did just a month ago. It is holding up fine. I would take better care of it, but it is holding up well under the circumstances.

I deviated from Gary's plan by choosing to not cut the stretcher in his curved fashion. I kept the stretcher straight. I also did not route the table top with a pattern bit. Instead, I custom cut and planed a bevel and then cut a curvature to my tabletop similar to Daniel Chaffin's trestle table. Both plans I followed were available for purchase on Fine Woodworking's website.

If your legs have similar dimensions to the table I made then I would bet they will be plenty sturdy. The wedge locks the legs into place.

Good luck.
 

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Very nice table. I like the simple design, and the workmanship is excelent
 

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Very beautiful.
 

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I appreciate the recent kind comments about this trestle table I built for a granddaughter.

Dimension wise I followed a Gary Rogowski's printed plan he provided on www.FineWoodworking.com. The changes I made were to make the trestle piece straight instead of curved that connects the two legs. I also chose not to use a router bit to shape the edges of the table top. I had read a Fine Woodworking article authored by Daniel Chaffin. He built a larger trestle table. For his table top he beveled the edges using a tracked circular saw and he cut curved sides and ends on his trestle table. I believed it looked so nice that I wanted to use the same technique for this table top.

I do not own a tracked circular saw so I made two simple jigs for use with my Rigid circular saw; a long jig for the long sides of this table and a shorter one for the table's ends. If I recall correctly the side beveled cuts were set at 60 degrees and the ends set to 45 degrees. From those beveled cuts I continued beveling the edges with my bend plane and spokeshaves.



After I got the bevel the way I wanted it, I used a jigsaw to cut wide curves on the sides and the ends. I made a shop made curve jig with thin strips of hardwood pulled together with a strong string. Since the curve I got was symmetrical and would hold it place, I was able to mark a pencil line for my jig saw to follow. Generally I do not cut wood well when using my jig saw, but I went slow and was the process very deliberate so it turned out well. Of course, I followed up the process by using my spokeshave and my bench plane to get a nice finish to the curves.

 

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To protect the corners I balanced them on a scrap piece of hardwood as shown while I used my bench planes and spokeshaves. This image also shows the curves that I cut using my jigsaw on the sides and the ends of the table top.

 

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