Trestle table?

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Forum topic by Belg1960 posted 06-12-2017 10:06 AM 755 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1108 posts in 3846 days

06-12-2017 10:06 AM

GM all, I’m going to be building a redwood true outdoor (exposed to the weather) table and my client wanted to know if it’s possible to recess the trestle part at the end to allow for better leg clearance? It will be made from 2×6 clear stock with a tenoned breadboard end, I don’t see any issue with it but want to make sure. Would you glue the tabletop boards together or leave a small gap for water to drain? Finish on redwood?
This is close to the style she would like. Thanks for any advice. Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

3 replies so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2005 posts in 3794 days

#1 posted 06-12-2017 01:27 PM

Can’t see any reason it can’t be built like the picture.

If it’s NOT going to be under a shelter, leaving the top boards spaced 3/16 inch apart would be a good idea. The bread board ends could either be glued with Titebond III or you could use a draw bore joint.

If it’s going to be placed under a shelter, then just glue the boards together with Titebond III.

As far as finish, I would think an oil finish on Redwood would be fine.

Another thing you might want to do is screw some material like a plastic cutting board under the feet using bronze

Are you going to make it so it can be disassembled (top, legs, stretcher) with a small mallet?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Belg1960's profile


1108 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 06-13-2017 10:18 AM

This is some great info Tyvekboy, I do plan on build the top and the base separately and assembling the final product at the client’s house. The base will look slightly different but similar.
I have been using pvc and Trex pieces under my outdoor projects for a while now and really like the way it keeps them protected. You can just see them on this potting bench.

I hope the table comes out as well. Thanks for the help, Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1701 days

#3 posted 06-13-2017 03:57 PM


I can foresee only one potential issue in recessing the trestle legs by about 16” from the ends of the table. If the table is too short (less than about 64”), someone pressing down or sitting on the end of the table could cause the opposite end to lift. But if the 16” cantilever is less than 25% of the overall length of the table, I would think this would be less of an issue.

The table top could be a solid or slatted top if the top is sloped so that water on the top will run off. The ideal slop would be about ¼” rise per foot of width. That would mean that while one edge of the table top would be 30” from the ground the opposite edge of a 4’ wide top would be 31” off the ground. This slope could be created by adding feet to the trestle legs on one side of the table that are thicker (in the case of a 4’ wide table, 1” thicker) than on the opposite side. If the client dislikes this slope, replacing two feet would be the simple fix.

If the table will remain level, then a slatted top would allow a slat to be replaced should it ever fail. But this would require that the breadboard ends are attached so that the breadboard can be removed (SS screws and no glue).

I agree with tyvekboy that an oil finish suitable for outdoor use would be a good way to go. However, it will require re-application from time to time, but the prep work before re-application should be as simple as washing the table and some light spot sanding to remove any graying of the wood. The only alternative finish of which I am aware is a spar varnish. But if one does not keep up with re-applications, prep work preceding the re-application of the spar varnish could be a lot of work.

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