Trestle Table

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #314296
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    My latest project is a trestle table modelled on the Stickley #622 but reduced in size so it’ll fit in my modest kitchen.

    I’m using pine, which at one time I’d have said was not a good choice for a project like this. Quarter-sawn white oak would be nice, but is not easily available where I live. I use pine for all my projects, and have found it to work really well for Arts and Crafts designs. I’m making practical furniture for my house, not reproduction antiques, so accuracy to the original is not a factor.

    The photos show the fitting-up of a tenon and mortise, and the set-up I used to determine the best overall proportions. I am limited to about 60″ length due to space constraints, but want two people to be able to sit on either side without the legs getting in the way. I settled on a 9″ overhang either end.

    Steve

    Attachments:
Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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    Replies
  • #314316
    Edmund
    Participant

    @etmo

    Looks like you’re off to a great start, Steve.

    How did you arrive at the 9″ overhang? I always wonder how these things are decided.

    And have you decided on the type of finish?

    #314318
    Matt McGrane
    Participant

    @mattmcgrane

    Those mortises and tenons are looking nice and crisp. Should be a great table. May I ask a question? Do you have a book of Stickley designs or some other book you are referencing?

    Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/

    #314321
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    Hi Edmund and Matt,

    I arrived at the 9″ overhang because I wanted enough space between the trestles to seat two people on each side. Given the 60″ overall length I chose a distance which allowed the two people per side, and I decided that the 9″ overhang was (just) enough to allow seating at the ends. I hope that explains it.

    As for finish, I usually start off with water-based (oak colour) stain, followed by an oil-based stain. Then I paint the wood with thinned-down oil-based beige paint which I then remove most of with a white spirit soaked cotton rag. This gives the wood the appearance of having once been painted and then stripped. I finish off with good quality furniture wax. (see photo)

    I have a book called Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture which I use for ideas. I’m not that fastidious about following the dimensions. I only use it for rough guidance and ideas for projects.

    Steve

    Attachments:
    #314333
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    Do you have any tricks for keeping the pine from blotching when you apply the stain? I’m always looking for new tricks for finishing pine!

    The table’s going to be beautiful.

    #314334
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    I go over the whole thing with 150 or 220 sandpaper to prep the surface. I find it helps to thin down the water-based stain and apply two coats instead of one. The oil-based stain (which I leave on for five minutes and then wipe off with a rag) and beige paint pretty much cover up any blotchiness that remains.

    The more stages of finish there are, the less problem there will be with blotching. Any slight inconsistencies that are left I accept as ‘character’ (-:

    #314419
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    Here’s my first go at a keyed tenon and mortise joint. I still have to reduce the length of the tenon, and chamfer the edges for a more finished-off look. I may also reduce the length of the key to be more in keeping with the scale of the table.

    Attachments:
    #314457
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    @gilessteve how wide is the through tenon on your stretcher and how deep are the shoulders? I’m talking about the through tenon with the key. I’m making a knock-down trestle table that is wedged similarly and am deciding my dimensions. Right now, the through tenon is about 2″ wide with 5/16 deep shoulders. The actual trestle is 5″ wide, but for various reasons the tenon most be reduced down to around 2 to 2 1/2″. Since it is knock down, this wedge joint must provide all of the racking strength, so I was curious what dimension you used. On my table, the trestle is at the top, just below the table top, rather than being a stretcher at the bottom.

    #314458
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    Hi Ed.

    The stretcher is 3 3/8″ wide and the tenon itself is 2 1/2″ wide. I guess the shoulders are 7/16″ wide, therefore. The trestle’s horizontal member is 5″ wide like yours.

    These dimensions are more to do with the dimensions of the available wood than any design considerations. Without the top fitted the table is not particularly stable with just the stretcher holding the trestles.

    The photo shows the tenon and key cut to length and also the extra piece of wood I added at the top of the trestle to aid stability when the top is fitted.

    Steve

    Attachments:
    #314467
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    Thanks for the info. If yours isn’t stable without the top, this may not bode well for my knockdown table! My dimensions may be a little different. Sawing the cheeks from the through tenon will leave shoulders that are 5″ long and about 1/4 to 5/16″ deep. I’ve changed the design so that the through-tenon itself will be about 3 1/2″ wide. As long as the wedge does not break the tenon, I’m not sure the tenon dimension matters. It’s the shoulder size that is key, it seems. So, the 5/16 x 5″ shoulders (four of them) will be what bears the load. I’m working from a Shaker table design, replacing the glued-in trestle with the wedged tenon. Hope it works! The current version is from construction lumber.

    #314472
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    I would agree that the through tenon dimension isn’t critical. As you say, the shoulder size matters more. I’ve tapped the keys in pretty tightly, and there’s no sign of any imminent damage to the tenon. So long as the keys are a loose fit in the cross-grain direction you should be OK.

    I’d be interested to see photo’s of your project if you get a chance.

    Steve

    #315651
    Ed
    Participant

    @ed

    I’d be interested to see photo’s of your project if you get a chance.

    @gilessteve here you go:

    Knock down Shaker Desk

    #315969
    Steve Giles
    Participant

    @gilessteve

    Hi Ed,

    Very nice! I’m always impressed by curves (-:

    Steve

    #431961
    Terry Gandy
    Member

    @terry-gandy

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

    #446856
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    @rickgugg

    Nice looking work on this table

    #455695
    bigaxe
    Participant

    @bigaxe

    Looking good
    I have some white pine boards I have been saving to build a trestle table. I made a viking coffee table about two years ago out of the white pine as a practice run. The table has stood up well.
    I finished it with a cherry dye. Starting with a dilute solution, blotching was not a problem. But I did not put enough coats of the oil base acrylic finish on top of it so I plan on refinishing the top. The base looks good.
    Please keep posting on your progress.

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