Trestle Table – Episode 4

Trestle Dining Table 4

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Paul rounds the protruding tenons on the cross braces using a few different techniques, firstly with the chisel, rasp and file and then using the block plane. The next step in the project is the laying out and cutting of the mortices in the feet and apron that will receive the tenons on the end of the columns as shown in the next episode.


  1. SharpPencil on 20 May 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Paul I saw you make the mistake with your tape not being connected on the tenon shoulder. You are such a perfect tutor, it somehow helps to see a little mistake boosting my confidence when I work at my bench.
    How I envy your days as an apprentice being taught proper carpentry.
    Paul I am lost for words to be able to tell you how grateful I am for all you have taught me.

    How many of your followers smile when they sharpen their pencil knowing that their is “no point to a blunt pencil”……wonderful stuff.

    Thank you John….two vices

  2. bilya on 21 May 2015 at 1:40 am

    I’m enjoying the project, and the videos are excellently produced, as always.

    But I’m a little disappointed to see only limited amount of new ideas/techniques/joinery. Not sure we needed more than half of the episode on how to layout and cut mortises: something covered in depth already in other projects.

    • SharpPencil on 21 May 2015 at 8:21 am

      Hi Charles You are entitled to your opinion but if I may say I don’t agree. Paul is teaching such a wide variety of skill in those watching his videos, to meet every persons expectations is impossible. If we go back to when he first started teaching us through the internet it can be seen, and Paul has said that his is a structured course of learning, with the current series being more in depth than the first. It is up to us how we apply his teaching, we are not just making a table, or whatever, but being taught via a 40 odd minute video once a week how to be a fraction as good as he is.
      .I totally agree with your comments regarding his filming quality….really superb. I for one would be absolutely gutted if he were to ‘go off into the sunset’
      Let’s enjoy and savour the moment.

      Regards John

    • Joseph Sellers on 21 May 2015 at 9:33 am

      HI Charles,

      Thanks for the feedback. We are currently looking at how we can organise the techniques so that we don’t repeat so much. It is a big project and in the meantime we are trying to make sure that we cover everything people need to complete the project.

      I would also note that in the meantime we are producing much longer episodes than the 30 minute aim.



  3. ballinger on 21 May 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I find the repetition very helpful as I’m not actually working at the bench but watching for the day I have the opportunity to build projects. Each time I watch the same sequence it cements the learning for me. Also for someone else who is coming at this without doing the previous projects I believe it’s necessary to see how to layout. You can cut a perfect mortise but if it’s not in the right place it won’t work for you!

  4. paddy on 21 May 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Paul I was wondering whether you use the mortising jig in your own work or whether it is just as a learning aid for your students?
    Thanks, Paddy

    • Paul Sellers on 10 July 2015 at 2:25 am

      Sometimes I do, especially on doors where the mortise is stopped and not through as I have no real way of checking whether my walls are parallel to the outside and this can lead to a twisted door. I can freehand almost anything now so when something awkward comes up I just go for it and it always comes out fine.

  5. wdelliott on 22 May 2015 at 7:28 am

    I find the repetition helpful and would encourage you to not omit. The drilling on technique is something I feel I need. Also, I always pickup something on the same technique on a new project. For example, on the table, creating a mortising guide for the specific project was a new idea to me.

  6. Eddy Flynn on 22 May 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Never “tedious” practice makes perfect, thank you for your time.

  7. pnj2411 on 22 May 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I have watched every video on every project, right back to the clock. Often more than once. And of course I have seen some operations more than once. I’ve never felt that was time wasted. Because repetition is a part of what it means to adopt this hand tool method of learning and working.

    On the emerging debate about covering all techniques for a project within that project, versus only covering any given technique once, I would vote for each project being self-contained, i.e. every stage being being explained and demonstrated within the project. And in particular, layout tends to be by its nature specific to a project. Yes, I’ll sometimes see roughly the same thing more than once, but to me that’s no hardship.

    There’s one additional facility I would like and that is an index into the videos for a technique or procedure. As an example imagine I need to chop a mortice – I know Paul describes making the jig for this somewhere, but at present finding this will take a while. Or scribing dovetails to their pins, or how to offset drawbore pins (Breadboard-end Cutting Board Episode 5), or trimming wedged legs (Shaker-Style Bench Seat episode 6: 12:06), etc., etc..

    Something like this would mean that after watching all the episodes, when I am in the midst of actually doing it, and need to check on something, I can quickly find it.

    Overall though it’s clear that the content here is the best there is. Just keep doing what you do and I’m happy.

    • SharpPencil on 24 May 2015 at 12:09 am

      I would totally agree with a request for an index……although this was mentioned some time ago and Joseph explained that at that time is was not possible.
      Perhaps with the obvious professional setup this site now has, it might be possible?

      Regards John

    • nickzag on 3 June 2015 at 1:51 pm

      exactly my thoughts on this one. Index would be of great help. You know you have seen it in some episode, but in which?
      If this is possible now, would be excellent addition to project videos.


  8. ekohlwey on 22 May 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Paul uses a term when laying out the lower legs, saying he is going to “burn the first inch”. I understand the construction from seeing the video but I don’t think I understand this term. Can you explain it?

    • Craig on 23 May 2015 at 2:36 am

      This involves taking the measurement from the inch( or whatever you choose) mark instead of from the end of the ruler or tape measure. This is more accurate since the end of the tape is loose on purpose so that outside and inside measures can be taken. The manufacturer sets the looseness to a fixed amount but that can be off slightly. For general “close enough” it’s ok, but for better accuracy it’s preferred to “burn an inch”. Ditto rulers.
      Hope this helps.

      • Mooncabbage on 27 May 2015 at 3:26 pm

        Worth mentioning, the old style of school ruler didn’t have the measurements go right to the end, but the steel rulers you see these days very often do. If you look at those ends on a few different rulers at your stationary store you will probably notice that some ends are left slightly long, and some are a bit under. So it’s generally not a good idea to trust a measurement taken from the end of a ruler. You can use it to transfer measurement though, if for example you have an awkward inside measurement to make, measure with a steel rule from it’s end, and then measure from the end of that ruler to the measurement you took.

  9. adrian on 18 June 2015 at 1:19 am

    Another great example of steady work gets the job done.
    Good exercise is better than loud unpredictable electric routers with hours of jigging and trial cuts.
    Love the mortise guide block idea to keep the chisel straight too.
    Thank you Paul, and crew, “Good Show”

  10. Philip Adams on 9 July 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Hi David, Thank you for the suggestion, we are hoping to cover some of these areas in upcoming videos.
    Best, Phil

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