A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Trestle Table Base Complete

Walnut wedge for trestle support.
This past week has been a productive one for the table. The top got its last coat of finish and this morning I finished cutting the mortises for the wedges that will hold the cross piece tight and square up the table.

Trestles for tables with sealer coat of finish.
(And yes they are upside down...)
The table base ends were glued up with wedged tenons and pegged with cherry dowel to secure the joint and keep it solid for the next hundred years or so.

The three pieces that make up the trestles have various curves and chamfers that needs to be shaped into each to makes the pieces flow together. This took about half a day each with rasps and sandpaper to make it look just right.

Layout of the tenon on the horizontal member of the base.
Measure ten times and cut once.
The horizontal member that spans the trestle is the last part to be built. It consists of a 2"x8" board with through tenons on each end which hold the trestle together.

Cutting the tenons was a nerve-wracking exercise because if they were too small, it meant a sloppy fit and a do-over - not what you want on a $100 board!

My Lie-Nielsen Tenon saw doing what it does best...
 Very carefully laying out before cutting is key here. Since the board is quite heavy these cuts needed to be done by hand with virtually no margin for error, this cut creates the shoulder that rests against the trestle keeping the trestles plumb. Any error means they are crooked.

Trimming the tenons with my new Liogier rasp.

With the shoulder cuts made, I could cut off the sides on the bandsaw. these cuts were a little oversized and I used my new Liogier rasp to sneak up on the final layout line. these rasps arrived yesterday morning direct from France made to my specs - none too soon. Sizing the tenon was critical - too big the tenon won't slide in and too small its a sloppy fit; so lots of test fitting until it was exactly the right size for the mortise in the trestle.

The finished base, ready for some final sanding and a few coats of finish and soon it will be mated up with the top to assume its rightful place in our dining room.

1 comment:

  1. looks good Richard
    I just had the shipper pick up my latest trestle table. Thanks for your note on my site. I just noticed that you are from Bedford Nova Scotia. Years ago , I cruised the southern coast of Nova Scotia as crew on a 50' sailboat. We were on our way back to the U.S. from Newfoundland. We docked in Halifax right at the base of the Xerox building.