Maple Trestle Table, Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring; and
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop! #flairww -10:39 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I swept the shavings from my surfacing session into a pile.#flairww -11:09 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I started laying out possible feet for the trestle table, but I need to first determine the width of the top. #flairww -11:24 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s no fun lifting the slabs onto sawhorses by myself so I cleared the floor. #flairww -11:28 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I laid down strips of wood on which to lay the slabs and allow clearance for my fingers! #flairww -11:29 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I must be crazy to be building such a large table in my shop.#flairww -11:33 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to cut the pieces to join them together so they look something like this. #flairww -11:39 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As much as I like the continuation of the main bole, it would make seating awkward. #flairww -11:43 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The drawing bow is a great tool. The strap holds the curvature. I just wish I had a longer one. #flairww -11:44 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I hold down the drawing bow with one hand and transfer its shape with a pencil in the other. #flairww -11:47 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I work one short section at a time to avoid flexing the drawing bow with pressure from the pencil. #flairww -11:48 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A pencil line can be hard to see so I draw a squiggly line on the waste side using the drawing bow as a stop. #flairww -11:49 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Standard jigsaw blades aren’t long enough to cut these 2-1/2″-thick slabs so I bought longer blades. #flairww -11:56 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The black blade is about 1/4″ too short. I have to use the loooong blade which is 6-3/4″ long overall. #flairww -11:59 AM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I elevated the slab using I-beams (H-beams if you’re French) to provide clearance for the blade. #flairww -12:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I got the idea of I-beams from my buddy Serge. He’s said to be the most prolific tipster! Serge’s blog#flairww -12:07 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m not sue why, but I’m a little nervous about this cut. Here goes! #flairww -12:10 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I decided to redraw the cut line with a black marker before making the cut. I feel a little less nervous now. #flairww -12:16 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One cut down… #flairww -12:24 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I pretty much ignored my layout lines and just cut a smooth curve. #flairww -12:27 PM Apr 19th, 2012

(I recorded this video to show what a cut in 2-1/4″ thick Western maple is like.  I used a Festool Trion PS 300 EQ Jigsaw which draws 6 amps with a Trion S145/4FSG blade set for a maximum orbital stroke for a quick cut.  Duration – 0:55)

FlairWoodworks This is the bade after one cut. The teeth at the very top are a little blue from heat build up. #flairww -12:30 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The saw seemed to cut more slowly with it set for a full orbital stroke than none at all. #flairww -12:32 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My curve was pretty even except for this bump. #flairww -12:35 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was at the bump that my cut was the most out of square. I’m not sure what happened there. #flairww -12:37 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I broke a blade. I have no idea why I broke. The cut seemed to be going fine. Any ideas? #flairww -12:55 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks your lucky you have a festool jigsaw, if you had a normal one that “out of square” would have looked like a 30 degree bevel! -12:50 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster My old jigsaw didn’t even have enough power to cut 2″ maple. #flairww -12:57 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha ha ha!! I take back my comment about the saw cutting more slowly on full orbital than none… I read the scale backwards. #flairww-12:59 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks heat weakened metal? -1:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think so. It didn’t bend, it broke. It’s still as straight as an arrow. RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks heat weakened metal? -1:06 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks why does it look so black right above the break -1:08 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I believe that is from the carbide guides. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks why does it look so black right above the break -1:09 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks ohhhh… then I’m clueless -1:11 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks so does this mean your S.O.L until you get a new one? -1:12 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I bought a pack of 5 for $30. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks so does this mean your S.O.L until you get a new one? -1:16 PM Apr 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks Im that Guy that would only buy 1 and then be running back out after it broke #lame -1:20 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I got interrupted by a half-hour phone call. Back at work now.#flairww -1:40 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is coming along nicely! #flairww -1:48 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m working on designing and building a jig to cut the joints. The plywood pieces will serve as the guides. #flairww -2:03 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Pretty nice-looking for a quick and dirty jig. #flairww -2:15 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m set up to joint the first mating surface of this slab.#flairww -2:35 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is a better angle at which to work. #flairww -2:37 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oops. I forgot that I had planned to use the jig and a template bit in a router to joint the mating surfaces. #flairww -2:49 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My biggest template bit isn’t long enough to make the cut in one pass. #flairww -2:56 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is as far as I can work with the router. I’ll finish by hand. #flairww -3:02 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could remove the plywood to gain more depth, but it is my reference surface and the angle of the router might change without it. #flairww -3:03 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I forgot to close the drawer before routing. I also “forgot” to use a Festool router with dust collection. #flairww -3:05 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a chisel to pare away the waste. The routed area provides solid registration. #flairww -3:09 PM Apr 19th, 2012

HighRockWW @FlairWoodworks I can laugh only because I have done the same thing before… -3:12 PM Apr 19th, 2012 RT FlairWoodworks I forgot to close the drawer before routing.

FlairWoodworks One surface done. #flairww -3:15 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second surface is now jointed as well. #flairww -3:26 PM Apr 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Lunch time! #flairww -3:27 PM Apr 19th, 2012

Keep reading!  Session 4 is the next instalment.

5 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top

  1. Pingback: Maple Trestle Table, Session 2 | Flair Woodworks

  2. Pingback: Maple Trestle Table, Session 4 | Flair Woodworks

  3. A lot of good methods in this one, Chris. Like your vertical clamping method to the sawhorses. And how you flushed the sides with the router. The spin match is going to look great with the natural inside and smooth outside.

  4. Pingback: Maple Trestle Table, Session 5 | Flair Woodworks

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