Maple Trestle Table, Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood

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;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs; and
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top.

(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 for a few hours this evening. #flairww -8:08 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used pinch dogs to clamp the two slabs together. #flairww -8:09 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Pinch dogs pull the two pieces together as they are driven into the end grain with a hammer. #flairww -8:10 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because of the curved edges, it is difficult to clamp the two parts together. Pinch dogs work great. #flairww -8:13 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another strategy is to clamp something against which the clamp can register. #flairww -8:15 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s another variation of that technique. #flairww -8:16 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Tonight will probably be mostly thinking, planning and laying out so tomorrow will be productive. #flairww -8:19 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The stretcher is longer than I want it to be for this table.#flairww -8:21 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll probably cut it around where the pencil lays. It’s about 2″ past the end of the split. #flairww -8:24 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I align my long straight edge corner to corner and scribe alongside it with a pencil. #flairww -8:28 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my drawing bow to lay out one potential shape of the table’s end. #flairww -8:49 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another way to clamp non-parallel edges is to make them parallel. Either cut notches or use wedges. #flairww -9:00 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks These are my three ideas for how to trim the ends. I don’t really like #1. Any thoughts? #flairww -9:22 PM Apr 21st, 2012

atully1 @FlairWoodworks I like #3 -9:23 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else? #flairww RT @atully1:@FlairWoodworks I like 3 -9:25 PM Apr 21st, 2012

atully1:@FlairWoodworks I think keeping it straight keeps it unique. -9:30 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks It also gives it some balance. #flairww RT @atully1:@FlairWoodworks I think keeping it straight keeps it unique. -9:30 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… I wish this cavity wasn’t here… #flairww -9:34 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood:@FlairWoodworks I like #1. Or maybe something in between 1&2. -9:36 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to figure out how wide to make the feet. #flairww -9:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks 1.5? Higher? Lower? #flairww RT @sharpendwood:@FlairWoodworks I like #1. Or maybe something in between 1&2. -9:39 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The centreline of the table is about 2″ to the left of the corner-to-corner line of the void at one end… #flairww -9:46 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and 1.5″ to the right on the other end. #flairww -9:47 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since the distance is not too great and they are on opposite sides, I feel comfortable positioning the stretcher on centre. #flairww -9:48 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think the trestle table’s base will comprise of two legs with wide feet at the bottom and a stretcher between them. #flairww -9:52 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Where the feet will be positioned, the table is about 3′ wide. The table is 45″ across at the widest point. #flairww -9:54 PM Apr 21st, 2012

MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks Try to echo the inner edge with the outer? hard to tell from that photo -9:57 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t have enough length to do that. #flairww RT@MansFineFurn: @FlairWoodworks Try to echo the inner edge with the outer? -9:59 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve laid out the size of 24″, 26″, and 28″ wide feet. 28″ seems too wide here. #flairww -10:15 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks I like the shape 1 creates. Maybe just a little more arc to the curve? -10:18 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @sharpendwood What do you think of curve 1.5? #flairww-10:21 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to begin fairing this edge. To make it easier, I’m only going to do the top 1/4″ or so… #flairww -10:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks … then I’ll use my router with a template bit to get the whole thickness of the edge to flow. #flairww -10:38 PM Apr 21st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Both curves are now faired. I’m going to stop there for the night and move on to other work. #flairww -10:50 PM Apr 21st, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks Tough. I still think 1 is the way I’d go. #flairww -10:55 PM Apr 21st, 2012

McPhersonDoug @FlairWoodworks hey Chris. Did you buy those slabs kiln or air dried? How much do you have to think about moisture content? -4:57 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @McPhersonDoug I got the wood green and air-dried it myself. If doing joinery, it is important to know if the wood is stabilized.#flairww -7:29 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @McPhersonDoug The exact number is less important than knowing whether or not the wood has stabilized. #flairww -7:30 AM Apr 22nd, 2012

Keep reading!  Session 5 is up next!

3 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood

  1. That’s coming along nicely. Your biceps must be doing well, too :)

    Like all the clamping ideas you threw into this one.

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

  3. Pingback: Maple Trestle Table, Session 3 | Flair Woodworks

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