Maple Trestle Table, Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good

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;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top; and
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL).

(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 The rain’s coming down hard in Port Moody and I’m back in the shop working on the trestle table. Follow along as I start the base! #flairww -12:13 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m laying out the base components on these four pieces of maple. #flairww -12:22 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve been looking at this leg I roughly cut, trying to decide if it looks too big. #flairww -12:47 PM May 1st, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks first impressions … my vote is Not too big #flairww -12:56 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks So I cut the legs and they still feel lacking. I think I need curved legs instead of straight legs. #flairww -1:12 PM May 1st, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks yup … curvy legs are always good :) #flairww -1:13 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’d describe what I want to do, but it will be easier and more clear if I just do it. #flairww -1:15 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The hose feels like it’s fighting me so I’m going to reattach it to the ceiling. #flairww -1:33 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I had taken the hose down from the ceiling so that I could reach all the way across the shop when I cut the edges of the table top. #flairww -1:33 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s better. #flairww -1:37 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Dust collection on the Festool Trion jigsaw is not great, even with the dust shroud in place. #flairww -1:39 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks However, the orbital feature is terrific. Cuts are very quick when the saw is set to a full orbital stroke. #flairww -1:40 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s what I want to do. #flairww -1:49 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I scribed a line along the leg where I need to cut the curved brace. What’s the easiest way to do the cut? #flairww -1:52 PM May 1st, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks Start on the Bandsaw or by hand ? #flairww -1:54 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is how I’d make the cut. #flairww -1:54 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Perfect! #flairww -1:56 PM May 1st, 2012

ravinheart @FlairWoodworks Oh ya you got the slider … nice #flairww -1:57 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I also need to make a cut square to the last. This could not be more simple. #flairww -1:57 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @ravinheart The sliding table saw makes this stuff TOO EASY. #flairww -2:00 PM May 1st, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks That’s a sweet slider! -2:01 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is the basic idea. #flairww -2:02 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I love having it! #flairww RT @Tooltutor: @FlairWoodworks That’s a sweet slider! -2:02 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Anybody out there have a track saw? How easy would it be to make these two cuts perfectly square in 2-1/2″ thick maple? #flairww -2:04 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could also lean it over like this. Any thoughts? #flairww -2:07 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yay – it’s sunny outside now! #flairww -2:12 PM May 1st, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I have a track saw, but I’d leave that cut to my miter or table saws. -2:12 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Why? #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks I have a track saw, but I’d leave that cut to my miter or table saws. -2:12 PM May 1st, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I like [the lean]. -2:12 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha! Now I need to find another piece of maple with curved grain! #flairww -2:15 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I broke another blade. After breaking the first blade, I backed off the side guides a little. What gives? #flairww -2:21 PM May 1st, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks u could do it with a track saw with the accuracy of your square though I’d def prefer a table or miter if it fits -2:27 PM May 1st, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks you’re getting too buff man-handling those bigass slabs, snapping blades like toothpicks -2:30 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tooltutor Yeah, that’s the problem :) #flairww -2:33 PM May 1st, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks Easier to determine right angles, less setup and greater depth of cut. -2:35 PM May 1st, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks yes, I do [like the leaning leg design]. -2:35 PM May 1st, 2012

Tooltutor @DyamiPlotke @flairwoodworks seconded  -2:36 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before installing a third blade, I decided to see if I could find some more information on the set up of the jigsaw guides. #flairww -2:36 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unfortunately, the written instructions for the @FestoolUSA Trion Jigsaw are not very comprehensive. #flairww -2:37 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks But I did find a good video by @FestoolUSA on Festool Owners Group.  I did not know to pull the arbor shaft down (1:20). #flairww -2:38 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks I totally use my track saw for cutting slabs.-2:45 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Did you see my application?  #flairwwRT @Tbdi0629: @FlairWoodworks I totally use my track saw for cutting slabs.-2:47 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks yep, that’s a slick way to do it if you have that option. -2:50 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I noticed that one of the dust extraction ports in the jigsaw’s shoe is clogged. I’ve had this before. #flairww -2:58 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Would it be as easy with a track saw? #flairww RT @Tbdi0629: @FlairWoodworks yep, that’s a slick way to do it if you have that option. -3:00 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I was unable to clear the blockage just by digging at it with a pencil, as I’ve done in the past. #flairww -3:01 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I removed the shoe to expose the blockage. #flairww -3:04 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I picked up an assortment pack of bits a number of years ago which included hex and Torx drivers. Very useful. #flairww -3:08 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks That’s a great debate evoking question! :) but I would say yes. -3:19 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here are the two legs roughly positioned. I’m going with the lean. #flairww -3:26 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks What would be the argument for “no”? #flairww RT@Tbdi0629: @FlairWoodworks That’s a great debate evoking question! :) but I would say yes. -3:27 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Lunch time. #flairww -3:30 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks I’m not sure, maybe someone would rather rig up a jig for their tablesaw or bandsaw or etc. but me… I prefer my festool [track saw]. -3:33 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tbdi0629 The trouble is, a typical 10″ tablesaw has a capacity of about 2-1/2″ and a jig reduces that. #flairww -3:35 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tbdi0629 And a bandsaw doesn’t give the same quality of cut. #flairww -3:35 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks yep, my thoughts exactly. -3:40 PM May 1st, 2012

Tumblewood: YES!!! The White Trash Boom Arm!! RT @FlairWoodworks: The hose feels like its fighting me so I’m going to reattach it to the ceiling. #flairww -4:03 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ah, and there’s the inventor! #flairww RT @Tumblewood: YES!!! The White Trash Boom Arm!! -4:08 PM May 1st, 2012

Tumblewood The table is looking awesome, Chris! RT @FlairWoodworks: Ah, and there’s the inventor! #flairww RT @Tumblewood: YES!!! The White Trash Boom Arm!! -4:09 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! I’m enjoying the creative process building the base! RT @Tumblewood: The table is looking awesome, Chris! #flairww -4:10 PM May 1st, 2012

kring_l:@FlairWoodworks good call with the lean are you matching both sides or opposing? -4:26 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks They lean in opposing directions. #flairww RT @kring_l:@FlairWoodworks good call with the lean are you matching both sides or opposing? -4:30 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @kring_l Remember the spin match I used for the top? I’d like to match that. #flairww -4:31 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks My lunch break is done! I need to figure out how much the legs should lean, then join the braces and cut the tops flat. #flairww -4:33 PM May 1st, 2012

Black_SheepWW @Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Did you have to extend the length of the hose for this? I’m fighting mine when sanding. Needs to be hanging. -4:33 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Black_SheepWW Definitely. I have a 36mm hose, then a 27mm hose off of that. Each are 3m long, I think. #flairww -4:34 PM May 1st, 2012

Tumblewood Dental picks!! RT @FlairWoodworks: I was unable to clear the blockage just by digging at it with a pencil, as I’ve done in the past. #flairww -4:41 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha! I’d never used this square since I bought it 4 years ago and was thinking of “Overflowing” it. #flairww -4:43 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks It turns out to be the perfect tool for this! #flairww -4:43 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks My next step is to joint one face flat and plane the other parallel. #flairww -4:45 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I still don’t have a Domino XL (or even @tumblewood’s M600). Fortunately, 50mm x 10mm Domino tenons will work. #flairww -4:57 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before cutting joinery, I need to fair the inside edge. #flairww -4:59 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my #3 bench plane, which affords a more comfortable two-handed grip than my block plane. #flairww -5:06 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks There’s some pretty figure on this edge. Too bad that it’s one of the least visible parts. #flairww -5:10 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I put a pencil line across the joint where I want the Domino tenons. #flairww -5:21 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the mortises bored. Time for a dry-fit. #flairww -5:38 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, I’m going for the glue-up now. #flairww -5:39 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks But first, I need to get the joint apart and remove the Domino tenons… #flairww -5:41 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I bought these Extractor pliers for pulling nails. I use them for pulling Domino tenons. #flairww -5:44 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Angles are always a challenge to clamp. Here’s the caul I used. #flairww -6:00 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’ll work on the second leg. #flairww -6:04 PM May 1st, 2012

Tbdi0629 @FlairWoodworks I have a set of “test” dominos I have sanded down, to use in my test fits. I marked them black. -6:08 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the parts for the second leg surfaced. Now I need to lay out and cut the joinery. #flairww -6:15 PM May 1st, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I use pliers to pull Dominos too. -6:21 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just like on the other leg, the inside curve has beautiful grain. And it’s hidden. #flairww -6:25 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for another dry fit. I don’t put Domino tenons in the oversized mortises for the dry run. #flairww -6:34 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve laid out another angled caul for the other leg. #flairww -6:39 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, time for the second glue-up session! #flairww -6:44 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another successful glue-up with the right amount of glue squeeze-out. #flairww -6:53 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I kept glue away from the left side of the joint near the inside corner so I wouldn’t have to clean it up later. #flairww -6:54 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to clean up the workshop a bit. #flairww -6:59 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Fun fact: I had considered using metal legs like these#flairww -7:11 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to go make dinner. #flairww -7:12 PM May 1st, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks I can see that shape for the legs, but would prefer them from wood. #flairww -7:40 PM May 1st, 2012

kring_l @FlairWoodworks I agree with @Tumblewood the metal would take away from all the work you put into the top -7:51 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks It wasn’t that much work. Okay, it was. #flairww RT @kring_l the metal would take away from all the work you put into the top @Tumblewood -9:02 PM May 1st, 2012

Tumblewood A nice piece will have people crawling to check it out. The detail will not be in vain. RT @FlairWoodworks: Just like on the other leg, the inside curve has beautiful grain. And it’s hidden. #flairww

FlairWoodworks Okay… I’m back in the shop after dinner. I’ll start by unclamping the legs and cleaning off the excess glue. #flairww -10:09 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks It seems Twitter on my phone won’t post tweets with pictures after 8pm. Here comes a backlog of Tweets… #flairww -10:39 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is how I’m laying out the top and bottom cuts to ensure the leg is centred on the foot. #flairww -10:40 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The arm looks overly heavy and I’ll probably trim it down a little. I’m not sure how yet, though. #flairww -10:41 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is how it will look installed, only the leg will be on the batten, not behind it. #flairww -10:42 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using my spokeshave to refine the curve of the arm.#flairww -10:42 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks The curve of this section is too severe for my flat spokeshave. I don’t have a convex spokeshave. #flairww -10:44 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I can, however, cheat a little by extending the spokeshave’s blade out a little further. #flairww -10:44 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve switched to carving gouges to blend the arm into the leg.#flairww -10:52 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I worked across the grain with three gouges of different sweeps to begin blending the arm into the leg. #flairww -10:58 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m working on the second leg where the same things need to be done. #flairww -11:20 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks With the opposing angles of the legs, attaching the stretcher will be interesting, to say the least. #flairww -11:37 PM May 1st, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Certainly looks fun :-) -11:38 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmmm. I’ll let you know if it was when I’m finished! #flairww RT@luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks Certainly looks fun :-) -11:38 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks If only I could twist the stretcher… #flairww -11:39 PM May 1st, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, that’s a good place to stop tonight. To be continued…#flairww -11:50 PM May 1st, 2012

Morton @Tbdi0629 @flairwoodworks hahah – I have the exact same [test dominos], with the exact same black markings ;) heh. -4:06 AM May 2nd, 2012

Tbdi0629 @Morton That’s funny! But then again, what’s the saying about minds that think alike….hmmm :) -7:09 AM May 2nd, 2012

McPhersonDoug @FlairWoodworks Really enjoying following ur VERY cool table build. Thanks for tweeting your progress. Great stuff. #woodchat -6:19 AM May 2nd, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tbdi0629 @Morton I had a set of Dominos that I’d sanded down too. I dyed my set red. #flairww -9:38 AM May 2nd, 2012

In Session 11, I did more work on the legs and began work on the stretcher-to-leg joinery.

One thought on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good

  1. Love the way the legs evolved; a nice blending of the curves. It’ll be interesting to see how the stretcher looks between the legs. I agree, it would be great if you had a board with a wicked twist that happened to fit the curve you need! I have a 6/4 Poplar board that fits the bill out here :)

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