Maple Trestle Table, Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together

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;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better; and
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again.

(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 My first step is to drill out most of the waste. #flairww -7:29 PM May 11th, 2012

HalfInchShy Sounds like RotoRooter :) a plumbing theme tonight! RT @FlairWoodworks: My first step is to drill out most of the waste. #flairww -7:32 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve drilled out the waste. Now I’ll chop the mortise square. #flairww -7:35 PM May 11th, 2012

BCcraftmaster@FlairWoodworks go for it! (#connect4) -7:37 PM May 11, 2012

FlairWoodworks I removed most of the waste before carefully working up to my knife lines around the perimeter. #flairww -7:43 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve squared up one side of the mortise. I’m going to try a different technique to finish. #flairww -7:49 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I do have a sink to repair later. Seriously. #flairww -7:49 PM May 11, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I love that game! #connect4 -7:49 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I installed a flush-trim bit in my router and set it so the bearing rides on the bottom of the workpiece. #flairww -7:55 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The flush-trim bit will follow the shape of the mortise I carefully cut on the other side. #flairww -7:55 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Routing the rest guaranteed straight walls and avoided some tricky layout. #flairww -7:59 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cleaned up the round corners left by the router with chisels. Now for a test fit! #flairww -8:05 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The fit looks good so far! #flairww -8:07 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If I can’t tell if the joint is bound, I draw a line in the tenon and watch to see if it disappears. #flairww -8:13 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To prevent denting the leg, I use a scrap of wood. #flairww  -8:16 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The joint fit tightly with no adjustments required! #flairww -8:21 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And the assembly doesn’t even rock! #flairww -8:26 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That tenon is a perfect fit! Sometimes I impress (and surprise) myself. #flairww -8:29 PM May 11th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks well done, Chris. -8:33 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Dyami! #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks well done, Chris. -8:33 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another picture of the assembled trestle, inverted on the table top. #flairww -8:39 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tenons are still proud at both ends. I may leave them that way. #flairww -8:41 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This distance is 1/2″ longer on this side but that doesn’t really matter. #flairww -8:43 PM May 11th, 2012

bltww @FlairWoodworks relative dimensioning FTW [for the win]! -8:45 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s right! Adjust to fit! #flairww RT @bltww: @FlairWoodworks relative dimensioning FTW! -8:45 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Right now, I’m mostly just standing here admiring my progress. #flairww -8:46 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The slight angle of the legs does mean that they don’t sit centred on the battens. #flairww -8:47 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But I can fix that. #flairww -8:48 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a tape measure and level to mark the bottom of the legs where they will be cut. #flairww -8:52 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just playing around with clamps. #flairww -9:01 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks While the clamps pulled all the tenon shoulders tight, they also pulled one leg off the batten. #flairww -9:04 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think it would be easy to glue up these tenons the traditional way. #flairww -9:06 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m thinking of applying a thin glue like Chair Doctor to the assembled joint. I can put a pin through the tenon too. #flairww -9:06 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I stood the trestle assembly up on end so the gravity will help the glue penetrate the joint. #flairww -9:18 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ensured the shoulder was as tight as possible before applying glue. #flairww -9:19 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Take a deep breath and let the glue flow! #flairww -9:22 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied glue to all the seams and let it penetrate. This joint is tighter than most so not as much glue is penetrating. #flairww -9:29 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There is glue here. #flairww -9:31 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And more glue here. #flairww -9:32 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood PERFECT!! Looks great, Chris! RT @FlairWoodworks: It fit tightly with no adjustments! #flairww -9:34 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For critical glue-ups, I leave them overnight and longer if feasible. I just need to ensure that all the glue doesn’t get absorbed. #flairww -9:35 PM May 11th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Wow I thought I liked a challenge ;) -9:35 PM May 11th, 2012 FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! I can’t wait to start sculpting the base! (I think that’s what I’ll do. ) RT @Tumblewood: PERFECT!! Looks great, Chris! -9:36 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood How will it sit? Where is the 3rd point? RT @FlairWoodworks: And it doesn’t even rock! #flairww -9:36 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I still need to add the wide feet. RT @Tumblewood: How will it sit? Where is the 3rd point? #flairww -9:37 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Watching this come together is so much fun! #flairww RT @TheWoodBug: @FlairWoodworks Wow – I thought I liked a challenge ;) -9:37 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks It’s going to be a magnificent table! RT @FlairWoodworks: I still need to add the wide feet. -9:39 PM May 11, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Yes you seem very excited! and rightly so. like a kid in a candy store or is it bull in china shop( batten oops) -9:40 PM May 11, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Looking great! can not wait to see it once you start carving!!! -9:41 PM May 11, 2012

Do you like what you see?  Leave a comment!

In the next session, I’ll cut the mortise and tenon joinery for the feet.

3 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together

  1. Nice trick with the Chair Doctor. I had no idea that glue was just a very low viscosity glue that can penetrate. Always assumed it was a form of cyanoacrylate. Coming along nicely.

  2. I meant to add that I like that trick with the router for a deep hole. Used it once before thinking “maybe this will work” and loved the result, but it wasn’t for something this complex to re-layout!

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