Trestle Table Desks #6: Creating stretcher, finishing substructure, gluing up tops

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Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 11-27-2010 08:57 PM 2299 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Trestles glued up and ready to sand. Now: what's that stretcher going to look like? Part 6 of Trestle Table Desks series Part 7: Tops final sanded and finished with a nifty lousy susan idea »

The stretcher on a table like this is virtually lost to vision. The solution for me was a box beam which is juniper on the sides, to match the panels in the legs, and alder top and bottom. Attachment will be via countersunk bolts through the top of the shoulder into the top of the beam. The removable beauty panel, shown in the image of the single finished leg, will cover the end of the beam. It, too, will be lost to view for the most part, but I like the subtle inclusion of the juniper which matches the wall finish in the office where these will live.

The substructure is finished with three coats of waterborne poly.

The tops are now glued up and ready for squaring the ends, final sanding and finish (material yet to be determined).

I spent considerable time—maybe an hour—working out the best combination of blending the heartwood and sapwood. I try to put a sapwood edge adjacent to another sapwood edge, to get the “flowing river” effect out of the lighter colors. I also like dark (heartwood) edges on the top to clearly define where it starts and stops.

I think these will really pop when I get some finish on them. That is for next week. Perhaps it will start today.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

3 comments so far

View Pete Wadey's profile

Pete Wadey

31 posts in 2260 days

#1 posted 11-28-2010 08:35 PM

Lee, what is your proces for making the table tops?

Do you plane each board and biscut join together or do you have a planer to run the top through?

Looking great!

-- Pete Wadey ,

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2269 days

#2 posted 11-29-2010 07:11 AM

Hi Pete—

I have a 15” planer. I plane the boards to hit and miss, then lay them out and select the order they’ll go in. Then I glue them up in pairs or threes, under 15” wide, and plane them one pass each side and then run them through my 16” wide belt sander to 150.

I do not use biscuits on any of the glueups. On those 75” long boards I used 5 pipe clamps and walk the joint from the center to the ends. I can get them pretty close.

I finish the glue lines with a scraper, then ROS to 150 on the bottom and 220 on the top.

Thanks for the question. I’m real pleased with the project. It now gets interrupted with some stuff to do for a restaurant which wants it yesterday, but I’ll be back to the tops in a day or so.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2246 days

#3 posted 12-10-2010 04:25 AM

I like the table tops but just out of curiosity were you going for the sap wood in the top?


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