Scholars: When my wife and I were kids we picked up a lovely, battered 12-foot solid oak library trestle table from Duke Salvage for a couple hundred bucks. Two-inch top. It was our office table for years as we dragged it around with us, paying piano rate to move it. The top weighs, I dunno, 80,000 pounds.
For the last 15 years it has been in our garage as occasional project table and world’s heaviest shelf. So my kids bought me a table saw and I am now a newly, hopelessly addicted shop junkie. I daydream furiously about jigs. I’m thinking about converting the monster library table into my workbench. I have a couple questions that I would ask you guys if I knew you. (1) Is this an impious use of a giant slab of old solid oak (80 board feet)? I’m thinking of stripping the veneer and cutting it down to 7 feet, and then slowly working my way through the leftover 33 board feet making stuff out of oak. (2) Is it reasonable to add a height extension to the trestles to raise it to shop table height? There are heavyweight struts/joists between the trestles. The likely ploy would seem to be to add height below the trestles, raising the trestle legs and struts. Is there a way to do that with stability? The shortened table would make a glorious shop bench that still weighs as much as a piano.
My wife is an historian and she feels we would insult the venerable old library table by converting it into a shop bench. I think it would exalt the table. We could sell the table as is and I could buy some material for a bench, but I’m pretty sure the table wants to be my bench. What do you guys think of the ethics and the mechanics? Mo