Hickory Trestle Table with Wedged Through Tenons

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Project by BEWoodworks posted 02-21-2017 03:31 PM 3457 views 9 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally complete is this Hickory Dining Trestle Table. It is counter height, 6’ long and 40” across. This past year we moved into a new home that had a dining room and an eat in kitchen. After much planning, and “encouragement” from the wife I started and finished this table.

The entire piece is made from 8/4 Hickory. The top is 4 pieces pulled from 2 boards and grain matched as close as possible. There are some butterfly keys on the underside to prevent checking, but the wood was so stable I would be surprised if it was necessary. I flattened the top with a 43” wide planer belt sander my local hardwood dealer allowed me to use, saved hours! There was a tiny amount of cup after that the lag screws pulled out.

The trestle base is put together with drawbore mortise and tenons, with walnut dowel. The two identical stretchers come through the trestle legs with through tenons and walnut wedges. This allows for easy disassembly and moving in the future. (Not counting the ungodly heavy top). I encountered some obstacles on the way to completing this project, including making a new foot for one of the trestles, but luckily enough wood was left over to make a nice color match.

The project was finished with 1 coat of amber shellac for color, sanded even, the Enduro-Var. I wasn’t thrilled with the endurovar as a product and think I will stick to oil based finished in the future. In the end I am glad I put the coat of shellac on first, as my test pieces indicated would be a good idea.

Hickory was a difficult wood to work with. Even with tools straight off the strop it doesn’t like handplanes/chisels. I recommend a card scraper, and lots of sanding. Grain direction is critical with the router when using this dense hardwood. In the end the wood is beautiful and sands super smooth. I also had a ton of difficulty with my mortiser on this project, including a new piece of keystock that was required after some tough going in the hickory.

Now onto the benches!

21 comments so far

View pottz's profile


2218 posts in 819 days

#1 posted 02-21-2017 04:03 PM

maybe difficult but i gotta say it was worth it,nice design and the top looks awesome.wifes gotta be happy.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3547 days

#2 posted 02-21-2017 04:06 PM

That is a very clean and elegant looking table, well done!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2178 days

#3 posted 02-21-2017 04:42 PM

beautiful table

View helluvawreck's profile


29125 posts in 2701 days

#4 posted 02-21-2017 04:48 PM

Now, this is an outstanding table and is so beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View EugdOT's profile


213 posts in 389 days

#5 posted 02-21-2017 05:32 PM

Beautiful table, love the grain on the top!

View woodworm's profile


14438 posts in 3425 days

#6 posted 02-21-2017 05:57 PM

Really beautiful table

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1672 posts in 1728 days

#7 posted 02-21-2017 09:34 PM

Great job – what was your disappointment with Enduro-Var? Never used it, just curious.

View cws5157's profile


7 posts in 301 days

#8 posted 02-21-2017 11:35 PM

Beautiful project

-- Chris, Athens, GA Bird Song Woodworks

View Mean_Dean's profile (online now)


5658 posts in 2982 days

#9 posted 02-21-2017 11:43 PM

Great looking trestle table—I really like those through tusk tenons + wedges!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Ottacat's profile


461 posts in 1686 days

#10 posted 02-22-2017 12:06 AM

Great looking table. Thanks for the details on finishing and working with hickory.

View oldrivers's profile


1190 posts in 1401 days

#11 posted 02-22-2017 01:43 AM

Elegant table, very well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View BEWoodworks's profile


37 posts in 684 days

#12 posted 02-22-2017 02:07 AM

I purchased a semi gloss and did not feel like the resulting sheen matched a semi gloss. Additionally I didnt feel I got the depth I would normally get out of my walnut pieces. It is the same walnut board I have finished with Arm R Seal and much prefer the final look of the Arm-R-Seal. I believe the endurvar will perform better throughout the life, with this being a table that will see lots of use.

Great job – what was your disappointment with Enduro-Var? Never used it, just curious.

- ColonelTravis

View WoodwolfAtl's profile


34 posts in 1440 days

#13 posted 02-22-2017 02:32 AM

Well done!, just curious how long did it take to sand that tabletop flat?

View Mikesawdust's profile


324 posts in 2873 days

#14 posted 02-22-2017 12:20 PM

That is a thing of beauty, I’m amazed. I actually had to look back at the pictures because I would have never guessed the size. great work.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

968 posts in 3266 days

#15 posted 02-22-2017 01:32 PM

beauty. clean, simple and stunning all in one.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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