Trestle Table #1: Part 1

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Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 11-29-2010 08:17 PM 6272 reads 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is the first in a 3-part series dedicated to the design and construction of a trestle table. But its not your everyday trestle table, since it will have a smooth sculpted look and will be used as a PC gaming desk. Made from solid Honudran Mahogany, it will only get more beautiful with time as it ages to a deep dark red color. And for the first time in a long while, I am knocking a “honey-do” project off the list. Nicole is thrilled!

And a quick note about the tools used in this episode. On most of my projects, I try to use tools and methods that are accessible to as many folks as possible. This is NOT one of those times! This was one of my personal fun projects where I basically use whatever tool I want to get the job done. So while I am using my preferred tools for each operation, I do try to recommend alternative options as I go.

Topics Covered:

Trestle table basics
Taking a design from concept to a full-size prototype
Creating free-form curved templates
Cutting thick stock at the bandsaw
Creating leg blanks from rough stock
Using the Festool Domino to create tricky mortises

My Shop Journal articles for this project:
Trestle Table - Playing with Curves
Trestle Table - The Dreaded Prototype

Here’s a link to the glue spreader I used in this video:

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

9 comments so far

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 11-29-2010 11:52 PM

Looks like a really cool project. Very nice wood as well. The Domino seemed to really suit your needs here. Instead of using your square with one hand and trying to operate the Domino with the other, how about a small strip of hardwood, 1” wide, and then clamp it or double-face tape it to your workpiece as a fence of sorts to hold your Domino against? Then put a little notch or v-groove or something in the center of the face that the Domino rests against so you can see your alignment mark. Or maybe even use a clear plexiglass or acrylic sheet. Just a thought. And then you can keep it for future projects. Anyway, can’t wait to see the final table/desk.

-- Matt -

View gbear's profile


512 posts in 4127 days

#2 posted 11-30-2010 12:58 AM

Great demo Marc…an interesting and exciting project. I’ll be anxious to see the next steps. By the way, I was thinking something along the same lines as Breaking Boardom…a small template to set in place to give you identical placement locales without a lot of fuss. Anyway, great post, thanks.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4211 days

#3 posted 11-30-2010 01:36 AM

Thanks guys. That would certainly work. But I have done this method so many times now, using the Domino free-hand is just second nature at this point. But some sort of guide would certainly be a safer way to do it.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3093 days

#4 posted 11-30-2010 05:23 AM


I like your simple approach to a seemingly difficult project. Very nice design and execution. You show confidence with that domino, so I take it is easy and handy. How long does that domino bit last you?

Good job on the table and video

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4211 days

#5 posted 11-30-2010 05:26 AM

The Domino is easy to handle, but gets a little trickier when using it in open space like I did. But I’ve done it enough times that I’m pretty confident in my ability to plunge true. As far as the bits go, I have yet to replace one. They are pretty much like super high quality spiral router bits. Only they last a lot longer because of the heat dissipation. A router bit spins, then plunges in the wood. But as we push the router, there are times then the bit is just sitting in the wood heating up. Well this can never happen with the Domino bit. Its constantly spinning and moving back and forth. So I imagine these bits will last a good long time.

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View rando1's profile


163 posts in 2951 days

#6 posted 12-01-2010 02:48 PM

Marc. Wow. Thank you for keeping it simplified. I have been going back and forth on a Domino, I am sure it probably has the same feel as the biscuit when plunging without depth gauge.
Very insightful and great tips on the band saw as well. Thank you.
Cant wait for next episode!

-- Randon Riegsecker,

View alfred222's profile


98 posts in 2993 days

#7 posted 12-03-2010 04:16 AM

Cant wait for the next episode. Just got a domino recently always have been happy with my biscuit jointer.I now know you definitetly dont need a domino, until you’ve used one. The biscuit jointer is now gathering dust in the back of my cupboard somewhere. I find the domino easier and more accurate to use.

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3119 days

#8 posted 12-03-2010 05:46 AM

mark i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. You are the Man. I can’t wait for the next video!! Thanks a lot! – very informational, very inspiring

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3700 days

#9 posted 12-18-2010 08:23 AM

Marc, thats a nice video.

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