Trestle Table #2: Part 2

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Blog entry by thewoodwhisperer posted 12-16-2010 06:43 PM 7468 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Part 1 Part 2 of Trestle Table series Part 3: Part 3 »

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Now that the leg pieces are cut to their rough shape, we need to focus on blending the parts using the router, the ball mill, and the rasp. Its a process that has a lot of wiggle room depending on your tool preferences and the final shape you are trying to achieve. I also tackle the initial work on the table top, which turns out to be a little tricky due to the size and weight of the pieces. And even though I’m not completely done with the project, I have to start the finishing process for strategic reasons.

Topics Covered:

Creating the “rounded look” using roundover bits.
Shaping and blending using a ball mill, a rasp, and sandpaper.
A clever way to use custom cauls for clamping the angled legs.
Using epoxy and a high density filler as an adhesive.
Planing the 14” wide 6/4 mahogany pieces for the table top using the skip planing technique.
Using hand planes to prep a long edge for power jointing.
Alternative ways of prepping an edge for jointing.
Gluing up the top.</li>
Creating a template for the curved ends of the table top.
Finishing strategy (the bottom of the table top)

Products Used:
West System Epoxy Resin – You can also purchase larger quantities with a pump that meters out the perfect amount. This stuff lasts a long time too!

West System Epoxy Hardener – The hardener is available in both slow and fast varieties. For most projects, I use Fast, which actually gives me 5-10 minutes of working time. Slow is good for those really tricky glueups.

Cabinet Maker's Rasp – The #49 cabinet maker’s rasp allows me to shape wood fairly quickly with a great deal of control. On projects like this, I’d be lost without it.

Rotary Burrs – Unfortunately, the 1” ball mill shown in the video is very hard to come by. I recommend using a kit like this instead. They are smaller, but that may be advantageous on other projects.

Electric Die Grinder – This is the new version of the Makita die grinder I use. You can get a pneumatic die grinder if you have a decent compressor. For me, the electric version was much more practical.

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

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

8 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3868 days

#1 posted 12-16-2010 07:23 PM

Great video Marc. I learned a few things as always. I really like your epoxy system and also that big pattern router bit.

One thing that you REALLY should try are these tungsten grinding disks. They make coarse, medium and fine. But since they are fairly pricey I only bought the medium. It works GREAT. It is aggressive enough to really hog away material quickly and yet you can really finesse it as well.

And they make a great combination with these flap sanding disks that also go on your 4” angle grinder, for a final smoothing:

I think it would have made your shaping a lot quicker and easier than using the ball mill on your die grinder. Especially since the surface you were shaping was relatively flat. They don’t have the same tendency to wander or dig in like the ball either. I used this combination to shape the legs on my Freestanding Cabinet:

Click for details

-- Happy woodworking!

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3085 days

#2 posted 12-16-2010 09:15 PM

hey mark. Question. When you had the raw table top boards that you were preparing to be run through the jointer you first used your hand plane to get a better edge. Then you used your track saw to make an even better straight edge. My question is…..was the hand plane part necessary since you just cut it with the track saw anyways? Not calling you out on anything….I just honestly dont know!! :) Love your videos… you continue to be my hero

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

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4177 days

#3 posted 12-16-2010 09:37 PM

@Blake Thanks for the suggestions Blake. I’ll have to try a few of those in the future. I have used the grinding disks before but found my Arbortech blade a little more fun for serious stock removal. Wasn’t away of the flap sander. Very cool.

@dakremer Thanks man. The point of that exercise was to show various options for straightening out the edge if the ultimate goal is to use the jointer. So although I used both the hand plane AND the tracksaw, I was trying to show how either one could be used to prep for the jointing process.

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

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3085 days

#4 posted 12-17-2010 02:57 AM

ok..gotcha. Thanks! Excited to see the finale!

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

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3182 days

#5 posted 12-17-2010 11:43 AM

Mark as always great Video! Always helpful and gives everyone a look on how to accomplish things step by step for those who never attempted something like that. Looking fwd to seeing the next video. Hope all is well and you have a great Christmas!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View rando1's profile


163 posts in 2917 days

#6 posted 12-17-2010 03:00 PM

Awesome! So many helpful hints and tips. The Arc tool, is that fiberglass or metal? Did you share the source?
I may have missed it, overload:)
Cant wait to see the finale!

-- Randon Riegsecker,

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4177 days

#7 posted 12-17-2010 05:39 PM

Thanks guys. The bending bow is from Lee Valley and if I think its painted metal. A little heavy for fiberglass.

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

View gbear's profile


512 posts in 4093 days

#8 posted 12-20-2010 08:58 PM

Excellent video…lots of great information. Out of all the info available, I like yours and your style the best. I can’t wait for the next installment.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

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