Some helpful dimensions for designing a trestle table

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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 11-03-2010 09:35 PM 19101 views 9 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

11-03-2010 09:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: trestle table proportions dining space

From Fine Woodworking #42. This is an example of real valuable, transferable information that’s worth keeping. Kenneth Rower wrote the article.

“Practical dimensions—A trestle table at standard dining height (29 in) looks and works best when 6 ft. long or longer. At any length, the amount of top between the endframes compared with the amount outside them is important. Putting about five ninths between the supports and two ninths out at each end balances the top against sagging, whatever its thickness.

For elbow room, allow 24 in. per person along the sides. As to minimum dining width, around 30 in. is possible, 32 is better, and 36 in provides space for serving dishes in the middle.

The ratio between width and length is not critical, but as the plan approaches square, a leg-and-apron construction is more practical, for stability as well as comfort.”

I found this to be a dense summary. The article goes on to greater length and detail, but these bones are of real world importance to me today, and I wanted to share them.

-- " 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"

4 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


17376 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 11-04-2010 01:34 AM

wow could have used this just a while back … good info to have around on standards they can be tricky to figure sometimes.

I usually as the wife to sit in the chair and i measure her and add 4 inches. Thanks Lee.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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38 posts in 1421 days

#2 posted 06-29-2014 02:11 AM

I know this was posted a while ago, but thank you!

I am finishing up the top for our future dining table. It is about 7’ long, 54” wide, and 1.75” thick ambrosia maple. Just finished hand planing all the sides tonight. Next up was the base. This information is very valuable.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2440 days

#3 posted 06-29-2014 02:34 AM

I’m also working on a trestle table,the dimensions happens to be 30” high,6.5’ long 33” wide,the leg are 10” from the narrow (33”) edge,the top is 2” thick.
Thank you Daniel for reviving this old thread.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View AlmostRetired's profile


211 posts in 707 days

#4 posted 01-07-2018 09:21 AM

Great bit of info. Logging this one in the books for later.


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