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Forum topic by Shanej64 posted 02-17-2014 06:13 AM 1648 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1841 days

02-17-2014 06:13 AM

I’m starting a new project, my first dinning table. I’ve borrowed the design for the top from Daniel Chaffin’s trestle table (FWW, Sept./Oct. 2013). I’ve brought the edge lines down to the stretcher, and inverted it.

I’ll be using some very nice sugar pine boards for the top and stretcher. They are from a very large tree that came down about about 20 years ago and they have been collecting dust (a very nice discovery). The wood is amazingly hard, well figured and tight grained for pine. I wish I had a bunch more of it. The braces for the top will be made from either maple or walnut (I’ll probably make both and see which look better).

The legs and end stretchers will be from some very old tight grained Doug Fir. They came from some resawn large timbers from the old mill up in Klamath Falls.

Generally I was hoping to get some feedback on proportions, and thoughts on the main stretcher.

9 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2556 days

#1 posted 02-17-2014 07:35 AM

I like the shaping on the edges of the top. Gives it a pleasant gracefulness that is complemented by the similar shaping on the main stretcher. You might even want to give it some more underbevel.

That is in stark contrast to the bulk of the legs and side stretchers, which look like something you’d find on a Roubo workbench. They can still be beefy, but they need some shaping to match the feel of the top

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Woodknack's profile


11792 posts in 2406 days

#2 posted 02-17-2014 08:10 AM

Trestles are way too heavy for the top and like Mark said, the style doesn’t match. Ditch the corner leg style and go with something more like this:

-- Rick M,

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2605 days

#3 posted 02-17-2014 01:16 PM

I have to agree that the top is out of proportion to the base. Since the top will be the visually dominant element of the completed piece, the base design should complement.

If you like and want to keep the edge treatment of the top, then Rick’s suggestion of a trestle base should allow you to retain the similarly shaped stretcher (though a vertically oriented stretcher is more usual). Then you just have to come up with a trestle leg design that complements.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1882 days

#4 posted 02-17-2014 01:31 PM

It looks like there are no aprons. I am worried that the single stretcher, especially oriented horizontally is not going to keep the legs stable. How are the legs attached to the top?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Woodknack's profile


11792 posts in 2406 days

#5 posted 02-17-2014 04:53 PM

Trestle tables don’t have aprons. The legs tenon into a baton which is then screwed to the top.

-- Rick M,

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1882 days

#6 posted 02-17-2014 05:04 PM

Ok , thanks.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1961 days

#7 posted 02-17-2014 05:49 PM

I’m with the other guys about the legs. The legs are way too beefy for the top and need to have a more elegant look. Trestle is the way to go in my opinion.

I have been thinking about doing one of these table a lot recently. I loved that article and have had the top design floating around in my head. Can’t wait to see yours finished!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View oldnovice's profile


6899 posts in 3393 days

#8 posted 02-17-2014 06:25 PM

I agree with Rick and Jim, those legs don’t belong on that table!

I made a trestle style coffee table for Norwegian friend of mine that was based on a description she provided.
She wanted “white” wood, trestle style, knock down capability (the table is now in Norway as she took it with her when she retired), and, obviously, the overall height/width/depth.

That’s my opinion, but I could be wrong!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Shanej64's profile


9 posts in 1841 days

#9 posted 02-17-2014 07:12 PM

I’ve been getting quite a bit of feedback that the legs are too bulky for the thin lines of the top. I sure wish the boards for the top were thicker (they are 5/4 in the rough, I’m hoping they’ll finish out at 9/8ths), but they are not. I’ll go back and redraw the legs at a 1/3 reduction and see if that soothes and blends better. I may play with bringing the gentle curves to the legs, but that might be too much for the style I’m looking for (robust with grace).

Thanks for the feedback. More welcome.

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