Farmhouse trestle table in process - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-21-2019, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Farmhouse trestle table in process

I am building a large (11' long x 5' wide) farmhouse trestle table out of Oregon Black Walnut. The sketch below is the basic design, with a slight modification to the base rail.

Customers did not want any curves, so I beveled it instead. Pretty much everything is mortise and tenon. While I would have like to do through tenons with wedges, they did not want that. Given the mass of the table, I instead opted to insert lag screws into the tenons for extra joint strength, especially since the grain directions oppose at the joints. The 3/4" counter bore holes get plugged with flush plugs cut from the same boards where the holes are bored in.

Farmhouse trestle table in process-img_1346-1-.jpg
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Farmhouse trestle table in process-img_1343-1-.jpg

So the base structure is now essentially complete. I will begin on the top tomorrow, and I will need to build a contraption to enable me to turn it over, as it will weigh about 350#. I will post as it progresses.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-21-2019, 11:46 PM
where's my table saw?
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That's the Mother of farm house tables!

You didn't ask for suggestion for flipping the table, but we had a thread here about doing that. I have one idea and that is to use the base you already have as the assembly table. Make a sub-support with cross members on it to keep it nice and to give more support for the planks when gluing them together. Once it's all together and one surface is flat, now is "flipping time".

One suggestion was to attach a pipe stub on each end with a corresponding receiver and legs to alllow it to rotate. You would need to pull the table support out from under it to make room for it to rotate, but that should be fairly easy. Then move it back under after it's rotated.

Another suggestion is an engine hoist aka cherry picker to lift it from one side enough to rotate it, removing the support table as you lift. If you have overhead beams, a chain fall will lift it with a proper sling arrangement.

OOOPs! I see that we have already discussed how to do this in YOUR other earlier thread! So, disregard my suggestions above if you have got this figured out! And do take some photos for us the see the method.

I like the idea of a rotisserie using one continuous 2" pipe and supports at either end, maybe some stout saw horses. Attaching the pipe would be the only concern so it won't slip.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-10-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, there was a lot of tedious prep work to be done on the boards for the top. The finished thickness was needing to be as close to 2" as possible, and we were shooting for 1 7/8". The 4 slabs that were put aside for my project by the supplier were surfaced one side, while the other sides were rough-sawn, and at that stage they were mostly about 2 1/8". However, one slab had a significant hollowed out spot on the underside where it was only 1 3/4" thick, in its rough state. Another had a significant bow at the end. The slabs were each 18" - 22" wide with live edges, so after ripping straight edges, planing, jointing, etc, I had 9 boards to glue up. The areas where the severe hollows were, I ended up making a router sled and flattening out the entire underside in those areas. Flattened any minor ridges from the bit with a sanding block, and then I laminated American Black Walnut boards onto those areas, which gave me sufficient thickness to end up with my intended 1 7/8" thicknesses. I did the same with the one with the upward bow at the end, which gave me enough thickness to plane the bow pretty flat and still have enough stock. Only the butt joint where the laminated boards meet the original boards will be visible, and only if you crawl under the table and examine it.

Normally, I would want to make tongue and groove joints to put the top together, but I did not have sufficient extra width to be able to afford the loss on the tongues. So I did spline joints, instead. Titebond II is my usual glue of choice, but Titebond III affords a little more working time, so that's what I used. Working as fast as I could, I applied the glue to the joints with a 1" wide, stiff bristled, 99 cent nylon paint brush.

And I got it glued up. The prep work and the set-up, coupled with the spline joints, give me a pretty flat top, which was one of my biggest concerns, given that the wood for this table cost $3200. I did not want to screw it up. There is no more than 1/64" deviation at the joints, if that. I will spend all day tomorrow smoothing it out. I have about 3" to remove from the width (which is why I did not bother using blocking with the clamps). Then I will cut a few inches off of each end and make the T and G joints for the bread board ends which will be attached. After that step, I will construct my giant 'rotisserie' to enable me to turn it over. More pics when that is in action.

Farmhouse trestle table in process-img_1348-1-.jpg

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post #4 of 4 Old 12-11-2019, 06:26 AM
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very nicely done, Mark !!

you need to talk with that guy that asked "how long and how many
clamps do I need".



there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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