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Thread: How I Made a Sixteen Foot Trestle Table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    an hour north of NYC, (Carmel, NY)

    How I Made a Sixteen Foot Trestle Table

    Our client had a very large family, entertained guests often and had just built a substantial sized home for himself… so he wanted a custom made dining table that was 16 feet long by 48” wide. He wanted it made from oak and be well aged in appearance.
    I had built a number of large trestle tables before but nothing of this size. I had to calculate the table top’s weight to see how difficult it would be to manipulate in our shop. At 2” thick it was already approaching 900 lbs which would stop my son & I from even turning the table top over (safely). So… I designed it such that the outside edge boards and the bread board ends would be over 2” thick and the great majority of it’s center area would be only 1.25” thick. This would make the top alone weigh aprox. 600 lbs, which made it do-able, if not easy to handle.

    I found a company in Maine that specialized in creating very large table pedestals. I only wanted to use two (not three) pedestals in case his floor was not perfectly flat (and it looked better that way).

    Once I had the outside edge machined to 2.25” thick and the inside to 1.25”, we aligned them all and dry clamped to see what we had.

    The bread board ends are boards that cap each end of the long table top. They run 90 degrees to all the other boards, hide the end grain there and help keep the surface flat. They are attached by means of a tongue (left protruding from the long boards) and a groove cut into the bread board in which the tongue will insert….. and they are kept in place by dowel pins. The two holes at the end of each tongue are elongated so that all the long, center boards can expand and contract along their width (from changes in humidity) without being held ridged by the dowel pins. You’ll notice that I made the ‘tongue and groove’ hidden by stopping it short of both ends by an inch or so.

    We fastened the pedestals to the table’s bottom with a bolt that is half wood thread (place in the table top’s bottom) and half machine thread (for wings nuts and washers) to go through an enlarged hole in the pedestals support spreader. We found the best positions for the legs by placing the top on the pedestals (somewhere between a quarter and a third of the way in from each end) until the top was dead straight (no sag).

    Now we were ready for the finishing process. They had selected an aged look from samples that we made. The table top and legs were gouged, filed and torched …before they were stained and top coated.
    It was very hard to get a picture of the finished table in their home that showed the entire table AND what the final color looked like… so I have two shots here.

    Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Stunning work as we have come to expect from you Russell! Well done Sir!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    As usual, very well done. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Nice. Did it take riggers to get it inside the house?
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    NW Indiana
    Very nice Russell - I love big trestle tables - and this ones a beauty. Mind sharing the name of the company in Maine that provided the pedestals?
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Masterful work. My lower back started aching just looking at that top.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    fayetteville Arkansas
    Just beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    N. Texas
    "Epic" is all that comes to mind.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  9. #9
    Don't get that table anywhere near the ocean as Navy fighter pilots will mistake it for an aircraft carrier. What does it weigh?
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Clarks Summit PA
    What a table Russell!

  11. #11
    Gorgeous and massive.

  12. #12
    That is a beast of a table. Nice job.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Leesville, SC
    I always enjoy seeing your work...
    Army Veteran 1968 - 1970
    NRA Lifetime Member
    I Support the Second Amendment of the US Constitution

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