The Trestle Table

… build a big table in a small space, by hand.

Price: £35.00

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Having watched all of your videos, this is another take on prepping that is just top notch. Each and every video has given us varied approaches to the work and it teaches us to confront things in a way that is proper to the project at hand. What a great resource! Thanks to you and Helen for putting out such excellent quality with both the woodworking and the filming. I am also taken with the music from your videos. . . totally appropriate. Lots of fun!

– Rob H


About This Series

An Emphasis On Hand Tool Education

This project is built entirely by hand in a small workshop.
We teach the techniques for working by hand as we go through the build.

Step by Step Instruction

We take great pride in breaking things down & explaining the details.
After all, complicated is just a bunch of simple stuff that’s been described too quickly.

PDF Plans

Download the cutting list & plans in either metric or imperial.
We include details for the joinery along with the marking guides used.

Basic Tool Kit

The usual marking & measuring tools.
Saws. A hardpoint saw was used for all the cuts throughout.
Bench Planes. A jack and optionally a jointer & smoother. (Different irons are required for roughing & smoothing).
Chisels. Strong bevel edge of morticing, plus one sharpened for paring.
Mallet | Drill (I opted for electric) | Shooting board | Clamps

Basic hand tool kit Hand planing the table top Assembling the trestle table base Wedged through mortice and tenon joint
trestle table pdf plans

The Trestle Table



Only £35.00

Lifetime access to the full series.
10 online Chapters + PDF plans

Excellent. Great to hear the thinking and reasoning behind the work. Hand tool instruction like this is much needed.

– Adam B

The Trestle Table

The Full Details

Watch Online | Stream & Download.

Over 7 hours of detailed education, split in to ten videos.

Chapter One: Starting Out

46 mins.
We’re getting a feel for the build & surfacing the top boards.
This is a large build so an efficient and deliberate approach to hand prepping is essential. We begin with the top, and in this chapter we’re flattening a face on each of the boards. It’s a case of understanding how the surfaces will be referenced when it comes to the glue up, rather than any kind of perfect thicknessing.

hand prepping boards

Chapter Two: Edge Jointing

46 mins.
Jointing these long thick boards requires a structured approach.
At 2″ thick there’s no flex to pull things in at the glue up, so the joins need to be very accurate to give strength, alignment and prevent gaps. We go through this process in detail to ensure a thorough understanding and cover various circumstances.

edge jointing table top

Chapter Three: Loose Tenons & Top Glue Up

25 mins.
The top is reinforced with loose tenons.
Adding a physical joint within the glue lines offers strength and peace of mind that the table will last many generations despite any wood movement. We mortice in to the edge joints and make the tenons with just the right fit before getting the whole thing glued up.

joining boards with loose tenons

Chapter Four: Wooden Nails & Top Flattening

44 mins.
We’re making wooden nails from scratch to maximise strength.
There’s a lot to a wooden nail, but once we get in to a flow of making them it’s simple. They’re used to lock in the loose tenons in the top, and also the end caps which we start making here. We’ll also go through the process of flattening the top in this chapter.

using wooden nails

Chapter Five: Completing The Table Top

25 mins.
It’s time to cut the top to length and get it tapered.
Cutting the ends square is simple enough, however we need to true them up very precisely before we can mate them with the end caps. Before the end caps are fixed on we also lighten the look of the top by planing in a really hefty taper on to the underside.

planing table top taper

Hi Richard and Helen, just wanted to say I’ve seen all of your previous videos, and I agree with the some of the other commenters that these are your best videos yet. This episode in particular I thought was terrific from an instructional standpoint, and its great to see an episode devoted to edge jointing. Very entertaining to watch. Thank you!

– Ben M (Chapter Two)

Chapter Six: Starting The Base

45 mins.
The trestles are visually simple but incredibly stout.
The base of the table depends upon accurate and strong joinery to offer stability. We make a start by prepping the blanks and working through the first mortices. There are many angles and tapers within the trestles, but we begin the joinery while everything is still square.

cutting mortices

Chapter Seven: The Wedged Tenons

43 mins.
The through tenons in the trestles are all wedged to lock them in place.
The tenons are cut very accurately, sneaking up to ensure the perfect fit so they hold good and strong. In addition wedges are used, and these will be locked in to place during the glue up. Making the wedges requires thoughtful marking out to ensure they lock in at the right points along their length.

wedged mortice and tenon joint

Chapter Eight: Central Mortices & Trestle Shaping

44 mins.
It’s time to start thinking about the connecting rail.
A central rail connects the two trestles together using a through mortice and tenons. The tapered faces mean that extra steps are required with the joinery. First the mortices are cut in to the columns while they’re square, and then every component of the trestle has its tapers cut in.

paring trestle end grain

Chapter Nine: Tenons With Removable Wedges

1 hr, 7 mins.
The rail joints are knock-down so that the base can come apart.
The protruding rail tenons not only need to look smooth and tidy, because a chuck of them is on show, but they also require a sliding fit that can be taken apart and reassembled. We need precision with the knock in wedges, and go through in detail where tolerance is critical and where it isn’t.

wedged through tenon

Chapter Ten: Finishing Up

37 mins.
It’s time to clean, assemble and finish up.
Gluing up the trestles is straight forward enough, but we first need to go over and clean, smooth and take off any sharp edges. The top then requires a final smooth over before we put the finish on the whole thing. We’re using a soap finish to compliment the pine and go through the process of making it.

soap finish on pine

The Trestle Table

Only £35.00

Lifetime access to the full series.
Includes PDF Plans.

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Detailed PDF Plans

Detailed instruction within the videos is complimented by PDF plans, to help you succeed with your own project builds.

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We take pride in creating quality videos, so you can be entertained as you learn.

I am not a big fan of posting on the web but I could not resist..

I have learned so much from following your videos… hats off to both of you.

P.S The video production quality, design and presentation are stunning.

Salva R

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