Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Trestle Table
I've been wanting to start throwing dinner parties and that sort of thing again (plus I'm tired of eating at the coffee table), but most of the tables you see in stores are scaled for the huge McMansions they build these days, not small houses like mine. I had a picture in my head of the kind of table I wanted, but didn't have much luck finding it for a reasonable price out there in the world. So I figured out what I wanted to do, and two weekends later, here it is.

I took my inspiration from a Canadian woodworking site, but tweaked the plans to fit my needs, skills, and budget. I wanted something longer but narrower than the plans specified, and I didn't have the patience, tools, or skill to give my table the sleek, contemporary look of theirs. Also, I used dimensional lumber, the cheapest wood in the world, rather than the black walnut they opted for. Instead, I opted to make a virtue of necessity and gave my table a weathered patina, even to the point of whacking on the tabletop with a three pound sledge to add to the patina, and using a combination of red and black stains to highlight the wild, knotty grain of the pine.

Not counting the time involved, the table cost me about $75 all told, and that's including a couple of tools I bought specifically for this project and a number of mistakes. The site is right when it says those half-lap joints are a pain in the ass, and I have the wooden Xs in my basement to prove it.

So that's my latest creation. Next on the list is a bed for Theron and Dionne, though I'm always nervous about building stuff for other people. I'm never fully satisfied with any of my projects, and I hate the thought of other people having to live with my mistakes.

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