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Building a Maple Trestle Table

Building a Maple Trestle Table

Maple tableThis table was built using wood from a single Big Leaf Maple tree that was felled in Independence, Oregon. To guarantee a color match between boards and add a little bit of tradition, it was my client’s goal to build this project using only the wood that came from this tree. His friend had a chain saw mill, which milled the wood into 2-1/4” thick slabs. The wood was air-dried for over a year and then put into a kiln to bring it down below ten percent so it would be ready to build into a table.

through arts and crafts tenonThe overall style of the table base is a trestle style, and the joinery is traditional arts and crafts through tenons. I wedged the tenons with Walnut to lock them into the mortise and to add a nice decorative feature.

breadboard edgeFor the top, we added breadboard ends and drift pinned them with walnut, again for decoration but mainly to help keep the tabletop from cupping. The wood was already fairly warped and had a lot of case hardening, which made it difficult to work and join the top boards together. The case hardening made the breadboard ends even more important.
We had hoped to make the top out of two book-matched pieces, but they were not wide enough. To make the table wide enough, we used a third slab from the same tree. I picked out a section of the third slab with the same coloration as the center of the book match and glued it down the center of the tabletop. With the addition of that piece, it gave us a top that was a little over 30” wide.
The table was finished using an oil varnish blend. Once the table was delivered, the customer loved it so much that we used the rest of the wood to build a matching bench.

You can see more pictures of the finished table and bench on my custom furniture website.
Please visit my furniture design website if you would like me to build you a custom piece of furniture.


I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.