Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: 'sawhorse' trestle tables

Expand Messages
  • stefan_of_kiel
    Hello Colin, I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture. I ve made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but they get
    Message 1 of 16 , May 12, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello Colin,

      I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture.

      I've made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but
      they get loose quickly and wobble. I believe you have a picture on
      your webpage of a trestle where the cross piece is aligned up and
      down and your pin passes through side to side. Last night I was
      working on this wobble problem and cut a mortise for the pin to go
      top to bottom. The way it holds over a larger area of the leg and
      seems sturdier than the cross pin. The other thing I did was cut the
      pin's mortise at an angel to match the pins angle. This gave a
      larger area of contact inside the mortise and the leg stopped
      wobbling. The material I'm using is 7/8" maple. The cross piece is
      5" wide and the tenon is 3" wide x 4" long. I didn't cut a shoulder
      for the tenon because I felt the material is too thin. Once the
      mortise was cut in the leg, I then cut a 1/4" mortise in the tenon
      from top to bottom. Having the mortise go straight through and using
      an wedge shaped pin meant that only one small spot of the pin was
      contacting the instide of the mortise. I then took out more material
      to make the mortise angled and I recut my pin to match the angle and
      keep it short enough to stay below the tabletop when in place. Now I
      have a lot of contact in the mortise which puts pressure on the top
      and bottom of the tennon. This removed most of the wobble. There is
      still a little side to side wiggle, but I will probably glue small
      blocks jsut below the base of the tenon to act as shoulders and that
      should reduce that movement.

      I'll try to post some pics on my webpage this evening.
      http://www.dwarvenaxe.com The link will be in the Woodworks
      section. Assuming this test works successfully, I'll be fixing or
      replacing my existing trestles to this design.

      If someone else tries this or sees an obvious issue this this design,
      please let me know.

      Stefan



      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Tim Bray <tbray@m...> wrote:
      >
      > >Who has made the 'sawhorse' style trestle tables?
      >
      > I have made some, in a knockdown style.
      >
      > >What angles and sizes did you find worked best?
      > >
      > >Did you make 3 or 4 legged trestles?
      >
      > Mine are tripods. Both the front and back legs are angled, at
      about 4 degrees.
      >
      > >I made a prototype legs from scrap plywood
      > >( 3 legged )
      > >and didn't like the way it came out.
      >
      > I'm not completely satisfied with mine, either. They look nice and
      work
      > well... up to a point. A couple of customers think they are too
      > wobbly. This comes of making them knockdown.
      >
      > I don't think most of the medieval versions were made to come
      apart. Most
      > of them look like they have pretty thick legs, permanently joined
      to the
      > horizontal support. This would be a lot sturdier, but almost
      impossible to
      > pack for travel.
      >
      > I'm still trying to solve this problem: how to make trestles that
      are
      > sturdy and stable, but can be taken apart and packed flat.
      Suggestions
      > welcome!
      >
      > >( My wife found out that
      > >only the poor didn't cover up their tables
      > >with table clothes
      >
      > Yes, which makes documentation of these things extremely
      difficult. 90% of
      > the time, the trestles are hidden by the tablecloth. (Simliar
      problem with
      > beds, btw.) I do have a few details from paintings and
      illuminations; maybe
      > I'll try throwing them onto a Web page so we can all discuss them.
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Colin
      >
      >
      > Albion Works
      > Furniture and Accessories
      > For the Medievalist!
      > www.albionworks.net
      > www.albionworks.com
    • Tim Bray
      Stefan, ... Thanks! Compliments are always nice, and those from other woodworkers are especially treasured. ... Yes. ... That s the way my tripod trestles
      Message 2 of 16 , May 13, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Stefan,

        >I want to start by saying your web page has fantastic wood furniture.

        Thanks! Compliments are always nice, and those from other woodworkers are
        especially treasured.

        >I've made a few knockdown trestle tables using slots and datos but
        >they get loose quickly and wobble.

        Yes.

        > I believe you have a picture on
        >your webpage of a trestle where the cross piece is aligned up and
        >down and your pin passes through side to side.

        That's the way my tripod trestles were made.

        > Last night I was
        >working on this wobble problem and cut a mortise for the pin to go
        >top to bottom. The way it holds over a larger area of the leg and
        >seems sturdier than the cross pin. The other thing I did was cut the
        >pin's mortise at an angel to match the pins angle. This gave a
        >larger area of contact inside the mortise and the leg stopped
        >wobbling.

        Yes, that's the way I make the bed rail-to-post joint. See the "beds" page
        for a photo.

        >The material I'm using is 7/8" maple. The cross piece is
        >5" wide and the tenon is 3" wide x 4" long.

        This is actually very close to the dimensions of the bed-rail joint! The
        rails are about 7/8 thick, a little over 5" wide, the tenons are 3" wide,
        and the posts are made from 8/4 stock so they are about 1-3/4" thick.

        >I didn't cut a shoulder
        >for the tenon because I felt the material is too thin.

        (I think you mean you didn't cut _cheeks_; there are 1" shoulders on either
        side of the tenon, right?) And it turns out to be unnecessary, I
        think. With 7/8 wide stock the shoulders are sufficient, especially with
        the power of that long wedge.

        Basically what you describe is a very traditional way of making 'trestle
        tables.' I've made them that way myself and it is definitely the best. I
        think the vertically-wedged tenon is the strongest and best knockdown joint
        there is.

        However... the question is how to use that joint on the 'sawhorse' trestles
        that we were originally discussing. (Apparently there is a terminology
        problem; what we call a 'trestle table' does not use 'sawhorse trestles.' )

        The problem I'm having with my tripod trestles isn't vertical wobbling,
        it's side-to-side wobbling. Using a vertical wedge instead of a horizontal
        pin might improve that a little; but I suspect a big part of my problem is
        that the front pieces are only 1/2" thick, which means there isn't much
        bearing surface between the tenon and the mortise. I'd like to rotate the
        top stretcher, so it is flat/horizontal (which is the way the medieval ones
        seem to have been done), but then there's no room for knockdown
        joinery. (Maybe I need to post a photo showing the detail of this joint?)

        What I think I need to do is make the front as an A-shape (two legs with a
        horizontal stretcher) out of 6/4 stock so there is more depth to the
        mortise, and maybe use 6/4 for the top stretcher as well so I can put wider
        shoulders on the tenon. But all this drives the cost way up, and the
        weight, too. I don't think I'd sell many of them.

        Thanks for discussing this. Any more ideas?

        Cheers,
        Colin
        Albion Works
        Furniture and Accessories
        For the Medievalist!
        www.albionworks.net
        www.albionworks.com
      • Stefan von Kiel
        Hello Colin, More thoughts on period style trestle tables... ... I agree. ... I ve been calling the sawhorse trestle a period tressle and the commonly seen
        Message 3 of 16 , May 14, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Colin,

          More thoughts on period style trestle tables...

          >Basically what you describe is a very traditional way of making 'trestle
          >tables.' I've made them that way myself and it is definitely the best. I
          >think the vertically-wedged tenon is the strongest and best knockdown joint
          >there is.

          I agree.

          >However... the question is how to use that joint on the 'sawhorse' trestles
          >that we were originally discussing. (Apparently there is a terminology
          >problem; what we call a 'trestle table' does not use 'sawhorse trestles.' )

          I've been calling the "sawhorse trestle" a period tressle and the commonly
          seen
          trestle a standard trestle. I made a standard trestle out of 4/4 hickory
          and use it
          as a work table. It is heavy and very sturdy. If there is a better name
          for the two
          types of trestle tables, I'd like to know so I can call it by it's proper
          name.

          >The problem I'm having with my tripod trestles isn't vertical wobbling,
          >it's side-to-side wobbling. Using a vertical wedge instead of a horizontal
          >pin might improve that a little; but I suspect a big part of my problem is
          >that the front pieces are only 1/2" thick, which means there isn't much
          >bearing surface between the tenon and the mortise. I'd like to rotate the
          >top stretcher, so it is flat/horizontal (which is the way the medieval ones
          >seem to have been done), but then there's no room for knockdown joinery.
          >(Maybe I need to post a photo showing the detail of this joint?)

          I've seen drawings and illuminations with the horizontal stretcher but
          couldn't
          see a way to make it break down and be sturdy. Maybe if the legs had a
          tenon
          and went into a mortise in the horizontal stretcher, but no way to secure it
          with a pin.

          >What I think I need to do is make the front as an A-shape (two legs with a
          >horizontal stretcher) out of 6/4 stock so there is more depth to the
          >mortise, and maybe use 6/4 for the top stretcher as well so I can put wider
          >shoulders on the tenon. But all this drives the cost way up, and the
          >weight, too. I don't think I'd sell many of them.

          For the front leg, I have tried using a triangle with the legs going up the
          sides
          and meeting at the top. I wasn't using a mortis/tenon joint but it would
          have
          worked well. Now I'm cutting a 15 degree angle on both parts of the leg for
          a 30 degree spread. I don't make the top a point. I cut it back so the top
          is
          flat and about 2 " wide. I've used 30 degrees a few times and it seems
          sturdy
          enough.



          Stefan von Kiel
          Dwarven Axe Armoury
          www.dwarvenaxe.com





          ----Original Message Follows----
          From: Tim Bray <tbray@...>
          Reply-To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: 'sawhorse' trestle tables
          Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 13:09:53 -0700

          _________________________________________________________________
          MSN 8 helps eliminate e-mail viruses. Get 2 months FREE*.
          http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.