How to Make a Trestle Table
Corbels and staircase parts helped us craft a handsome table with plenty of room for a family crowd
If you're hosting a holiday meal, a big dining table is as much a necessity as extra silverware and a seating chart that doesn't cause a family feud. But a solid-wood table can be a four-figure investment, so we scoured the home store looking for materials to help us build one that wouldn't dry up our gift budget. With the help of This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, we designed a generous trestle table that incorporates some decorative flourishes without breaking the bank. The legs are simply newel posts that were cut to size, stabilized with feet made from corbels that have carved scrollwork details, and connected by a stretcher cut from a length of handrail. Stock lumber and molding finish off the top. Spend a weekend making it and we guarantee you'll get as many compliments on your newest piece of furniture as the food you serve on it.
Build a Trestle Table
Dining tables are typically 28 to 32 inches high. Make yours lower (or higher) by cutting more (or less) off the ends of the newel posts.
Newel posts: 2 @ 27¼ to 31¼ inches, depending on desired tabletop height
¾-inch birch-veneer plywood tabletop: 1 @ 36 by 72 inches
¾-inch birch-veneer plywood leg plates: 2 @ 12 by 12 inches
Handrail stretcher: 1, cut to distance between the legs
¾-inch quarter-round trim: 2 @ 36 inches, mitered (from short point to short point)
¾-inch quarter-round trim: 2 @ 72 inches, mitered (from short point to short point)
⅝-inch dowels: 2 @ 2 inches
1x2s: 12 @ 8 inches
1x4s: 2 @ 30 inches, beveled (from short point to short point)
1x4s: 2 @ 66 inches, beveled (from short point to short point)
2x4s: 2 @ 30 inches
Download the diagram and cut list to build a trestle table.