Successful first try at breadboard ends
Here’s my latest project: a casual maple dining table for my four-season porch. I can’t take credit for the design, at least totally.
I based the overall proportions on Gary Rogowski’s cherry table (“The Versatile Trestle Table,” FWW #214). And I used an alternative to his base design: I incorporated a straight trestle stretcher, not a curved one, and used different-style wedged through-tenons to attach it to the trestle posts. I also changed the feet and cap designs of the trestle ends, inspired by Charles Durfee’s “Trestle Table with Breadboard Ends” (FWW #141).
It was a good woodworking workout. I got a lot of practice with template routing for the trestle caps and feet, as well as for the posts. I made my own dowels for the pegged tenons. For the top I decided to try my hand at breadboard ends, a scary prospect considering the potential cost of mistakes. But the job was made easier with a jig that helped me rout the tenons so the top and bottom shoulders would line up perfectly. Finally, I learned a lot about building up a durable tabletop finish. The biggest lesson being, “patience.”
The table is 24 in. wide by 54 in. long by 29 inches tall. The finish is Minwax Wipe-On Poly.
I wanted the posts and stretcher to come from the same board. This knot was in an inconvenient spot, but I decided to use it as a design element, a tribute of sorts to wood's defects. It's kind of a surprise, mostly for the kids who are under the table retrieving toys and silverware.
I used wedged through-tenons to attach the stretcher to the trestle posts. The wedges are walnut (as are the pins that hold the breadboards and tenons).
I sized the table for the small four-season porch I built. It seats four comfortably, but it can fit six in a pinch.