Step 2: Cutting Tips


A bevel is an angled cut which is perpendicular to the wider face of the board but at an angle across the narrower edge of the board.

A miter is an angled cut which is perpendicular to the narrower edge of the board but at an angle across the wider face of the board.

To set your saw to a bevel, first cut a piece of scrap to the desired angle, and then use the scrap to set the bevel. If you don't have a way to determine the initial angle (in this case 10 degrees) draw a rectangle that is 2" x 11-3/8" and connect the corners.

When cutting dowels or other small stock with a power miter saw, place a piece of scrap behind the stock being cut to support and "catch" the cut-off piece.

Just completed the table and it looks great. Needed for my home office. Used similar stains to yours minus the decorative cut out on the stretcher. My skills not ready for that. Still a great table. Thanks Aeray! <br>Pics attached including one of table in pieces minus tabletop:
Looks great! Thanks for the pics.
Would something like this be solid enough to use as a dining table? Using a solid core door is pretty awesome here!
We'll be using it as a worktable, but, yes, it is entirely appropriate, and sized to be, a dining table.<br><br>The solid core door is the easiest, most affordable tabletop I can think of.
Beautiful! Looks reminiscent of Japanese/Frank LLoyd Wright inspired design. My all time favorite. <br><br>What did you use for the stain on the trestles? I'm building a dining room table and matching buffet and I want to have a dark brown stain, and I want barely any grain showing as I am using cheap lumber.
This is cheap lumber as well. White Fir. I used Minwax Ebony for the trestles, and Minwax English Chestnut for the stretcher.
<p>We love the look of the table. My wife has actually agreed to giving me uninterrupted time in my workshop to build it. You mentioned that you could send adjusted measurements. I am interested in smaller table. Could it be modified for a 36&quot; wide x 48&quot; long table? Could two 12&quot; drop leaf sides be added to the 48&quot; length to make it 72&quot;? What would be the changes for a 36&quot; x 48&quot; table?</p><p>Thanks in advance, Scott</p>
The proportions start to look weird when it gets that small, but there are some options. As for the drop leaf, that is a whole 'nother beast. The simplest, cheapest, best looking option may be to simply have two tabletops: one at 48&quot; and one at 72&quot;. Door slabs are pretty cheap, and changing it would be a simple as lifting one off and setting the other on. Send me a PM with your email address and I can send you a few dimensioned PDF drawings to look at.
<p>This is fantastic! I too would like to make it in 48&quot; L to fit between the breakfast nook I built. Do you happen to still have the demensional drawings you mentioned here? </p>
I am going to substitute the door top with some old oak church pews that I resurfaced and joined. I look forward to your guidance on dimensions for smaller top.<br><br>Thanks again,<br>Scott<br>sjeffries66@hotmail.com
I would like to make the same table with a door slab that is 32&quot; wide, same length. Can you please provide measurements?
I guess everything would be the same except the dowel holes on the table right?
<p>Looks great!</p>
<p>This is great! Have you made plans for a table that could fit 8-10, and up to 12?</p>
We've had 10 at this one before, but it is a little tight. The plans for a bigger one are the same, just use a longer door, and lengthen the stretcher. For example: order an 8' tall door slab. This is 16&quot; longer than the one in this Instructable. Make the stretcher 16&quot; longer as well. Everything else is the same.
<p>Can you get these doors for the top in 8ft? I would need about an 8ft long table. Would I just extend the center piece of wood another 1.5 ft? Or do other changes need to be made to extend the length?</p>
Yep. Just ask your lumberyard. The only change is making the spreader 1' 4&quot; longer (16&quot;).
<p>Really liked the simplicity of the design - had been looking for a trestle plan to use for the blue pine slab top I was making... works for me - and the wife likes it! </p><p>Thanks for the detailed description - </p>
<p>de nada. Thanks for the photos.</p>
<p>can you give me the material dimensions for a 36 wide and 72 long table? thanks!</p>
Almost everything is the same: just order a 72&quot; door, and subtract 6&quot; from the stretcher length. That's it!
<p>Finished my smaller version this past weekend. I found a 32&quot; solid core door for $8 that was slightly blemished. I ended up having to cut it down narrower and banding the edges with some pine to make it work in the narrow breakfast nook. The top is 30&quot; X 53&quot;.</p>
Looks good. Thanks for the photo. Did you make the benches, too?
No, they were originally booths in a now closed pub.
<p>I had a little trouble (measure with care) but because this is a very forgiving design, an adjustment (and an invisible shim) and its just fine. I put it to work right after the third coat of clear-coat was dry, to support my old Singer 301A. Next, a couple benches for it. I did the bed, earlier, and it was a snap. Thanks for these thoughtful plans.</p>
Thanks for the photo!
<p>Beautiful table! I want to scale it down to 30&quot;-32&quot; wide and 6' long. Can you advise me? Thanks</p>
Reduce the length of the four horizontal trestle pieces by whatever the difference between the existing tabletop width is and the width you decide on i.e. 30&quot; width = 36&quot; original - 30&quot; for yours = subtract 6&quot; from the given lengths of the trestle pieces. Similarly, for a 6' long table, subtract 8&quot; from the stretcher length. <br><br>Order a door of the corresponding size, for this example, a &quot;2-6, 6-0&quot; door.
<p>I love this design, but was wondering your thoughts on using cedar planks for the table top. I have a cedar TNG ceiling on my back porch and was looking to match the ceiling. Any advice would be very much appreciated. </p>
Google &quot;breadboard tabletop&quot; for an idea of the proper way to do it. Remember, though, that cedar is very very soft. A better option would be to find a &nbsp;door<br> <br> l<a href="http://betasite.etodoors.com/fiberglass-doors/rustic-fiberglass-doors/auburn-plastpro-rustic-one-panel-square-plank-square-top-door.html" rel="nofollow">ike this</a><br> <br> but in wood, not fiberglass.
<p>I just finished (well, almost finished... needs a couple coats of polycrylic) putting together the table, and I am very happy with the results. My wife wanted wider than 36&quot; for the tabletop, so I used a 4' x 6' slab of 3/4&quot; birch plywood with a support frame on the underside (see picture). Per your advice, I also drove in four screws to increase the stability and security. Overall, it was more difficult than assembling the bed frames (of which I've now made three), but it was definitely manageable. Your instructions are easy to follow, and the pictures always cleared up any questions that I had.</p><p>Thanks for posting these, and I can't wait to see if/when you post the instructions for the chair.</p>
​thanks for the photos, it looks good. It is definitely a bit more advanced than the bed or the bookshelves, but I tried to keep it manageable. If the plywood top gives you any trouble, you can get a door slab in that size, but it will be more expensive than what I listed. But, depending on climate and specific type of plywood, you may not have any problems. The additional screws will also help with that.
<p>I'm building this table for use in my dining room, but I concerns about the stability. I have a two and four year old who will likely run around, hang on, bump into, and (in many other manners) abuse the table. I'm worried that since it's only kept in place with the unglued dowels, that they might loose the table top from the legs and hurt themselves or others. Can you speak to its sturdiness and/or offer advice to make it more stable. I don't mind losing the ability to easily disassemble in favor of greater stability.</p>
It should be fine. Ours has been abused by a five-year old, and takes two adults to lift the top off. A single 2-1/2&quot; screw up through each of the upper crosspieces into the underside of the tabletop should provide a little reassurance though.
This is a beautiful job, and very perspicuous instructions! Do you have any plans of adding on instructable for chairs that could match?
Excellent vocabulary. I have thought about chairs for it; chairs are kind of the Holy Grail of furniture making. It is also surprisingly difficult to design and build one that is comfortable and durable. Add in my goals for this series (cheap, low-waste, easy, common materials, minimal tools and skills required) and the task becomes fairly daunting. I do have a few ideas, though, and hundreds of sketches...
I love the look of this table and would like to someday make one to replace what I have, but for now I need to make a Physical Therapy exam table for my daughter who is in PT school and needs an appropriate height surface for practice. I like the trestle idea for storage of the table when not in use. The top surface I was thinking foam padding and covered with vinyl rather than the solid core door. My question is what is the load bearing ability of this trestle table, and how stable is it from side to side. I need to make a table that is stable for offloading of the practice victim, namely me, and other assorted family members. I did consider the platform bed design. I have completed 2 of those beds a queen and a twin. the twin size which is about the size needed for the exam table, wasn't as stable when a my son was sitting on the edge, (he could if he tried make the bed start to tip.) Also I can't think of how to make it storage friendly. Any ideas that you'd be willing to share? Thanks ahead of time, still love my platform bed, still very sturdy and love the storage underneath, thanks for your designs.
I don't think my design would be appropriate for that use, in part because the top isn't secured. I'd be more inclined to try a solid core door (with padding, etc.) on 1&quot; or 1-1/4&quot; pipe legs, attached using floor flanges like these:&nbsp;http://t.homedepot.com/p/1-in-Black-Malleable-Iron-Threaded-Floor-Flange-521-605HN/100179931
Ok thanks for the advise, I'll look into the floor flanges, thanks for the reply.<br>
This looks great!!! I did your bookcase and so many people love it. I keep showing them your instructions :) <br> <br> I am looking to make a stand up desk. I work from home so the desk needs to be sturdy enough to carry both of my iMacs which together are 51lbs and little stuff here and there. Would this table be sturdy enough? <br> <br>Also taken you up in your offer and if you think this would be a sturdy enough desk, what would be the material dimensions for a desk 39&quot; high, 65&quot; long and 30&quot; wide (if leaving it 36&quot; wide makes it easier I don't mind, I know at Home Depot you can special order any size door). <br> <br>Thanks!
Do you think this tabletop from Ikea would work? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50106773/
Do you think this construction would support a maple butcher block. Definitely not the most cost effective table top but durable. Right now I cannot access the information of how heavy such a block would be but definitely heavier than any other wood options out there.
Easily. Hard maple (most often used for cutting boards/butcher blocks) weighs a little less than 4 pounds per board foot. The door I used weighs 65# (2.36# per board foot) but the supporting structure will hold far more than that. I weigh 250# and have stood on top of this table several times.
This reminds me of the home-carpenter projects in popular magazines of the '50s and '60s that told you how to turn a door into a coffee table. They were so common 'Mad' magazine spoofed them with an article explaining how to turn a coffee table into door.
Rather than chairs, a bench can be built using modified dimensions from this inst as well. In addition, I know it's an extra step, but for purely decorative purposes..1x1/4&quot; decorative strip stained to match the trestle finish could be added to the finished edges of the table for contrast, giving it a further custom look for about $3.00 and an hour or so more of your time. Awesome Instructable series you have going here.
Thanks! I considered the edge-banding, and would have added it if it was just for me, but it is difficult to make a good flush fit with the table top without first ripping a thin strip off of the door slab (all of the way around) to get rid of the slight round over. With the goal of only using simple common cheap tools, I omitted it.
I definitely like the &quot;less is more&quot; aesthetic you've been maintaining for this series. There is a time and place for Fine Woodwork (which I do want to improve my skills on, now that I have space for a small workshop)... but there's also a time and place for woodwork that is Just Fine. And good design is applicable to both.<br><br>The &quot;foot&quot; of the trestle is a bit less than elegant, to my eye -- but immensely practical; unlike fancier designs, it's unlikely to interfere when you're trying to squeeze more chairs around the table.
My experience building things is very limited but I think i am going to attempt this. I will be needing a worktable soon and this looks about perfect for my needs. However, 80 inches is a bit long for my space. 60 inches would fit perfect. What kind of modifications would I need to make to shorten it?
Buy a shorter door and make the stretcher 20&quot; shorter.