John completes the Trestle Table
I must admit that I do not like the corbels on Chris’s trestle table. I don’t like the way the ends look rounded. Being a smart guy, I just incorporated the width that the corbel adds to the stretcher to get the total width of my version. My finished stretcher was 7” wide instead of 6” that Chris stated in the plan. That said I was ready to paint the base and put a finish on the top.
Then I got a chance to speak to Chris and proudly told him my artistic change. His response caused a pit in my stomach. He said there was a reason for the 6” width. It was to avoid hitting your shins on the stretcher when you extended your legs or hitting you knees when you pushed your chair in. Gee Whiz! I acted calm and as soon as I hung up the phone I grabbed a chair and shoved myself under the top. I was ok with the shins test but hit my damn knees on the stretcher. Yep I only needed an inch more of clearance.
There is a reason for some things in a plan. I seem to never follow a plan exactly but within a plan there are usually a couple of hidden reasons that may not come clear until a mistake is made. To remedy my situation I cut a slow curve on the base that reduced the width by an inch at the center of the stretcher and curved out to 7” where it met the leg braces. You can see in the picture what it looks like. I put two coats of black paint on the based then two coats of a dark green. I covered the top in Boiled Linseed Oil and wet sanded it with 600 grit sandpaper. I then used six coats of an oil based varnish. Six coats because of the continued difficulty in getting a perfect streak free finish in a top this long. It is still not right but I threw out the old table and the wife and kids returned from vacation. Oh well, it can be put on the “to do when I have spare time” list.