Collapsible Trestle Table

About two years ago, my wife was planning a family get together at our home. She asked me if I had anything to use as a table for extra seating. I mentioned we could get two sawhorses, a sheet of plywood and throw a table cloth on it. I am from rural North Carolina so this is a more than adequate type of table. Of course if you have any faith in Mr. Schwarz’s research, it has been an acceptable form of table for may other folks as well for centuries.

My wife would have none of it; a couple days later she came in with a blow-molded plastic table with metal legs from one of the big box stores. It was an abomination. The folding legs worked OK, it was not terribly heavy, but it was just wrong. It looked like very-near future landfill material. It made it through the family gathering but did get me to thinking about something that would serve the same purpose but made of wood.


After after some thought, I came up with a trestle table that is assembled with wedges. The base is held together with four wedged tusk tenons and the top is attached to the base with four tapered dowels that work like removable drawbores. It can be assembled or broken down in a minute or so, with no tools other than a mallet or hammer and can be stored in a closet.



The base is made of yellow pine construction lumber with oak feet. The top is of white pine with breadboard ends. It’s strong, stable, not too heavy and can be set up quickly when needed. Or, it can be left assembled and used daily as this one is.



I filmed a video on making this table, “Building the Collapsible Trestle Table” that is available at Wood and Shop’s store (here) as a digital download or DVD, preview (here). The video was filmed and edited by Joshua Farnsworth (considering the substandard talent he had to work with on these projects, he works miracles with video) who I also filmed two previous projects, “Building the Portable Moravian Workbench” and “Building the Shaker Candle Stand”.

— Will Myers





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9 Responses to Collapsible Trestle Table

  1. nrhiller says:

    Love it. So simple, so accessible, and really quite handsome.


  2. Rich says:

    Will – If by “substandard talent” you’re referring to your acting credentials, then I’ll allow. But having built the Moravian workbench under your tutelage I know your woodworking skills are anything but substandard. Although even from an acting standpoint I think you have loads of potential!


  3. Matthew Holbrook says:


    A woodworking project like your Moravian Workbench executed well is acting well executed too. Your video on that project was well done, and I went on to build the bench for my shop. Equipped with an Erie Lake Toolworks vise, the Moravian bench works well for me.

    Keep up the informative and practical projects.


  4. Nice work Will! I love the breadboard ends and tusk tenons. Only one problem, I showed your table to my wife and now my she wants me to get rid of our butt ugly plastic landfill bait and build one of these for our house. Thanks! LOL



  5. jay says:

    Will, very nice; I like it. What are the table dimensions (w x l x h)?


    • Will Myers says:

      68″ long x 32″ wide x 30″ tall, none of these dimensions are set in stone and could all be changed per your particular needs.


  6. Richard Moore says:

    Wil, keep up the good work, it’s good to see you staying active with all this.


  7. Dave S says:

    Nice work. What about seating? Did you make benches? If so, show some pictures. This seems like a worthy class in the making


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