Mahogany Trestle Table

This is a mahogany trestle table I finished for a client about 6 months ago. The table was done entirely by hand except for the cove molding (haven’t made any good molding planes yet). The base is finished with Osmo oil/wax. The top is finished with candlelight oil stain (the top is 8/4 African Mahogany, was very blonde and needed to be stained to match the genuine mahogany base), sanding sealer, pore filler, three coats of 50/50 polyurethane, three full coats of polyurethane, and finally a French polishing buffing compound.

The joinery consists of drawbored mortise & tenons and through wedged mortise & tenons. All hand cut and chopped. All of the curves and heavy chamfers were made with a spokeshave. A 50° smooth plane left the final surface on all flat areas and the spokeshave for the curved.

The base is all 8/4 genuine mahogany while the top is 8/4 African mahogany (the client wanted to save some money). When I first got into woodworking I was told I needed all these machines. As you can see here, I’m putting the router table to good use.

Big through mortise for the stretcher’s tenon. I use a mortise chisel that is slightly smaller than the mortise to hog out the waste then chop down to my scribe lines with a wide bench chisel for a clean finish.

Checking the fit of the m&t.

I made this little 5° guide block to chop the through mortise in the stretcher’s tenon for the wedge. I made the block reference off of the shoulder of the tenon so I could easily make the through mortises match on both sides.

Checking the fit of the through wedged m&t

Checking the offset of the drawbore hole with some drawbore pins. I made some riven white oak pins for their strength. Putting the table saw to good use.

All the joinery assembled. Everything came together very nicely.

That’s a big 5" wide tenon so I left a little room for expansion & contraction.

I made the fit of the wedge a little loose here. This mahogany was very dry and I assumed once I finished it the oil would make the wood swell and tighten up the fit (this ended up working out great).

Gluing up the African Mahogany top with Old Brown Glue. If I could buy stock in this stuff I would. I love it. The top was one 12’ board that I cut down into two 6’ slabs and glued up. 8/4 stuff.

The client requested a high gloss polyurethane finish. I don’t ever work with polyurethane but they were very adamant about wanting a poly finish, so this is what I showed them after the finish cured…

Which they ended up not liking. So I brought the gloss down and they liked it. The top is attached to the base with screws inside grooves to account for seasonal movement.

Unfortunately I haven’t made a good set of hollows & rounds yet, so I had to resort to a router for the cove underneath the table top. Here’s a quick video of that.

That’s about it, thanks for taking a look! If you made it this far here are a few bonus pictures:


Woods: honduran mahogany african mahogany white oak

Tools: rip tenon saw crosscut tenon saw mortise chisel bench chisel spokeshave shoulder plane drawbore pins jointer plane smooth plane rip panel saw crosscut panel saw brace & bits bevel gauge block plane card scraper

Tags: trestle table table mortise and tenon joinery hand tools



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3fingerpat ...

Very nice! A well planned and executed project.
Love that Mahagony, I am currently finishing up a small Mahagony side table.
I would recommend MS Bickford Hollows/Rounds. I have a half set and they are a joy to use. I always wanted to make my own, but then reality set in ;0)

Harvey Daniels ...

I love this piece you do great work

Luke Addington ...

Thanks guys! Pat – I would absolutely love some of Matt’s planes. I have been following him for years and love his work. If I come up with some extra cash I may end up putting in an order with him.

3fingerpat ...

I met Matt at a LN Wood Show in San Diego years ago. I was the only person at his workbench, so I got about 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted teaching and use of his planes. He was very passionate about his planes and future. I knew right then I had to try and support this young man. I do hope you are able to get a few of his planes, you won’t be disappointed.

Canaan Woodworking ...

Very nice work

Vettekidd97 ...

Awesome job!!

lanwater ...

Beautiful Table.

You did a great job on it. some very nice details. I love how you gradually end the chamfers. All that with hand tools!
It’s very nice to see so many pictures of the build. Thanks!

Jeff Vandenberg ...

Great attention to detail. Love how the color turned out. Im glad you toned the top down. I personally am not a fan of high gloss table tops. Very beautiful

shipwright ...

Welcome Luke.
You do have some great photos.
……Of course the subject deserves the great photos.

Luke Addington ...

Thank you everyone!

Jeff – I am a fan of high gloss finishes when the table calls for it. For marquetry top tables a high gloss French Polish I think is beyond compare. However for a trestle table like this it was completely uncalled for.

Paul – are you as sick of seeing my work as I am yet? Hah!

Wolf (& Rabbit!) ...

Wow, that is fabulous. ..beautifful…well done. be proud. I absolutely love the details…briliant

Montasser ...

Very beautiful. neat and very precise measurements

Steve Tow ...

Masterful, Sir!
When do the plans come out?
Thanks I love mahogany and you made it
Steve Tow

a1jim ...

Very nice trestle table ,very nice details ,excellent workmanship.

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Mahogany Trestle Table