A Tree Turns into a Table


This table has quite a story. Eric handcrafted this trestle table for my brother’s family made from one red oak tree harvested from our farm. Both of us worked together to design it. We are very proud of it.

About the Wood:

  • The entire table was made from one tree from our land
  • We dragged the tree back from our pasture using a tractor and a chain around April of 2013
  • The wood was rough cut using our lumber mill consisting of a long steel frame and a chain saw
  • Rough cut lumber was stacked onto wood spacers to dry out for about a year before they could be used
  • We got about ten 9-foot pieces of lumber from this one tree

Before it became a Table, the Rough Cut Planks were used for a Party:

  • On July 26, 2014 the rough cut lumber was used for a farm to table dinner for our sister-in-law’s 40th Birthday party.
  • The party was set in our herb garden.
  • The temporary table consisted of 3 planks of lumber placed on 2 saw horses.

Preparing the Wood to be Used:

  • A local lumber mill planed our lumber in September of 2014
  • In October 2014, we designed the plans for the table. However, it was a work-in-progress as we continually challenged the design and continuity of the piece
  • Our goal was to create a casual family table to be used on my brother’s family’s screened-in porch
  • We looked at various ideas for table tops and trestle legs
  • We kept in mind that we would have to work within the constraints of Eric’s skills and tools
  • Because of the weight of the table, it had to be designed in pieces so it could easily be moved and reassembled
  • The overall dimension of the table ended up being 8’ x 3’6” 2’6″ high

The Table Top:

  • To create the desired width, we added 2.5″ strips between each plank
  • This created a nice custom look
  • 3 planks and 2 strips make up the top of this table
  • The planks and strips were doweled and glued together
  • The top had beautiful imperfections. They were carefully chiseled out so they would still look natural
  • We used a test piece to add resin to the imperfections but in the end, we decided it looked best natural

The Trestle Legs:

  • The trestle legs are made from three 2-inch thick planks
  • The legs are 10-inches wide
  • We wanted to put a decorative element on the legs and feet
  • A temporary template was made on paper and taped to the leg
  • A template was cut out of wood
  • Eric did not have a band saw, so he used a jig saw to cut around the template, then sanded around it

Table Construction:

  • The table is mortise and tennon construction
  • The only bolts used hold the table top and legs together
  • The table can be broken down into 8 pieces
    • 2 legs
    • 1 stretcher
    • 1 table top
    • 4 leg pegs

Finishing the Table:

  • The table was sanded down
  • The wood was oiled with linseed and sealed with wax
  • Eric carved on the bottom of the table our names with our collaborative design, that it was made for my brother’s family and the date it was completed
  • The table was finished October 23. 2014

Presenting the Table to my Brother’s Family:

  • On Thanksgiving, we presented the table to the delight of my brother and his wife.
  • They love it so much, they’re going to put this into their dining room instead of their porch.

One Response to “A Tree Turns into a Table”

  1. 1 Sandi


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