Trestle table base – first coat of finish

Over the weekend I focused on getting the trestle joints with the legs nice and tight and prepped it for finishing.  I used my smother on all surfaces and then used my chamfer shave and low angle block plane to bevel most of the edges on the parts.

Once I had the pins and wedges ready it was time to assemble.  I did not have any long enough clamps but the notch for the middle support gave me one clamping point and I combined two long ones for the bottom of the trestle.

The next day it was time to make the middle support, this went quite quickly since it is simply a smaller version of the other two supports.  The joint came out nice and right as well.  A dowel (drilled at an angle) and some glue hold it in place.

After letting everything dry overnight the pins and through tenons were sawn flush and smoothed with the freshly sharpened low angle block plane and a chisel. I then steamed out a couple of dents and used some 220 and 320 grit to clean up any noticeable defects.  I ended up putting some putty in the hole created by the blow out, it’s not perfect but this is a softwood table that will be dealing with kids for the force able future so perfection is not needed (years ago that would have been impossible for me).

Everything got a nice coat of BLO which was left for 10 minutes and then wiped off.  A few defects I missed became visible  with the oil but overall not bad.  I’ll inspect it tonight to see if another coat is needed otherwise it will have a few days to cure before finishing starts this weekend.

The top is going to be finished with water based polyurethane from General Finishes as toddles are a bit rough on tables.  I think I will go with spray can shellac for the base since it’s an easy to repair finish and non-toxic.  I can’t do laquer in my shop as the entire house smells of laquer thinner even when I do a small test sample and I won’t be able to get the the base into the backyard easily.

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