Text Box: Pine Trestle Worktable

An reproduction of an early 1700’s table in pine. It serves as a laptop computer table which is easily moved from room-to-room.

Worktable Summary

· Hand-cut dovetail joints

· Special drawer access from both sides

· Leg room to spare

· Lightweight portable laptop table

· Key wedge connections on truss

· Space for sliding computer keyboard tray

I searched through my library of books on period furniture, looking for something that could function as a computer desk yet be small and light weight.  I found several options, but I kept returning to item number 1165, a trestle worktable shown in Furniture Treasury, Volumes I and II, by Wallace Nutting. This was the right size and height, and could accommodate a slide-out computer keyboard. There would be adequate knee room to be used as a desk and computer table. Also, this piece would be light weight in pine, for easy movement from room to room.


Wallace Nutting describes this pine table as follows:

Trestle with Wedge Truss. Vase Ends on Shoes, Plain Frame. Thumb-Nail Mold Top. Scrolled Truss. Pine. Connecticut Origin. 29 X 25 3/4 x 16 1/2       


The joints are either mortise & tenon or dovetail. The picture clearly indicated a sliding dovetail joint connecting the top to the lower case, and I reproduced this joint in my design. The Vase Ends are tenoned at both ends. I used dovetails to connect the case ends to the case bottom—similar to a typical carcase construction. I don’t believe the original had a drawer in the case section. I included a drawer here which can be accessed from either side of the table.  The drawer is a somewhat unusual design with through dovetail joints and a solid bottom which extends beyond the front and back of the case.  The bottom extension serves as a handle for pulling the drawer.

Reproduction of Pine Trestle Worktable