How to Build a Trestle Table With Legs


A trestle table is a basic component of many woodshops, craft rooms and art spaces. The beauty of the trestle table is that the legs – often a sawhorse-like design – are movable, so the table is easily set up or packed away as needed. Building your own trestle table is not very complex, and if it is for a work space then you don’t even have to finish the wood before using the table.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 planks 2-by-4 lumber, 35 inches
  • Miter saw
  • 2 planks 2-by-5 lumber, 30 inches
  • G-clamps
  • Drill
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • 1 sheet 3/4-inch plywood, 36-by-72 inches
  • Miter both the ends of eight planks of 35-inch 2-by-4 lumber to parallel 15-degree angles using a miter saw.

  • Stand a piece of 30-inch 2-by-5 lumber on a 2-inch edge. Take two of the mitered 2-by-4 planks and press one end of each flat to the 2-by-5 lumber, 2 inches in from one end. The two mitered planks should mirror each other and form an “A” shape, minus the horizontal cross. Repeat with two more mitered planks 2 inches in from the other end of the 2-by-5 lumber. This will look more or less like a sawhorse.

  • Clamp the mitered planks to the 2-by-5 brace plank with G-clamps, then drill two countersunk pilot holes sized for 2-inch screws about an inch down from the ends of the mitered planks. Secure the mitered planks to the brace plank with 2-inch screws through the predrilled pilot holes. Repeat with another brace plank and four more mitered planks, to form the trestle table legs.

  • Position the leg units around 50 inches apart then place a sheet of 36- by 72-inch 3/4-inch plywood over the top of the legs. The brace of the legs should be parallel with the 36-inch side of the plywood table top.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want a more décor-friendly trestle table, paint or stain the legs and tabletop. A store-bought desktop or tabletop can substitute for plywood.
  • To attach the trestle legs to the table top permanently, secure a 30-inch plank of 1-by-4 lumber flat onto the top of the brace. Place the table top over, then secure the table top through with screws through the 1-by-4 lumber into the underside of the tabletop.

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