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Shakertrestletable2

I don't build a lot of reproductions, but this Shaker trestle table, attributed to the Hancock families, is a classic, both stunning and irresistible. Each time I've made it, I am drawn to the details, and how they relate to the flow of the design. The arched foot flows upward to the outward sweep of the cleat, which in turn directs the eye to the the gentle lift of the top's edges. The stretcher is placed high and right under the top, so as to not interfere with that sense of openness and lift (or ones legs). And if you wonder whether that placement leads to weakness and lack of stiffness, it doesn't. The cleat to stretcher joint is done with a long through bolt, going to a captured nut in the stretcher. Quite strong.

The trestle design works well at most any length, with somewhere between five and eight feet optimal. This one pictured is 84" long x 35" wide x 29" high. It is lovely in cherry, with a natural oil/varnish finish. Price for this model is $3,200. Other sizes and woods on request.

More information and drawings are available in John Kassay, The Book of Shaker Furniture (1980, UMass Press).

65 Delano Road, Woolwich, Maine