Thursday, April 26, 2007

Trestle style tables

Mission style trestle tables are a great option when style is more of a concern than functionality. The high points of this style table are as follows:
  1. It can be opened by 1 person.
  2. It can self store up to 4 leaves depending on the base size.
  3. It is available in 2 widths- 42 or 48 inches; and 3 lengths- 60, 66 and 72 inches.
  4. Up to 4 leaves can be added giving you the ability to seat 4 more people when needed.
Now I will discuss the things to think about when considering this style table.

The first area I would like to talk about is seating at the ends of the table.
When you place a chair at the end of the table you cannot slide it all the way in, the trestle stops it. The table top only extends out about 13" beyond the trestle. As you can guess when you are sitting at the end of the table your feet and knees will hit the trestle. This is only alleviated when you add leaves. Most trestle tables can accept up to 4 twelve inch leaves.

The next area I would like to discuss is the span between the trestles.
At a base length of 72 inches there is 41 1/2 inches between the trestles. This is just barely enough room to push in 2 side chairs. Each person generally requires 24" of table space to be comfortable. which means that the people on the sides of the table will have to straddle the trestle. Straddling the trestle isn't that uncomfortable but it can get painful should you forget about the post between your legs.

The trestle tables can self store between 2 and 4 leaves. The 42 inch wide table can self store 4 leaves- 2 with skirts or aprons and 2 without. The 48 wide models can only self store 2 leaves- 1 with skirts and 1 without. Yes you read that correctly the narrower table can store more leaves. According to the builders it's a structural thing that prevents the 48" from storing 4 leaves.
When you add 4 leaves to these tables it can get a bit springy on the ends. This generally doesn't pose a problem unless someone that is very heavy gets up using the very end of the table to support their weight. Then you run the risk of breaking the slides.
If you purchase one of these tables with the self storing option make sure you DO NOT get the locking mechanism. The locking mechanism is located under the table top and you will scratch and gouge your leaves if it is present.

Geared Slides
The geared slides are the only ones available on trestle style tables. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it allows for the table to be easily opened by one person. The second reason is that the geared slides are stiffer on the ends giving the table top more support when you have leaves in it, especially 4 leaves.
The trestle tables are not designed to have leaves in all the time. The geared slides are well designed and strong but 100lbs on the ends of them all the time will take its toll.

If you take all these things into consideration before you buy a trestle style table you will be immensely happy with it, and, if you give it some TLC every once in a while it will out live you.
If you would like to see the variations of the trestle style tables available click this link: Dining room tables