Amish Trestle Tables: The basics
Trestle tables are distinguished from other kinds of tables by the solid wood trestle base that sits underneath the tabletop, set in from the corners. These sleek and simple tables work wondrously for those who are space conscious. When made in a width of 42”, most of these tables can be made to have the leaves stored underneath the table top. Up to four leaves can be stored, two with aprons and two without. When made 48”wide, a table can store leaves, but without aprons. This takes out the need to have an extra storage unit for the leaves and gives room for your dining space to have more guests or other furniture options. At most, 14 people can sit comfortably around the table with the dimensions at 48x72 with 4 leaves.
The trestle table is a remedy for those who aren’t into getting a workout from expanding your table to insert leaves. For traditional legged tables, it is common for you to need two people to lift both sides of the table simultaneously to pull the table outward. With the trestle table, one person can open the table because the legs stay in place. The geared slides will do all the work for you in opening the table top and giving you access to the leaves within the table.
Customization & Limitations
Because the trestle table top is unique in its design, customizing does not come as easy. The standard sizes range from 42-48” in width and 60-72” in length depending on the piece. It is fairly easy to adjust height for some trestles (e.g. Benjamin Trestle (left) while others, like the Manhattan Trestle (right), cannot be done without compromising the structural integrity of the table or the design.
One thing that is important to keep in mind about trestle tables is that when you open the top, the base does not move apart. This means that no matter how many leaves you have in, you will still only be able to fit two chairs in between the trestles. When you are eating, this is not a major concern, because the legs are set in from the edge of the top enough to make straddling a leg easy. Where this becomes more of a challenge is after the meal when want to tuck your chairs back in. Trestle tables are perfect when you normally need 6 chairs and occasionally host guests. If you normally need 8 or more chairs, we would recommend considering a large legged table.