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If you’re hosting a holiday meal, a big dining table is as much a necessity as extra silverware and a seating chart that doesn’t cause a family feud. But a solid-wood table can be a four-figure investment, so we scoured the home store looking for materials to help us build one that wouldn’t dry up our gift budget. With the help of This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, we designed a generous trestle table that incorporates some decorative flourishes without breaking the bank. The legs are simply newel posts that were cut to size, stabilized with feet made from corbels that have carved scrollwork details, and connected by a stretcher cut from a length of handrail. Stock lumber and molding finish off the top. Spend a weekend making it and we guarantee you’ll get as many compliments on your newest piece of furniture as the food you serve on it.

Shown: 56-inch red oak newel posts, 10½-inch decorative whitewood corbels, and poplar interior stairpart railing; Lowe’s.
Paint: Valspar’s Deep Earth.

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