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X-legged table

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Forum topic by Slava posted 1367 days ago 15084 views 4 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Slava

4 posts in 1368 days


1367 days ago

Hello.

I set up to build a dining table. Since my wife is my ultimate customer, this is the table design that she wants. It is called “Toscana” and is sold by Pottery Barn for big bicks: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/toscana-dining-table/?pkey=call-tables&cm_src=hero

This would be my first major woodworking project and I learn as I go. I plan to visit the closest Pottery Barn store to look at the underside of that beast. Theirs is built from pine and I will be using oak from an ancient barn. Currently, I have 2” wide boards that I will have planned do to 1.5”. Since oak is much heavier then pine, will the legs design hold that extra weight? By the way, how can I make that kind of joint?

Thank you for your advice. I have just joined this forum yesterday and already received tons of advices on de-nailing!

Slava


43 replies so far

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

447 posts in 2016 days


#1 posted 1367 days ago

“Since oak is much heavier then pine, will the legs design hold that extra weight?”
Oak top will be heavier, but oak legs will also be stronger.
It seems they used X-overlap joint with mortise cut through it (which weakens the joint). Downward pressure on the table will tend to push legs apart. To avoid this you can connect leg ends together as in here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/13120

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NathanAllen

376 posts in 1741 days


#2 posted 1367 days ago

I’m going to take a stab and predict they’re gluing/screwing two half legs to the main post then drilling an offset mortise through the uncut leg. There’s a suspicious full line on the right brace.

If you’re going more tradition then use a half-lap joint. Each of the legs will need to have a dado at an offset angle so that the X slides together. Then its as “simple” as chopping a 22.5 degree through mortise through both of the pieces and using the tusk to draw them together.

Because it will be a stationary table (versus knockdown traditional trestle table) you can certainly glue the two legs of the X together to help provide additional ridigity for the top. Depending on the final dimensions inch and a half oak can be fairly weighty.

A lot will depend on the tools you have available. If you have a cross-sled or a reliable miter gauge you could easily cut the dado on a table saw. By hand will mean using a cross-cut saw and chisel to chop out the waste, very easy for oak to split under these circumstances. Another option would be to laminate two 4×2 boards to the main 4×2 to laminate each of the legs of the X. This way you’ll pre-make the half-laps and only have to worry about the mortise.

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Slava

4 posts in 1368 days


#3 posted 1367 days ago

“Another option would be to laminate two 4×2 boards” – GREAT IDEA. It will also be much easier for me to procure more 2” oak boards since 4”x4” are hard to find. That solves one problem nicely!

What are the alternate ways to attach X-legs to the tabletop? I would definetly like to be able to detach the legs from the tabletop… Is it possible to attach the legs to a frame and just place the tabletop on top of the frame without any attachments?

Slava

View 's profile

593 posts in 2569 days


#4 posted 1367 days ago

Slava, go visit PWW’s blog. The design is not form Pottery Barn, they just ripped-off a table Megan did years ago (which, by the way, looks much better proportioned).

Jojo

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1671 days


#5 posted 1367 days ago

I will give you my honest opinion and some semi-blunt advice which you certainly may ignore.

The underside of this table needs to be made with pine or something compatible (douglas fir) and hopefully you can find some stock for the legs that allows you to do the legs without gluing up pieces. It’s the bulk of those legs that make the piece. I would do a lap joint on the legs because that would be stronger. It would also work well with a mortise the goes all the way through the middle of the X.

The top could be oak or pine. You should be able to stain both the oak and the pine such that they look very similar.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bradford's profile

Bradford

1434 posts in 2420 days


#6 posted 1367 days ago

The lap joint is the best option. I suspect that the through tenon is not pegged, which if it was, then it could be a knock down type. The X frame legs could be glued together, the stretcher could then be be tenoned with through tenons and holes for pegs which allow for dis-asembly. The angle of the pegs, which are tapped in, draw it tighter.
Then your top, which will need to have a skirt as in the pic, could be placed on top. Just my opinion, but the beefier the legs the better the support.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2155 days


#7 posted 1366 days ago

Looks like a half-lap joint with a through tenon. Once all the wood is supporting each other, it should be pretty strong.

I’d buy one, tear it apart to see how it’s built, then return it. I hope this doens’t mean I’m going to start getting those catalogs again…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Bob Emmons's profile

Bob Emmons

10 posts in 1287 days


#8 posted 1287 days ago

I am trying to build the same table, and I am having difficulty understanding how the leaves attach to the table. If anyone has a picture or similar plans for how the leaves are built, I would greatly appreciate it. I am planning to make the table and bench out of some poplar I have had in the basement for ages. Jojo, can you tell me how to get the plans or a picture of Megan’s table? Sounds like a great table. Thanks.

-- Bob E

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

10381 posts in 1603 days


#9 posted 1287 days ago

Ill have to look back into my plan folder when i get home, i know i have a drawing of the legs. I built basically that same table not too long ago … ill have something for you later for sure … but i think the half lap angle was 32 degrees.

As far as attaching the table top, i used a piece of 1×6 attatched to the top of the legs and screwed up through that into the bottom of the table top.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Bob Emmons

10 posts in 1287 days


#10 posted 1287 days ago

Thanks for your help! Did you make leaves to extend the table?

-- Bob E

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Bob Emmons

10 posts in 1287 days


#11 posted 1287 days ago

I went to Pottery barn today and I was amazed that they had the table in stock. I took pictures of the table. Chrisstef, look forward to looking at the plans.

.

-- Bob E

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Bob Emmons

10 posts in 1287 days


#12 posted 1177 days ago

Well, I finished the table!

-- Bob E

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chrisstef

10381 posts in 1603 days


#13 posted 1171 days ago

Bob,

Great job on the finished table … im so sorry i never got back to the post. I was scrolling through the forums page and said hey those legs look familiar … oh crap i thought, i never got back to him.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Bob Emmons's profile

Bob Emmons

10 posts in 1287 days


#14 posted 1171 days ago

No problem. I was able to get measurements and design by looking at the Pottery Barn table.

-- Bob E

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jaredsworkshop

6 posts in 1136 days


#15 posted 1136 days ago

Bob,

great job on the table! Is all of it 2X and 4X poplar? what kind of staining application did you go with? Thanks for any help….I plan on making a similar style table. My wife frequents the pottery barn catalogs looking for my next project and this seems to be it. I guess her sister-in-law is wanting the same one as well so I’m planning on buying a lot of lumber. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

Jared

-- -Jared

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