New guy needs advice on Toscana Table build

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Forum topic by Drumn2121 posted 11-20-2017 09:26 PM 1109 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 92 days

11-20-2017 09:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: toscana new guy tenon not too proud to beg

This is my first post so please be gentle. I started into woodworking a few years ago when the wife asked for some stuff for me to build and it turned out good and I fell in love with it. Since then I have been making tables, benches, signs, whatever I can. My next project is a little ambitious so I am reaching out to the experienced folks to help me avoid the “new guy” pit falls and provide some mentoring so I can grow a little bit. I am looking to build the PB Toscana style table out of SPF. I am looking to do the legs in 4×6 with a half lap joint glued, a 4×4 cross beam with the mortise and through tenon, and some 2×6 or 2×8 for the top. The fun really comes in with the fact that it needs to be 37” tall, 48” wide, and 96” long. I have the most basic of tools so far with no fancy stuff yet. I can’t find plans anywhere for this. Does anyone have any? Also I am looking for any advice on how to do the mortise and through tenon because I have never tried it before and all my “skills” so far are self taught. Anything you guys have to teach me would be a huge benefit and I appreciate any help you can provide.

5 replies so far

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4599 posts in 2256 days

#1 posted 11-20-2017 11:05 PM

What’s a PB Toscana table? Through M&T joints require a lot more care than standard M&T joints because it is all out there to see. You will want to attack the mortises from both sides to keep the faces clean. I’d make a template and rout them with a pattern bit then square up the corners with a chisel. You probably won’t find a bit long enough for a 4” thick stock, go as deep as you can from both sides with the router then waste out the interior of the mortise with a drill and mortise chisel. Make your tenons slightly oversize then sneak up on the fit with a shoulder plane. You realize that a 4×8 table is really huge, right? Thirty two square feet.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View tmasondarnell's profile


76 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 11-20-2017 11:17 PM

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9947 posts in 3552 days

#3 posted 11-20-2017 11:45 PM

With a half-lap joint in 4x material each
half will be 1.75” thick. The through mortises
can be cut by drilling out the corners and using
a jig saw. The blade may not cut perfectly
so plan on using some chisels or rasp to get
the mortise walls as square as you can.

How you cut the tenons will depend on what
machinery you have, if any. The tapered
mortises for wedged tenons can be tricky to
get right so don’t just wing it. Do some research
on the right angle to use. Without a mortiser
I think you’ll have to cut them by hand,
perhaps with help from a drill to remove the
bulk of the waste.

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2 posts in 92 days

#4 posted 11-21-2017 06:19 AM

I was planning on mostly hand sawing, drilling, and chisel for the wedge. I was thinking about brad nailing a piece of flat wood as a guide on both sides to help keep a straight line with the thin blade saw. I was also considering making a jig for my circular saw to cut the half laps and making the holes in the legs before I assemble them so it’s only half the thickness to work with. Thanks for the responses so far.

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