A new kitchen table #3: And curved breadboard ends

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Blog entry by derosa posted 05-27-2011 07:51 AM 7514 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: And then there were four Part 3 of A new kitchen table series Part 4: A kitchen table no more; now a table for cutie. »

Although the body of the table needs to be narrowed down to 28” to fully match the ends all four boards have been glued and doweled together. I have a great deal of dislike for dowels but they were quicker, easier, and accurate enough. The four boards were jointed using my bailey no5, two sets of two boards were placed face to face and the matching edges jointed, drilled, doweled, and glued. The resulting two wider boards received the same treatment resulting in the wide center section. Two walnut boards were then dado ed and placed at each end

To get a better fit once the end boards tightly slipped over the end of the main part of the table I cut them both down to 6” wide and 28” long, stuck them on the ends, set the fence on the table saw to 6” and the blade to 1/4” high and ran the table top over the blade creating an exact line between the edge of the walnut boards and the shoulders of the table. I then used the No5 and my 220 block plane to slowly work them to an exact fit. Admittedly this is the best example but all four visible joints are very close to this example.

Once the fit was dead on I taped the two ends together on top of each other, set a small clamp at each of the ends, and drew a curve using a piece of cherry bent between the clamps which acted as stops then ran them through the bandsaw together. The end result is my desired length of 56” spot on. This will give me the 2-1 ratio for length vs width that I was seeking.

The next step will be to fully attach the breadboard ends. I have two plans I was thinking over. Both involved gluing the middle 4-5 inches in as I don’t think that there will be sufficient wood movement to make the center crack. Then I was thinking either 4 square butternut dowels across each end with a little side to side play built into each butternut board to allow for expansion and contraction.

The second idea was to use brass pins. I could pick up some brass hinge pins at the local hardware store, thread the shaft, cut it to length and using a shouldered brass lamp nut have the pin show on the top surface but make it flush with the top. Again some side to side play would be built in. Not certain how this would look and the nut on the bottom would not be as pretty though largely invisible. Once glued and pinned however I’ll smooth a little more with the plane then sand it to a nice finish.

I,m thinking of a mix of tung oil, blo, and high gloss varnish for a hand rubbed finish that will be water resistant.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

2 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15278 posts in 2581 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 04:16 PM

derosa – Nice looking project! I’m a sucker for walnut these days…

You know that oblong / elongated holes with glued dowels is the tried and true way to attach these breadboard ends. Lots of LJers know more about that, first hand, than I do though and may contribute. Suggest those dowels be the same material as the table itself (oak, by the look of the wood in the pics). That’s give you a nice visual contrast. Brass rods would certainly be eye catching, but I’d be concerned about anything not flush to the underside of the table.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View derosa's profile


1572 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 06:28 PM

I didn’t explain it well but with either the brass or wood the holes would be elongated with just a touch of glue in the center, enough to hold the end in place but not enough for expansion/contraction to matter, to keep the ends properly centered on the table.
The biggest issue I see with the brass is the finished look on the bottom. I can make it flush top and bottom but there will still be recesses for the special tool to turn the nut.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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