Lap board - need suggestions attaching the ends

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Forum topic by monster1971 posted 10-05-2015 01:40 PM 376 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 420 days

10-05-2015 01:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lap board

Working on a small project- Lap board. I am pretty new to this so am spending a lot of time debating how to attach the “breadboard” ends. The end pieces are in the picture under the board. They will be attached to the short end. The end is 1/2 in wide. I don’t want to use nails. My initial easy way would be to drill holes through the ends and hammer dowels in and sand off ends but I thought it would be a better opportunity to practice joinery w/ my router. I am just not sure which joint technique to use since piece is pretty thin.

Any suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

4 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 02:19 PM

Doesn’t look like enough wood in your end pieces to do any joinery. Drill oversized holes in the end pieces, screw it to the board and used dowel/cap to hide the screw.


View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1261 days

#2 posted 10-07-2015 02:22 AM

^ agree. Looks like there’s not enough thickness there. I was going to say maybe a biscuit but again, might not be : ck enough.

Maybe a pin nailer?

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View CharleyL's profile


190 posts in 2788 days

#3 posted 10-09-2015 01:39 PM

When joining long grain edges to end grain you need to consider that changes in humidity will cause your lap board to get slightly wider and narrower as the humidity in the wood changes. The end strips will have the grain running long ways to the grain in the main part of the board and will not get longer and shorter with the humidity changes. You can attach these end strips with glue in the center, but you need some way to hold these strips in line with the board at their ends, yet allow for this movement. This is usually accomplished with a tongue and groove joint, but I think your lap board may be too thin to be able to cut this type of joint easily. I would suggest that you glue the center of the joint for a maximum of about 2” and then nail the ends with a carefully placed brad nail about 1” from each corner. So that the nails don’t show, bore a shallow counter bore so that the nail head is well below the surface, followed by a glued in plug of the same type of wood as the end strips. Sand the plugs smooth with the surface and then apply your stain and finish. I think the brad nails will hold the ends in alignment with the board ends, yet give slightly as the main part of the board adjusts in size to the humidity variations. The glued center area will hold the end pieces on and provide most of the joint strength. During significant humidity changes you may notice that the ends are slightly longer or shorter than the center board width, but as the humidity changes back to what it was when the lap board was built this difference will equalize again. It’s this movement that prevents using glue to join the long grain end boards to the end grain ends of the main part of the board. Using dowels in place of the brad nails would not allow for this movement and the project will surely fail over time. The brad nails should bend enough to allow for this movement without failing.


View monster1971's profile


45 posts in 420 days

#4 posted 10-09-2015 04:41 PM

Charley, thanks for the detailed response. I read a little about wood movement and you have clarified a few points. Thanks again and I will post a pic once completed.

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