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Fixing wobbly breadboard end

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 11-18-2015 07:09 PM 413 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ADHDan

800 posts in 1574 days


11-18-2015 07:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining mortise tenon breadboard

I’m building a paneled blanket chest (redwood panels, cherry frames), and took my first stab at breadboard ends for the lid. The lid is about 26” front-to-back; I used a single mortise and tenon, glued it for about 6-8” in the middle (with a dowel glued in place too), and put dowels through elongated holes in the tenon on each end.

Unfortunately, after glue-up I discovered that either my tenons got narrower or my mortises got wider towards one end of each of the caps, meaning if you grab the cap at that end you can feel a slight but noticeable up-and-down wobble – see pic:

I’m trying to fix this and I’ve come up with a few ideas, but I’m not sure whether any are fantastic (or even viable):

(1) Shoot a nail or two at an angle through the end of the cap into the panel like a pocket screw, to hold vertical alignment while hopefully being flexible enough to withstand seasonal movement (at least for a little while).

(2) Drill shallow counterbores on the underside of the end cap and the panel, such that I can use figure-8 desk fasteners to hold alignment while allowing for movement (e.g. http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/159303/Desk-Top-Fig-8-Fastener-10p.aspx?).

(3) Drill/route an elongated hole in the end cap sufficient to screw through the cap into the panel (with the screw floating in the elongated hole), counterboring and plugging the hole to hide the screw.

(4) Work some glue into the joint near the wobble and hope for the best (not really).

I’m leaning towards either 1 or 2, since 3 would introduce many opportunities for error.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.


6 replies so far

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HokieKen

1784 posts in 604 days


#1 posted 11-18-2015 07:13 PM

Can you just shim the tenon so it fits tight?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1574 days


#2 posted 11-18-2015 07:13 PM

It’s already glued up. I didn’t realize it wasn’t snug at the end until it was too late.

Edited my original post to clarify that fact.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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HokieKen

1784 posts in 604 days


#3 posted 11-18-2015 08:19 PM

Ah, that does make it a little harder. Right off the top of my head, the only thing I can think of is to cut a spline in at the joints. Kinda like a visible biscuit. Glue it into the panel but not the breadboard to allow for movement. I think the figure 8 is the easiest solution. Only problem I see with that is that it’ll be visible when the lid’s open, right?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1574 days


#4 posted 11-18-2015 09:00 PM

That spline idea isn’t half bad. It might be hard to route that into my giant lid (more than 2’x3’), setting aside that it’s already attached to the chest… But maybe I could hog out a slot with overlapping biscuit joiner passes, and then chisel it square enough?

Otherwise, I think I may have to use the figure 8 fasteners – maybe I could counterbore them about 3/16” to 1/4” down, and use plugs (and a little sawdust/glue putty) to hide them?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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HokieKen

1784 posts in 604 days


#5 posted 11-18-2015 09:46 PM



That spline idea isn t half bad. It might be hard to route that into my giant lid (more than 2×3 ), setting aside that it s already attached to the chest… But maybe I could hog out a slot with overlapping biscuit joiner passes, and then chisel it square enough?

Otherwise, I think I may have to use the figure 8 fasteners – maybe I could counterbore them about 3/16” to 1/4” down, and use plugs (and a little sawdust/glue putty) to hide them?

- ADHDan

Either one sounds good. The figure 8’s are safer – if you screw that up at least it’s on the bottom and not the face:) For the spline, I wouldn’t worry about chiseling it square. I’d cut the filler material round matching the radius of the blade, glue it in, then use a flush cut saw to trim the excess. The more I think about it though, the more I think I’d lean to the figure 8s and plug the counter bores. There’s just too much that could go wrong with the spline considering you’re pretty much finished with the project.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1574 days


#6 posted 11-18-2015 09:57 PM

Makes sense. Thanks for bouncing ideas with me!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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