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Decision time on bread board ends and length of aprons/stretchers

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 12-04-2015 03:28 PM 830 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


12-04-2015 03:28 PM

Ok, so I’m not entirely sure how I found myself in this predicament, but clearly I miscalculated something along the way.

I’m building a rustic coffee table from reclaimed wood. I wanted beefy bread board ends. The idea was 1.5” of tenon into a 3.75” wide breadboard (no science behind that width – I simply thought it looked about right, as compared to the overall top size and the width of the boards that make up the top). But, now that I’ve assembled the base and trimmed the top the bread board ends would end up over the legs, as opposed to hanging out in space, where I had envisioned them. Hopefully you know what I mean.

The way I see it here are my options:

1. Rip the bread board ends down a bit so that they not as wide and don’t require quite as long of a tenon. This would allow the ends to start JUST BARELY outside the base and the overhang would basically be entirely comprised of the bread board ends.

2. Stick with the plan, but have the bread board ends starting at, or just inside the outer edge of the base. In other words they might be sitting on the legs/base a little. Not ideal, IMO, but because they are milled the same as the top it should at least sit perfectly flat.

3. Gulp. Suck it up, cut down the length-wise aprons and stretchers and shorten the base. I’m really temped to do this, but it’s annoying because I hand cut the tenons and planed them down with a shoulder plane, fitting them. Ugh.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m depressed about the idea of rework, but it seems like the right thing to do. To me the top should overhang the base a bit and THEN the bread board ends should kick in. I’m going to look for examples to see if I can find any existing work for comparison. Is there a way to reverse the BB ends and have the mortise on the top? That would solve this problem, I believe.

Looking for opinions.

Here’s the table to give you an idea…

Thanks!


15 replies so far

View JerryBuilt's profile

JerryBuilt

9 posts in 812 days


#1 posted 12-04-2015 04:58 PM

I am no expert but I would think the easiest solution would be floating tenons. Good luck and I look forward to seeing the completed table.

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pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#2 posted 12-04-2015 08:15 PM

4. Skip the breadboard ends because they don’t really hold panels flat and have caused nothing but heartache in all the history of mankind.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#3 posted 12-04-2015 08:27 PM

What?! Now that was NOT on my list! ;)

Boy, that sure would save me a lot of time, but I really like the look of them…

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1978 days


#4 posted 12-04-2015 08:28 PM

pinto isn’t far from being dead on, but that reclaimed lumber hopefully will be a bit more stable than other lumber.

To my eye, the overhang on the ends should be comparable to the overhang on the sides, since you have a rectangular base that runs with the top design. So if you want breadboard ends, I’d go with suggestion #2.

If you think that the breadboard ends will be too big in the final analysis, and take over the shortened main top, you can just lay them on top of the table and eyeball it from the top to see how the form and fit will look in the end. You might want to cut a bit from the breadboard ends to make them less.
In the end it is all in the eye of the beholder. What looks good is usually good on something like this.
And no, I would not tear down the base either. Too much work.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#5 posted 12-04-2015 08:37 PM

Man, I really want those BB ends! I will say that it’s only for looks at this point. One big reason is that it will let me have rough/aged edges on all sides.

Using the golden ratio (no, I’m not a purist) the table top is perfect as-is, without the ends. I didn’t even plan that! It just worked out that way. Crazy.

You should see the growth rings on this lumber. That tree must have grown under a rock.

I need to mull this over. Maybe I’ll hold some baby ends up to see what that would look like…

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shampeon

1713 posts in 1647 days


#6 posted 12-04-2015 08:40 PM

Another option: float some tenons into the existing end:


Edit: and I see that JerryBuilt is also a man of impeccable taste and right opinion.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#7 posted 12-04-2015 08:42 PM

Dude! Of course! You’re my hero!

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shampeon

1713 posts in 1647 days


#8 posted 12-04-2015 08:47 PM

/throws cape
/walks off staring into the middle distance

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1752 posts in 527 days


#9 posted 12-04-2015 09:48 PM

“But, now that I’ve assembled the base and trimmed the top the bread board ends would end up over the legs, as opposed to hanging out in space, where I had envisioned them. Hopefully you know what I mean.”
Here’s what I think you mean, Todd: You don’t want the breadboard ends to overwhelm the base, “hanging out in space.”
The joinery doesn’t seem to be the issue here. So Ian’s Quizotic heroism, admirable though it may be, is directed towards the wrong windmill.
My idea goes thusly: Can you see cutting a couple inches off the table ends, and narrowing your breadboard ends (not much – I know you’re enamored of their width. I would be, too – it’s a beefy table that wants beefy ends.) Then, trim the ends, after installation, to a pleasing balance…... I keep going back to the photo, and seeing why it’s bugging you. It bugs me, too. The base underhangs the long edge, and it would look a little funky to have the ends overhang the base.
But, as I was writing that, here’s the picture that developed in my head: Cut a big, fat rabbet on the table top and a mating big, fat rabbet on the underside of the breadboard end, and lap-join them, thus, keeping the beefiness of the end, and you’ll be able to align the edge of the end with the edge of the base. Bingo. Your breadboard end could be the width of the big fat legs. A very fetching picture, indeed. And, in my world, pegs are the thing.
So, Id simply lap-join the end to the top, such that the end covers the legs, then drive a 3/4” peg, or two in each of the table slab boards, from the top, visible (that’s me – I like pegs), or, from the bottom, invisible (if you prefer a clean top). This gives you all the structural stability you need, with an attractive accent (my way), and an unexpected design element. As to the little ziggurat that’s created on the long edge by the lap-joint: I’d smash some contrasting veneer inside the lap-joint, for another unexpected design feature. This wood, being reclaimed, isn’t going to move. So, the M&T, floating or otherwise, is keeping you from landing firmly on a solution. I think I’ve provided that.
You’re welcome. Now I want to make a table.

-- Mark

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#10 posted 12-04-2015 10:45 PM

Mark, actually it’s the opposite. I did want the ends farther out in sapce and the base is too long to get that effect. I think the floating tenon is going to be a slam dunk. I like your idea of the pegs. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

Im surprised that the consensus seems to be that dry lumber won’t move seasonally. Goes against everything I’ve read. I’d think that old growth should move less, but event still…back when old growth lumber was simply known as “lumber” they still accounted for seasonal movement.

If I do incorporate pegs I won’t do it in a way that would lock the outer edges.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#11 posted 12-04-2015 11:29 PM

I think people think old wood won’t move, but all wood does move to some degree because it’s Hygroscopic.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#12 posted 12-06-2015 01:07 AM

I figured I’d post an update. The floating tenons gave me exactly the look that I had wanted. They were a PITA for various reasons, but I’ve got the second end glued and clamped now. Nearing the home stretch.

I struggled getting the ends parallel with the top. On the first one I didn’t realize that the rough sawn/reclaimed side of the breadboard was not perpendicular with the bottom and ended up with holes drilled on the press that were angled down. Pooh. I corrected it my planing the tenons to allow the end to be tilted and loaded it up with glue. Yeah, I know… The second end went much better, but with both of them I realized that I was a dope and made the bread board mortises the same length as those on the top, which was stupid. Instead of a tightly fitting (side to side) tenon in the BB end the edges just float. Oh well. With half a gallon of glue it should set up just fine and nobody will know…

Killed another chisel on a hidden gem. Dang it. I had that polished to 8000 grit, too. Yes, I used a metal detector, but I somehow missed two.

Got the two ends of the base glued up. Just need to to the lengthwise aprons and stretchers and then attach the top!

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#13 posted 12-06-2015 01:22 AM

I hope it all comes together just right.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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toddbeaulieu

781 posts in 2468 days


#14 posted 12-11-2015 08:50 PM

In case any of you missed it, I posted the final project that I completed yesterday.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/204106

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#15 posted 12-13-2015 08:46 AM



In case any of you missed it, I posted the final project that I completed yesterday.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/204106

- toddbeaulieu

Good job! Those useless BB ends is just what that table needed.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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