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Breadboard ends - loose tenons an option?

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Forum topic by AaronK posted 02-16-2010 05:11 AM 6934 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AaronK

1440 posts in 2928 days


02-16-2010 05:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m planning on doing breadboard ends for the top of a blanket chest. The rest of the construction will be frame+panel joined with loose tenons. I’m wondering if loose tenons alone would suffice for the breadboard end. Designs I’ve seen usually are a combination of tongue and groove with ~3 tenons (i know there are other options as well, but this directions seems easiest and most secure right now).

I’m really just wondering how critical that tongue is, and can i make something of just as good quality using only loose tenons, like this:

breadboard end

obviously I’ll leave wiggle room on the outer tenons to allow for seasonal movement. I may also pin them all with dowels (on the end piece).

what say you?


14 replies so far

View Don's profile

Don

514 posts in 2536 days


#1 posted 02-16-2010 10:53 AM

It should work fine as long as you allow enough room for movement. And you have to pin them wilth dowels or something on one side since you can’t glue both.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

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Jeison

951 posts in 2571 days


#2 posted 02-16-2010 12:04 PM

noob question; why can’t you glue both?

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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Woodn88s

80 posts in 3005 days


#3 posted 02-16-2010 01:42 PM

To Jei’son
the reason you should not glue both is because the breadboard end of the table has the grain running the opposite direction of the main table top. The purpose of the tenons is to allow the main table top to expand and contract with the seasons. by gluing the tenon to both main table and the breadboard end the tenon can no longer slide in the breadboard end which will probably cause the top to crack.

-- I want to know Gods thoughts....rest are details "A. Einstein"

View dustbunny's profile

dustbunny

1149 posts in 2758 days


#4 posted 02-16-2010 02:28 PM

I did a bread board end cutting board. My local cabinetmaker guy showed me how to do it.
the end piece is only glued in the center, allowing the ends if the endpiece to expand contract.
You have to have a way to hold the end tight to the board-
The center tenon can be glued and a tight fit. The two outside tenons should be snug in the thickness but be elongated toward the center and outside edge (width) of the board.
To dowel holes in tenons- Put the endpiece in place and dry clamp the joint. Drill dowel holes through the board drilling through the center of the tenons. Take apart. Elongate the outside dowel holes in the tenons, parallel with the end joint.
Only glue the center tenon and dowel. The rest is left dry to allow for movement.
My cabinet guy suggested clear silicone caulk (thin coat) in the rest of the joint to “seal” it and still allow movement. That’s what I did and it has held fine.
Or you could dovetail joint to replace the tenon.
Hope this made some semblance of sense.

Lisa

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 3231 days


#5 posted 02-16-2010 03:11 PM

i wouldn’t do it with loose tenons because what the tongue does is keep the board flat as it expands across it while the tenons hold the two boards together as well as work to keep it flat. the problem with the loose tenons is that your outer two tenons will need to have side to side movement in their mortises. also since you don’t have the tongue the edge of the board can still cup. T-Chisel did a really good video on his Bombe series. I’ll see if i can find it

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teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 3231 days


#6 posted 02-16-2010 03:20 PM

http://www.tchisel.com/bombe-secretary-videos.html

its episode 64. don’t listen to the descriptions because they’re all messed up.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 2944 days


#7 posted 02-16-2010 03:51 PM

What I’ve done with breadboard tops that are made of hardwood is rout a 1/8” or 1/4” (depending on the thickness of the top) slot in the top and in the end piece and put a spline in there. Essentially a long tenon or biscuit. It’s a very strong joint and if you end the slots before the edges then you will have a nice straight joint on the front. I’ve used this joint on many occasions with no problems.

breadboard diagram

I hope the diagram helps.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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AaronK

1440 posts in 2928 days


#8 posted 02-16-2010 04:07 PM

thanks for the video lol – “you wanna just come along with ya shouldah plane – remembah? – and just gingahly approach it”

Yeah, I had a feeling the tongue/spline was needed the whole way through… I guess I’ll just do it that way. I dont mind having the exposed joinery at the end either.

thanks all for the responses.

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3864 days


#9 posted 02-16-2010 04:16 PM

In your example you have maybe 25% of the surface having a loose tenon. I’d rather have about 50% or more which would mean that the loose tenons are almost touching each other.

But thats the idea of a breadboard that everything can slide and still be tight.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View dustbunny's profile

dustbunny

1149 posts in 2758 days


#10 posted 02-16-2010 04:28 PM

You don’t have to have exposed joinery. Only cut your groove to 1/2” of the end of the board, and make your tongue 1/4” shorter than the groove on each end. Concealed and still able to move.

Lisa

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1440 posts in 2928 days


#11 posted 02-16-2010 04:30 PM

yeah, I’ll have to take a look at some examples and see how it fits with the aesthetics of the overall design.

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AaronK

1440 posts in 2928 days


#12 posted 02-16-2010 04:31 PM

karson – yeah, i see the point. that would be a whole lot of loose tenons, and then why not just do one continuous one…

View rhett's profile

rhett

734 posts in 3131 days


#13 posted 02-16-2010 04:32 PM

There is no reason that you cannot use loose tennons for this application. Cut the mortises to the size of the loose tenons in your top and glue them in. Cut the mortise in the center of the breadboard to the size of the loose tenon and the two on the outside with a little play on both sides of your loose tenon. Glue the breadboard only to the center exposed loose tenon. Flip it over and drill a small stopped hole into the center of the other two unglued tenons. Drive in a bamboo skewer. This allows the top to move, keeps the ends tight and the bamboo flexes with the top movement. This is a bomber application for any top under 24”. Never had a call back.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

951 posts in 2571 days


#14 posted 02-17-2010 05:32 AM

Learn sumpin new ever’day \o/

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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