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Help me with these bread board ends

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Forum topic by DTOLAR posted 05-27-2016 01:53 AM 909 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


05-27-2016 01:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: breadboard bread pocket screw biscuit jointer

I’m on a rush job to create a farmhouse table.

My top is 4 boards, each 1.25” thick, 8.5” wide, and 64” inches long. Bookmatched spalted hackberry.

Old family tree that blew over, I got a few big limbs milled and am working with what I got.

My wood for the bread boards ended up being 4” wide, so that puts me at exactly 72” long and 34” wide.

This table is supposed to be pretty rustic, so my joints aren’t perfect, there’s some tiny gaps, all the edges are rounded over, even between the boards on top, I left some mill marks, etc.

I could cut more ends and have them 6” wide, but I honestly think 4 looks good, and like I said, time crunch.

The legs are big 6”x6” turned legs, and Ill be making the aprons tomorrow, top will be held to the aprons with z clips.

Since I have to account for expansion across the top, I cant just hard mount the ends, I could do a tongue and groove, but I’m worried about loosing that much length, to be strong wouldn’t the groove need to be over and inch deep? That would cut my total length down to 68-70”. My issue with doing that, again, is stability, and allowing the top to swell and contract.

My current plan is to do tight fit pocket screws on the bottom, in the middle 2 boards of the top, and then on the outsides do pocket screws, but oval the holes a bit. I’d also brace the bread board a little underneath, but still allow for some movement.


21 replies so far

View jonmakesthings's profile

jonmakesthings

68 posts in 282 days


#1 posted 05-27-2016 02:12 AM

Im actually in the middle of building almost the exact same table myself. What I’m planning on doing to attach the top is drive a screw on each end right in the middle of the short sides to secure it, and then use z clips on the sides to allow for movement.

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


#2 posted 05-27-2016 02:37 AM

Yeah, you should use z clips on the short side to move back and forth, you CAN use them on the long side as well if you want. My issue is attaching the bread boards to the top.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

695 posts in 852 days


#3 posted 05-27-2016 02:41 AM

Have you thought about this method of joining the top to the aprons:
https://www.finewoodworking.com/media/TabletopsFlat.pdf
This shows shop made brackets but you can also buy metal ones.

Here is a good overview of breadboard ends that use dowels with expansion slots:
http://my.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tips/techniques/joinery/breadboard/

If losing a couple of inches is a problem, You might be able to use a spline or perhaps loose tenon to join the ends to the rest of table tops. I am sure someone will chime in if that is a bad idea.

Also, how dry is the wood? It sounds like you milled it from logs and air dried the wood yourself? That can take a year or more if the tree hasn’t been dead for a while and dried out quite a bit before milling it. If it is not dried down to at least 15%, I would think that even the best of techniques might result in the top cracking somewhere along the way. At a minimum, you might want to make sure your client understands the risks of using non-kiln dried wood in a table top to set expectations.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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jonmakesthings

68 posts in 282 days


#4 posted 05-27-2016 02:47 AM

Ah I see what you mean. I attached the bread boards with 1” tongue and groove and then wedged it with walnut in the center. I’m pretty confident it’ll be strong enough

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

View DTOLAR's profile

DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


#5 posted 05-27-2016 06:15 AM

Tree fell in November 2015, milled Feb 2016, kiln dried for 3 months, down to 10%. But our ambient humidity as I sit here is 43% and that’s indoors in a “dry” building. I can tell the boards are heavier than when I picked them up a week ago.

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DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


#6 posted 05-27-2016 09:03 AM

I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and try to do this the correct way, there’s no skills involved that I don’t have, I’ve just never done it.

I’ll cut each end down to a 1.5” deep, 1/2” thick tenon, cut a mortise in the ends and peg it. It will cut down on my overall length, but I could also cut new ends to be wider.

The mortise has been my fear, but if it’s blind, I can use a drill press and forster bits to make it really uniform.

View isotope's profile

isotope

146 posts in 1088 days


#7 posted 05-27-2016 12:12 PM

Your other option would be to use loose tenons. That way you would not be reducing the length of your table. Mortising the ends of your long boards won’t diminish your fear though…..

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

695 posts in 852 days


#8 posted 05-27-2016 12:17 PM

I think that as long as you only apply glue to the boards in the middle of the table and the holes in the tenon for the dowels on the outside are oversized for expansion you can feel like you did everything possible.

Looking forward to seeing your table.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View chiseler's profile

chiseler

121 posts in 353 days


#9 posted 05-27-2016 10:46 PM

combination of long loose tenons,and short splines would be the way to go if you don’t want to loose length.Just make sure the end mortises in bread board are wider than necessary along with elongated draw board holes.
mortises are easy with a plunge router with template guide and a template to fit template guide.That’s if your not an unplugged woodworker.
I hope this helps
good luck

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

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chiseler

121 posts in 353 days


#10 posted 05-27-2016 10:46 PM

combination of long loose tenons,and short splines would be the way to go if you don’t want to loose length.Just make sure the end mortises in bread board are wider than necessary along with elongated draw board holes.
mortises are easy with a plunge router with template guide and a template to fit template guide.That’s if your not an unplugged woodworker.
I hope this helps
good luck

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

View jonmakesthings's profile

jonmakesthings

68 posts in 282 days


#11 posted 05-27-2016 11:52 PM

I cut the mortise on my bread boards at the router table. Best way to get them straight and uniform

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

View DTOLAR's profile

DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


#12 posted 05-28-2016 12:11 AM

I tried doing the mortise with a drill press and forster bits, but halfway in I decided that was going to be a PITA, so I bought a mortiser, I’ll try it out tonorrow

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4856 posts in 2277 days


#13 posted 05-28-2016 12:21 AM

Mortisers are great to have for breadboard construction.

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

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chiseler

121 posts in 353 days


#14 posted 05-28-2016 01:08 AM

Thats how I do it.Just make sure you leave the proper clearance between the drill bit and hollow chisel,

Ask me how I know…LOL
Good luck with the new toy


I tried doing the mortise with a drill press and forster bits, but halfway in I decided that was going to be a PITA, so I bought a mortiser, I ll try it out tonorrow

- DTOLAR


-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

View DTOLAR's profile

DTOLAR

28 posts in 487 days


#15 posted 05-31-2016 06:43 AM

Mortiser appears to be a great tool, but was a bit of a pain in this application, Since my board was only 1.25” thick, the fence did not extend far enough, and the hold down is only good to stock about 2” wide, my boards are 4.

Using it required me to be real creative with clamps, and making 1/2” holes along a 30” mortise was lots of fun, 120+ plunges, and having to redo the whole set up every time. I came out looking ok, but regardless, I set up my table saw to match my mortise dimensions and ran it through both sides, just a little clean up pass, made everything nice and uniform.

In my fledgling years all I had was a table saw and I got really good with it, lol, floating tenon’s, tongue and groove, sliding dove tails,

For my tenons, I set up a fence and put my skil saw to the correct depth and ran a pass to give me really straight uniform line, tomorrow I will remove the rest of the wood with the router.

Two questions, I would assume I can bevel my tenon a bit so the mortise will slide on easier correct?

Second, My mortise is ~2.25” deep, my tenon is 2” long. Since my mortise floor isn’t super consistent, theres about 1/8” variation, is this going to be a problem?

I wanted to only do an inch tenon, but I’m really worried about the breadboard not being stable, It seems like in all the examples, they go atleast half way into the board with their mortise, 3.5” board, 2.25” mortise seemed right.

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