Beadlock Jig and Breadboard Ends

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Forum topic by SkiTique posted 06-13-2016 02:40 PM 1932 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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45 posts in 892 days

06-13-2016 02:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak joining

I found a few good posts on the sire while searching for breadboards. I am new to this with only a few projects so far. Today I was planning to finish the remaining portion of my table top, cutting to finish length and adding breadboards. after doing a little more reading I have found that biscuits and glue is clearly not a good idea. The glued up slabs will be 68” with an 8” breadboard on each end giving me a total length of 84”, the width is 42”, the top is made of 1.5” think oak. I do have a beadlock tenon jig, is there a way I can fasten the breadboards using the beadlock and dowels and still allow for seasonal movement?

6 replies so far

View SkiTique's profile


45 posts in 892 days

#1 posted 06-13-2016 05:22 PM

My thought was to glue the tenon into the end grain of the planks, then loose fit them into the breadboard on the ends with elongated holes and dowels to allow for expansion, then glue and pin the center tenon. I have seen this done with hand cut tenons, but was curious if anyone has done this with the beadlock system. It seems like it would work, any thoughts would be appreciated.

View rwe2156's profile


2965 posts in 1506 days

#2 posted 06-13-2016 06:47 PM

I suppose they would work as long as the mortises allowed for movement. But this is not a good technique for joining a bb end. You really need to engage the entire length of the board with a tongue on the top and a groove in the bb. The tongue can be deeper at each end and the middle, while leaving the field between about 1” long. There are numerous sources to google on this.

Secure by pinning, whereby only the middle pin is glued and the outer pins are not glued and in addition, go have elongated holes.

Also, 8” is quite wide for a bb, you may have movement with the bb itself.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CharleyL's profile


222 posts in 3390 days

#3 posted 06-13-2016 07:25 PM

You’re thinking is getting closer to what you need, but a Beadlock tenon is not going to allow much side to side movement because of the multiple curved sides of the Beadlock cut mortise, unless you create a straight slot in the breadboard end for the Beadlock tenon to slide in. A Beadlock jig and the same size Beadlock tenon stock is a relatively cheap and easy to use tool for making mortises and floating tenons, but I think when it comes to breadboard joinery it’s not going to be your best choice. Whatever you choose, glue the center and provide a way for the panel (table top) to slide up to about 1/4” in each direction with changes in humidity or something will eventually break, most likely a crack will form in the panel.


View jonmakesthings's profile


73 posts in 844 days

#4 posted 06-13-2016 09:48 PM

As rwe said, cut a tongue in the end of the top and a groove in the breadboard, pin in the middle and glue only the middle 3” or so. It’s really the best way for breadboards. Dowels and biscuits are great but not for allowing movement.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2377 days

#5 posted 06-13-2016 09:58 PM

is there a way I can fasten the breadboards using the beadlock and dowels and still allow for seasonal movement?

Well you could probably do that, but it is kind of a Mickey Mouse solution and not likely to last in the long run. Why not make a standard pegged mortise and tenon style breadboard?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SkiTique's profile


45 posts in 892 days

#6 posted 06-14-2016 06:01 PM

Let me know what you guys think, I tried to make the best with the tools that I have. I used a rabbit bit to create a tongue on the table and ran the breadboards through the table saw with a 1/2” Dado. I then used the Beadlock jig and glued the tenons into the table top. Ill create a loose tenon on the breadboard side, the 4 outer tonons will get oversized holes drilled and doweled to allow movement, the two center tenons will be a tight fit and doweled with a tight fitting hole.

Let me know what you think.

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