Building a dinning table without using breadboard ends?

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 10-31-2016 03:35 PM 1166 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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362 posts in 807 days

10-31-2016 03:35 PM

Hey guys, I am looking to branch out my capabilities from cabinetry to furniture. I would like to start out with a table, perhaps a small-ish retangular dinning room table. I have seen so many people do the farm house style with the top having breadboard ends, but for my first table, I don’t want to do breadboard ends.

Now I have glued up many panels in my life, mainly for making raised panel doors, but never a table top. my table will have a top that is 75” deep by 42” wide. i plan to use maple cut into 3” wide strips and glue them together after running them through the jointer like I normally would for door panels.then cut the top to its final size before the planing and sanding procedures begin. My questions are

Does the top need any special pieces to installed on the ends? (Where the breadboards would normally go) or can I leave the ends exposed? (My preferred choice would be to leave them exposed.) i

4 replies so far

View martyoc's profile


44 posts in 1064 days

#1 posted 10-31-2016 04:01 PM

I have built several tables using walnut and maple without using separate end boards. I used a seal coat of dewaxed shellac to the entire piece, in part to seal the end pores, before applying the final finish and the ends came out just fine. This avoids any issues that may arise from seasonal expansions as well as simplifying the construction.

-- Marty O'C

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12369 posts in 2527 days

#2 posted 10-31-2016 04:20 PM

I’ve built six tables and none have breadboard ends, they are completely optional although I would consider them if doing a long trestle.

-- Rick M,

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4513 posts in 2456 days

#3 posted 10-31-2016 04:32 PM

No need for BB ends. If you have good kiln dried lumber I wouldn’t rip to 3 inch prices. I never done that in 50 years and don’t have problems. And if I didn’t have good wood I wouldn’t be building at table. Just me

 photo DSC02021 Large_zps0ryszsu3.jpg

The less pieces the less work and easier to match the grain and color of the wood.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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4993 posts in 2498 days

#4 posted 10-31-2016 04:51 PM

Does the top need any special pieces to installed on the ends? (Where the breadboards would normally go) or can I leave the ends exposed?

No, you don’t need anything on the ends and yes you can leave the end grain exposed. I have done it many times and in many cases I prefer the look of exposed end grain over breadboard ends.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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