Breadboard Edgebanding joint for shelf.

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Forum topic by meestajack posted 05-04-2011 10:51 PM 4139 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 2670 days

05-04-2011 10:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joinery shelves question

I’m making some wall mounted shelves and i’d like to conceal the endgrain ans create a more finished look without getting into veneer or other trim methods.

Have looked through a few joinery books, and searched online, but I’m not sure what kind of joint would accomplish what I’m after.

took a quick shot at sketching some variations in sketchup, and I’m leaning towards the kerf joint seen at the bottom, but I’m open to ideas on other ways to do this. Not sure that breadboard mortising joints would be time efficient (or fun) to cut, but maybe dowels would suffice?

what do you think?

4 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#1 posted 05-04-2011 11:00 PM

That’s an awful complicated joint to conceal endgrain! Why are you against egdebanding? I’m playing devil’s advocate because I hate it too:) What about a traditional breadboard, might look cool!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2857 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 12:23 AM


Assuming the main panel is made of solid wood glueup and not plywood or veneered mdf and that the grain of the main panel runs parallel to the length and perpendicular to the end where you’re trying to install the “edgebanding” there’s a significant problem with the design. Wood “moves”, expanding and contracting with changes in humidity in the environment. The movement along the length of the grain is almost non-existant but the movement across the grain can be quite significant. Since your endcap in all three drawings runs across the endgrain, the movement of the wood will create significant stress and depending on whether the wood is drying out or asorbing moisture from the environment either the main panel with split or the miter portion of the endcap joints will separate or both…

No glue or fastner will prevent this from happening, nor will any finish totall seal the wood to make it impervious to the effects of changing humidity level.

If you want to minimize the amount of endgrain visible on your tabletop the best solution would probably be to use traditional breadboard ends. Another option would be to use a modified frame and panel design that allowed the main panel to move…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View meestajack's profile


33 posts in 2670 days

#3 posted 05-05-2011 01:04 AM

Thanks for explaining some of the issues involved.

Given your comment I’m wondering if the movement issue might be addressed if I mitre only the front corner and leave the back open to flex.

Have any examples or pictures of what you mean by modified frame and panel?

A bit of clarification:
the shelf will be one board (for example 6/4×8” x 24”) mounted with ornate cast iron brackets.
This is to be a somewhat rustic focal point in a small room, needlessly complicated for esthetics and a bit of woodworker pride. Designwise it’ll be sort of like a mantel without a fireplace.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3711 days

#4 posted 05-25-2011 05:20 AM

I’m a bit late joining this discussion but was wondering if you could just mitre and pin or glue the front corner and leave the back corner square and floating so it would be easier to cut and would allow the wood to move without creating a visible gap at the back (where presumably no one would see it because it would be up against the wall)?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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