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breadboard ends lessons learned

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Forum topic by jamsomito posted 07-02-2018 09:10 PM 906 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jamsomito

173 posts in 480 days


07-02-2018 09:10 PM

Made some breadboard ends for the first time on an outdoor table top and thought I’d share my lessons learned. Check out the project here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/385105

Lesson 1: Consider clamping your breadboard end when pounding through drawbored pins. I blew out the backside of one of mine, and of course I had glue on it, so I had to do an impromptu, hurried repair for fear of the glue drying before I could make another end. I even caught it all on video because it was going to be so cool when it worked out! lol! Also taper your pins a bit more than you think you need, which will help.

evidence: https://youtu.be/Btthup008Qg

Lesson 2: In my excitement to finally be putting together such a cool joint (the tenon took me forever because I couldn’t flatten my boards or my glue-up really well, lots of hand chiseling), I forgot to elongate the holes to allow for wood movement. I did everything else right – only glued the center one, only put glue on the center of the breadboard, drawbored, etc. Well, this one’s probably going to crack on me over time. The lesson learned is to take your time and make sure you’re hitting every step, no matter how excited you get. You can also see the holes in the video above.

Lesson 3: I figured haunched tenons were just to make it look better on the ends. This was wrong, they are functional. Had the first rain storm on the new table and it was a doosey. My craftsmanship on the mortise / tenon left a lot to be desired, and I’m kind of embarrassed to be posting this here (my family won’t ever know or even care, but YOU guys are all hardened woodworking experts ;)), but it seems with as big a gap as I left, the ends have absorbed water on the inside and warped up. A haunched tenon will strengthen the ens so they don’t do this, and help keep moisture out of the middle.

Any thoughts on how to prevent this issue? I thought about loading up a syringe with some boiled linseed oil and injecting it between the cracks and crossing my fingers that it absorbs some and seals the wood a bit. Also thought of an end-cap to simulate the haunched tenon, but then the ends will stick out from the core top a bit… might want to make them deeper too to allow for wood movement yet again, maybe 1/2”? Having screwed up the wood-movement issue on one breadboard end, I already conceded to making new ends in a year or two using the domino approach – just lop these off and make a new, solid end (I can borrow a domino if needed). Would be nice to avoid major surgery now though since I just finished it.


27 replies so far

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John Smith

1129 posts in 217 days


#1 posted 07-02-2018 09:28 PM

oh my goodness !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I am only guessing that is #2 SYP?)

.

”but YOU guys are all hardened woodworking experts” Ha Ha Ha Haaaaa

do you think ANY of us just stepped off the bus with years of knowledge and experience
packed into our noggins and ready to just jump into any kind of projects ???

.

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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jamsomito

173 posts in 480 days


#2 posted 07-02-2018 09:30 PM



oh my goodness !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- John Smith

What, my incompetence? LOL

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Woodknack

12061 posts in 2434 days


#3 posted 07-02-2018 09:45 PM

I like the look of breadboard ends but have never used them. Seems like more trouble than they are worth. But if you want to try again, maybe consider this type of breadboard and quartersawn ends.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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John Smith

1129 posts in 217 days


#4 posted 07-02-2018 09:50 PM

incompetence ? NO WAY !! that term is reserved strictly for government officials.
inexperience ? – maybe a little. (Welcome to the World of HardKnocks) – - > check my signature.
I picked up some 2×6 SYP last week at Lowe’s that was nice and straight
and after a 45 minute ride in the back of my SUV, all 4 boards had warped and twisted
enough to be readily visible. . . . since it was to be used in the attic, no worries.
but for outdoor furniture – not the best choice.

.

I am not a breadboard guy; but, were these gaps this big when you assembled the table ??

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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fivecodys

1036 posts in 1690 days


#5 posted 07-02-2018 09:56 PM

Oh my goodness….
That’s heart breaking to see!
My first thought is that the tenon is too thick…....not enough meat left in the breadboard end.
But…... my experience is limited.

-- There' are two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.

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jamsomito

173 posts in 480 days


#6 posted 07-02-2018 10:31 PM


I like the look of breadboard ends but have never used them. Seems like more trouble than they are worth. But if you want to try again, maybe consider this type of breadboard and quartersawn ends.

- Woodknack

Yes, that is the proper way to do them. At the time that was what I intended to do, but I didn’t understand why the haunched tenons so thought I’d save the effort when I was lacking proper tools for the job. Guess they do serve an important purpose. Quarter sawn material makes sense too.


incompetence ? NO WAY !! that term is reserved strictly for government officials.
inexperience ? – maybe a little. (Welcome to the World of HardKnocks) – - > check my signature.
I picked up some 2×6 SYP last week at Lowe s that was nice and straight
and after a 45 minute ride in the back of my SUV, all 4 boards had warped and twisted
enough to be readily visible. . . . since it was to be used in the attic, no worries.
but for outdoor furniture – not the best choice.

.

I am not a breadboard guy; but, were these gaps this big when you assembled the table ??

.

- John Smith

I bought KDAT treated SYP, but it was still pretty wet so I let it sit on stickers on my rack for about 8 months. It was pretty much done moving by the time I put it together (and it did move significantly, but I over-bought so I could chop out the straightest sections). The breadboards were fine up until it got utterly drenched, which makes sense.

About those gaps, yes they were present upon completion. I figured the most important part was the cheek faces, which I tried to get as tight as I could. I intentionally left some room between the tenon and the bottom of the mortise for expansion/contraction and ease of assembly. Ended up a bit deeper than I should have gone. The whole top glue-up was wavy since I don’t have a jointer / planer, but I used biscuits which kept it as flat as I could. I still had a bunch of hand-chiseling and referencing to a straight edge to get the tenon flat. It was closer than the picture leads on to, but still not perfect.


Oh my goodness….
That s heart breaking to see!
My first thought is that the tenon is too thick…....not enough meat left in the breadboard end.
But…... my experience is limited.

- fivecodys

It’s a good thought, and I actually ran into this when dry-fitting during assembly. I ended up shaving some off the tenon to get it to fit. I don’t think this is the issue here because it was flat up until it got soaked and the gap is so big where the breadboard warped.

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bondogaposis

4833 posts in 2405 days


#7 posted 07-02-2018 11:07 PM

Draw boring breadboards is not really a common practice. It is generally reserved for mortise and tenon joints and you found out why.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1737 posts in 2044 days


#8 posted 07-02-2018 11:55 PM

Unless you are just in love with bb ends skip them. Them you can leave a gap between the boards so water will drain.

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

406 posts in 256 days


#9 posted 07-03-2018 12:26 AM

I kinda did the same thing on a red gum ucalyptus (spelling) small table here in Az. oh well, live and learn, the next one turned out great and still going, not red gum but still a dandy one. sister loves it.
Rj

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Aj2

1507 posts in 1852 days


#10 posted 07-03-2018 12:43 AM

I don’t know why you thought about injecting linseed oil in that gap. But it was the funniest fix I’ve heard this year.
Congratulations on making me laugh. Not a easy thing to do.

-- Aj

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

173 posts in 480 days


#11 posted 07-03-2018 12:50 AM



I don t know why you thought about injecting linseed oil in that gap. But it was the funniest fix I ve heard this year.
Congratulations on making me laugh. Not a easy thing to do.

- Aj2

Haha, well desperate times call for desperate measures…

Got any other ideas?

View dca's profile

dca

15 posts in 79 days


#12 posted 07-03-2018 07:16 AM

Actually just made some breadboard ends yesterday.

Haunched tenons are pretty much ideal for this joint but the tenon isn’t placed at the ends – that was your mistake.

The shoulder goes to the edge and doesn’t need to be that long – I’d say 1/2” is plenty tall for a table this size.

I like the look but it’s tricky to get the edges of the shoulder square with the mated groove. You can also hide them like the photo above but I find it easier to groove the whole length of the board and some would argue it looks better.

Look at the photos here to kind of get an idea of where the shoulder should be in relation to the tenons – https://www.finewoodworking.com/2009/04/17/breadboard-joinery-for-the-table-top

The tenon length isn’t too critical but say roughly 2/3 the length of your breadboard so that if someone leans on it it doesn’t flex or break. Number of tenons isn’t really critical either but say – five tenons for this table. You want an odd number so you can glue the middle and leave the others only doweled. Your tenon also, as mentioned above, is too thick – safe reference is to just split the board into thirds so for a 1 1/2” board your tenon would be 1/2” thick.

Contrary to the poster above draw boring breadboards is definitely recommended so you did that right. It keeps the ends in tension since they’re not glued and obviously pulls the breadboard closer. Try sharpening your dowels to a point next time – makes it easier to thread them through and don’t offset the dowel hole too much – say 1/16” at the most.

Honestly this looks like a beautiful table so if it were me I’d remove the breadboard – cut down that tenon so that just the shoulder shows – and do it over. This is a very fixable mistake. It’s also almost certainly necessary as well if you haven’t elongated the dowel holes and the ends have already curled.

I’ve made equal mistakes on several tables and every time I’ve leaned into them and addressed them. Then every time you look at the table you smile instead of grimace. Go for it!

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EarlS

1277 posts in 2402 days


#13 posted 07-03-2018 11:15 AM

Great thread on a subject I certainly haven’t dealt with – outdoors furniture and the challenges posed by everything mother nature throws our way. One of these years my wife would like a nice table and chairs for the deck. Having your “experiences” to draw from will help me avoid these problems and find new ones of my own. I learn more reading about mistakes and how to fix them than I do when a project is “perfect” and the post doesn’t provide anything educational for the reader to learn from the project. Plus the LJ community is really good about providing helpful ideas and a little teasing (just a little because we’ve all been there more than once and will be again).

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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builtinbkyn

2514 posts in 995 days


#14 posted 07-03-2018 11:58 AM

Well this was an unfortunate incident, but the method of construction was not suited to the location. Spagnuolo’s table, though an “outdoor table” appears to have been placed under shelter of a covered patio. I believe he also lives in AZ or some other dry climate where it would see little rain and humidity.

If you look closely at the pic you posted with the deluge, you can see your deck performing as the design intended it to, allowing the rain water to pass thru the openings provided during the construction. It’s free of standing water. The table is awash in rain water because it didn’t have those same spaces. Picnic tables are designed as they are to prevent what happened here. Breadboard ends allow for seasonal movement but obviously don’t work to control movement in wood that has been fully soaked. So your table either needs to be under cover or of a different design.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1129 posts in 217 days


#15 posted 07-03-2018 01:05 PM

Jam – just out of curiosity, what type of finish did you use on the table.
how many coats on top
how many coats on the bottom
how well did the bench seats perform in the water ??

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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