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Breadboard design for Butcher Block Table Top

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Forum topic by vrice posted 720 days ago 2915 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


720 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question joining maple butcher block

I’m in the process of designing a kitchen table/island/ that has a hard maple butcher block top. My design at this point is this:

I REALLY want a contrasting wood border on the top. After designing this in I came to the realization (a little research here on LJ) that just gluing this onto the butcher block won’t work due to wood movement. Researching this further I discovered the breadboard concept. However, all the examples of this I saw involved border-less tops with the breadboard on the ends of the table. Again, I wanted a border all around the perimeter of the top. The other noticeable aspect of these breadboard setups was the tenons were always on the table top with mortises in the end pieces. Since I’m working on a border here I didn’t want to have to make the border the width it would take to accommodate a mortise, say 1.25”. I wanted the border to be only .75”. So I came up with this design:

The mortise is in the top and the tenon is on the end piece. The tenons have elongated holes at the ends that will accommodate a .25” of wood movement. In addition the tenon holes are offset 1/32” to make a draw bore joint. In addition I designed a dowel connection (no glue in one of the mating ends of the dowels) to both “connect” the ends of the end piece to the other trim but still allow for movement in the whole thing.
I’m new to this breadboard stuff. I’ve purchased all the wood for this thing (not cheap) and I don’t want to screw this up. So I’m looking for some sage wisdom/advice for the LJ community here. Will this design work? Is there a better way to do this?

-- Vic Rice


11 replies so far

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Handtooler

1054 posts in 731 days


#1 posted 719 days ago

My family has had and currently uses a similar design in our home. Because we a short people,5’1” an 5’ 5” ours is 31” off the floor and incorpoorates casters to allow for movement and cleaning behind. We have two large deep pullout shelves, or drawers with narrow sides in the lower area where you show openings. These have doors and are used to store the mixer and other tools/utinsiles used in food prep there. It includes a two position female electrical box andoutlet in one end that allows for power from a low wall outlet behind to be used by appliances without having to incorporate extension cords draped to other outllets accross the room. “Hazard Prevention” especially for children. Good job of designing. Ours does not use a border, but a friend has one designed after ours and used sliding dovetails mitered at the corners. Russell

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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Chadster

20 posts in 796 days


#2 posted 719 days ago

Looks cool, I wonder if they would open or cause problems where the ends are dowelled…but moving freely ?
Could you just run the ends pass the sides as an alternative? It would be more of a standard breadboard end look, but with still the border to match…
I like this design and have been thinking of something similar to this for our kitchen.

-- If it's worth doin', it's worth doin' right.

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bondogaposis

2441 posts in 950 days


#3 posted 719 days ago

If you forgo the draw bore joint it will work. I’m thinking that the draw bore will prevent movement and may split the tenon.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


#4 posted 719 days ago

Great comments.
Handtooler, I gave some thought to the sliding dovetail idea originally. Quite frankly, I suspected I was less likely to screw up the mortise and tenon than a sliding dovetail. And my thought about mitered ends was how does one explain the gap at the joint to accommodate movement? Makes it look like a lousy joint to the uninitiated. Just my vanity talking I suppose. That was kinda what I was trying to do with the dowels. Put something interesting in there that would highlight the gap was intentional.
Chadster, this did cross my mind as well. The worry I had with that approach was something catching on the edge of the wood, at the gap, and ripping the trim off, probably small probability of that happening.
Bondo, I was wondering about this. I did find several other breadboard designs on LJ that claimed to use this draw bore technique. I suppose if you get the pinch tight enough you’re point is definitely valid. On the other hand, since this thing will have no glue there needs to be some drawbore effect, doesn’t there. If not seems the end piece would have some play potentially.

-- Vic Rice

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bondogaposis

2441 posts in 950 days


#5 posted 718 days ago

My thinking has to do w/ the fact that a normal draw bore is on a tenon where the grain runs differently than what you are proposing here. You will want the fit to be snug for sure, but I would be afraid that too much pressure will cause a split that will run with the grain.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Handtooler

1054 posts in 731 days


#6 posted 718 days ago

Ours has no border, and I’m kinda glad; as any gaps due to movement would possibly allow food stuff (oils and greases, flour and such) to miagrate there and be very difficult to keep clean. That trim is beautiful and really sets it off, but ya know butchers never had trim on thieircutting blocks and scrubbed them a couple times a day. Not finding fault, just being the devils advocate. Russell

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


#7 posted 718 days ago

AH! Bondo you are absolutely right. I hadn’t thought about that. Hmm….......................

-- Vic Rice

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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


#8 posted 718 days ago

Yeah, Russell, good point about food getting trapped….................................

-- Vic Rice

View BTK's profile

BTK

7 posts in 746 days


#9 posted 714 days ago

Vic, if you don’t mind a separate question. I’m building a butcher block island table right now too. Top is done, leaving it simple 2 1/4 think hard maple. No end caps, might contrast with the finish on the support.

My support is like the Kirby bench. So, how are you attaching you legs to the top?

Thanks

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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


#10 posted 713 days ago

BTK,
I just plan on using one of the several techniques for attaching the top while allowing Movement. I am leaning towards figure eight clips. Check this out.

-- Vic Rice

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vrice

72 posts in 1290 days


#11 posted 707 days ago

OK, I’ve given this some thought given the point Bondo made. I am going to change my design a bit. The end caps will not have a tenon. Instead I will use floating tenons, made of hard maple, with the grain oriented parallel with the table top grain. To wit:

Any comments on this approach??

-- Vic Rice

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