LumberJocks

Breadboard ends?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by jaysonic posted 04-07-2013 06:22 PM 2186 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jaysonic's profile

jaysonic

219 posts in 780 days


04-07-2013 06:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So, I have 4 – 8’ x 12” x 2” boards of cedar. I want to make a table top. Will my tables expansion and warping be too great if I do not use breadboard ends? I guess what I’m asking is: besides the aesthetics of the breadboard end, what are the purposes of it? Thanks guy!


11 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1168 days


#1 posted 04-08-2013 12:10 AM

A breadboard end serves 2 purposes. The first is aesthetic – just covering up the endgrain and maybe giving a decorative treatment. The second is to try to counter cupping or warping of the top. A breadboard does not do anything to limit the seasonal expansion/contraction of the top, and in fact, must be constructed in such as way so as to accommodate this movement.

I would suggest that the method by which you fasten your top to the table’s base will be much more important in controlling cupping or warping than a breadboard end could be.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View jaysonic's profile

jaysonic

219 posts in 780 days


#2 posted 04-08-2013 12:55 AM

Oh that’s interesting. What method/s would you suggest to attach the table top then?

View bannerpond1's profile

bannerpond1

231 posts in 536 days


#3 posted 04-08-2013 08:12 PM

Jaysonic, please excuse what may seem like an unkind answer. I don’t mean for it to be. What you really have are (4) 2”x12”x8’. If you were talking to a dealer on the phone, you’d say, “Four two by twelves, eight feet long.” You’ll find it easier to communicate in the future if you use the accepted sequence.

You could make oversized holes to allow for expansion across the grain, but the breadboard end will give the table a finished look. Then you can fasten it to the table top with cleats from below which fit into a rabbet. The first breadboard end I made was easier than I expected. Make one for practice before you commit your fine wood to it. I would use dowels to attach it. That also gives a craftsman touch to it.

Wood WILL move. How much and when depends on the species, your home, and your climate.

-- --Dale Page

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1433 posts in 999 days


#4 posted 04-08-2013 08:35 PM

If the boards are dry and stable, the breadboard ends are structurally superfluous.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

911 posts in 663 days


#5 posted 04-09-2013 07:18 AM

bannerpond: To avoid confusion when combining quantity and dimensions, I’ve gotten into the habit of writing out the quantity: “four 2”X12”X8’. I sometimes am not sure what people mean, such as in CL ads.

View bannerpond1's profile

bannerpond1

231 posts in 536 days


#6 posted 04-09-2013 11:29 AM

Clint, the trouble with “dry and stable” is that it sometimes doesn’t stay that way. Unless you have a humidity control in your home, it’s going to change with the seasons. It will probably swell to some degree in the summer and shrink in the winter.

Using quarter or rift sawn lumber would help, but decades of using breadboard ends can’t be dismissed with so much assurance that they’re “superfluous.”

Besides, they look nice.

-- --Dale Page

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1433 posts in 999 days


#7 posted 04-09-2013 12:10 PM

Dale, never used ‘em; never had a problem; don’t like the look. The only time they match the table width is the day they’re made.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1168 days


#8 posted 04-10-2013 12:25 AM

Back to your question, jaysonic – what type of base are you planning for your table?

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View MNgary's profile

MNgary

235 posts in 1055 days


#9 posted 04-10-2013 02:01 AM

Jaysonic, the width of most species of cedar will move up to 1/16 inch (if a 12 inch wide board) in a typical home environment with change in relative humidity from summer to winter. It’s closer to an eighth inch if no humidifier or air conditioning in some climates. Multiply by 4 for your table’s width.

The length of the breadboard ends will change by one-eighth or less than change in width of the table top boards.

So putting a breadboard end on a 4’ wide cedar table means the breadboard end (if installed in the Spring or Fall) will sometimes be 3/32 inch less than your 4’ wide table and part of the year 3/32 inch too long in many settings.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View jaysonic's profile

jaysonic

219 posts in 780 days


#10 posted 04-10-2013 01:58 PM

This is the design I came up with. My breadboard ends would extend 1/2” or so beyond the sides on the table top.
And thanks for all your comments, I take no offense to any of them.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1168 days


#11 posted 04-12-2013 06:53 AM

I’d suggest making the breadboard ends wider. They look a little out of scale compared to the legs.

To attach the top to the base and keep it flat, attach 2-4 stretchers on the inside of the aprons, parallel to the short aprons and joined to the long aprons. Basically add some ladder rungs every foot and a half inside the apron.

Then, attach the top using screws through the short aprons and “rungs”. Down the centerline of the unit, place the screws in typical holes. But away from the centerline at around 8-12” intervals, use elongated holes. Do not use screws through the long aprons. The elongated holes will allow the screw to move as the top changes width, but still hold the top to the aprons/rungs to combat warping or cupping. Don’t cinch the screws too tight – the top just needs to be held down, not locked in place.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase