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Forum topic by 12strings posted 10-14-2013 09:30 PM 1131 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 1897 days

10-14-2013 09:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench bench

I see many benches with dovetails joining an end cap to the front apron…are these mostly for show? Sometimes it looks like it is combined with a few bolts also holding the end cap on. Is this some form of breadboard? Is that how they account for wood movement? What’s the general approach here…assuming I don’t just want to leave the end grain exposed?


-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

4 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3987 posts in 2483 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 09:44 PM

I think what you may be calling the apron is just the edge of the bench top.
The main reason for the big dovetail is to hold the breadboard end on where there is a wagon vise or an end vise that has nuts in the breadboard. The forces from the vises are trying to rip the end off the bench.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 1897 days

#2 posted 10-14-2013 09:52 PM

Yes…sometimes its just the front…i guess some call it an apron if it is a contrasting wood
. So is it a big sliding dovetail, or just on the front?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View bondogaposis's profile


4122 posts in 1863 days

#3 posted 10-14-2013 10:05 PM

The large dovetail on the end of my bench is to withstand the pressure that the wagon vise puts on it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


8403 posts in 3160 days

#4 posted 10-14-2013 10:34 PM

Read about my bench. I made some drawings to show
how the top moves.

Mine isn’t a sliding dovetail. Just regular dovetails
at the corners with a floating spline for most of
the width.

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