Long time no visit but I wanted to tap in to the knowledge many of you possess. I am making an oak desk top, 67×31, 1&1/4 inch thick. The breadboard ends are 5 inches wide. The tenons are 1/2 inch thick, 2 inches long and there is a 1/2 inch stub tenon running contiguous (or continuous?,.... who cares?) front to back. The front and back tenons are 3 inches wide and the midway tenons are 2 inches wide. Since this is a desk top and not a table I would like the breadboard to be fixed at the front edge and not the middle as most of the articles I’ve read have stated. I’m not sure if this is a good idea or even if it is necessary since the desk will be in a very competent climate controlled environment (an administrator’s office where I work).
Anyway, some questions and thoughts.
Would you vary from the norm of fixing the breadboard in the center? Would you use screws or drawboard pegs to keep the ends tight against the main top? I used strap clamps to draw the ends tight for test fitting and they really draw it up tight, but I was not sure if screws would keep it there over the years. If I did use drawboard pegs should I make the peg channel the same diameter or slightly narrower than the peg diameter?
As far as finishing the surfaces, would you apply finish to the tenons (except for the fixed or glued tenon) before attaching the ends or leave them unfinished? Do you think putting finish on the tenons may cause them to stick in the mortises and defeat the process of allowing the top to move within the ends? Am I worrying too much about all this? (And finally, why does Lumberjocks spell check tell me that “tenon” is spelled wrong?)
Thanks in advance for all of your comments and I hope to be visiting the site more once things settle down at home and work. Marc
-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"