Table top design question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by MashMaster posted 01-06-2015 12:46 AM 1002 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MashMaster's profile


134 posts in 2653 days

01-06-2015 12:46 AM

I’m building a table for my wife and she told me she would like a breadboard design. Are there any good descriptions about the best way to build this? I have built floating panels and table tops before but never a breadboard design. The table top final dimensions will be 48” x 86”

I’m assuming (probably incorrectly) that the panel will be biscuit edge joined planks and that panel connects to the end planks via floating tenons with a center fix one. The top will be walnut. Should I expect a ton of movement? Should I convince my wife that we shouldn’t do the breadboard design and instead do a normal edge joined panel top?

Thanks for any help.

-- - Dave ; Austin, TX

6 replies so far

View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1338 days

#1 posted 01-06-2015 12:48 AM

You need a girlfriend.

-- Rich

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2270 days

#2 posted 01-06-2015 12:57 AM

Here’s a helpful article via Wood Magazine…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2250 days

#3 posted 01-06-2015 01:00 AM

Dave, I would cut a tenon on each end of the top with a router and, also, cut the groove in the breadboard ends with a router. Drill a center hole through the ends and tenons and put in a peg. Also, drill two more holes in each end of the end pieces and elongate the holes in the tenons to allow for the expansion of the table top. Apply glue to only the center of each end. Cut your tenons so they are shorter than the groove in the bread boards as well to allow for movement. Use the Shrinkulator to determine how much movement you should plan on. Be aware that the width of the top and the breadboard ends will be different during the year depending on the changes in relative humidity. HTH

-- Art

View MashMaster's profile


134 posts in 2653 days

#4 posted 01-06-2015 02:53 AM

Thanks, this info is useful. What exactly do the pegs do?

-- - Dave ; Austin, TX

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2270 days

#5 posted 01-06-2015 03:28 AM

The dowels (pegs) do an important thing. They each keep the breadboard edge from pulling away from the tongue on the top. Since you are only gluing a small area (in the center only) the dowels act as the fastener across the width but more so on the ends. Art’s description is right on and is exactly illustrated in the link I provided above. The breadboard edge really prohibits cupping on a top as wide as you want yours. It’s a great detail as well.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View bobro's profile


320 posts in 1304 days

#6 posted 01-06-2015 05:59 AM

Moisture exchange happens much more quickly on end grain than side grain, so capping the ends with a breadboard is as much or more about covering the end grain than it is about mechanically holding the boards against cupping. This is also the reason for thin pins on dovetailed drawers.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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