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Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

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  • Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

    I'm gluing up a tabletop out of ash... net size will be 1-5/8" x 42 x 108. For aesthetic reasons I'd like to put breadboard ends on it, each one maybe 3-4" wide. Curious to know what techniques you guys have used to do this?

    About 20 years ago I built a workbench that I still use daily, out of maple. It's 36" wide and I put breadboard ends on it using screws. My recollection is that I predrilled the screwholes and then overdrilled them where the screw shank goes thru the breadboard end, so the screw shank has some room to move laterally. Again, IIRC I installed them with no glue, but 20 years is a long time ago. The benchtop planks move a little bit seasonally and have never cracked. There is obviously a bit of misalignment between the breadboard ends and the tabletop edges.

    Another possibility is a big sliding dovetail. I'd have to come up with jigs for that, and I'm not wild about spending the time doing it, but maybe it's worth it.

    Other ideas?
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  • #2
    Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

    Like you, I did my workbench with screws. The center screw is set tight so that it anchors the breadboard end. The other holes are oversized or even slotted on a wide tabletop. But the screw heads are plugged. In a nicer tabletop, you might not want to see the plugs.

    You could get by with gluing the breadboard end only to the center section of the tabletop. With proper gluing, it'll still be strong enough, and the outboard ends will just float. That would leave some ability for the end to warp away from the table, though.

    With 1-5/8" to work with, you could use a wide tongue and groove joint instead of a sliding dovetail. Pin it through the tongue from the bottom. Predrill the tongue for the pins (probably wood dowels, though steel pins would work). Again, make the middle one tight and the others oversized. stop the holes for the pins just shy of the table top, and glue the pins in place.

    I think the sliding dovetail would be a bear - it'll end up either too loose or too tight, and it's mighty tough to adjust dovetails after they're done. Or, I know it is for me.
    All complex problems have a simple solution. That solution is invariably wrong.

    Peter Engle, PE
    Almost Home, Inc.
    www.almosthome.com

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    • #3
      Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

      For me, the biggest issue with machining the dovetail would be the probable need to stand the top on end, so that a router with a dovetail bit could run with the router shank parallel to the length of the tabletop. I've done a few things like that over the years, in shops with high ceilings, using a stepladder or standing on the bench or whatever. No can do in my dinky shop here--the top is as long as the ceiling is high.

      I can get away with plugged holes on this table. It's quasi-faux-medieval with a big honkin' trestle base. First time in a while that I've used 12/4 and 16/4 hardwood. Used my chainsaw yesterday to cut the big planks into little ones I can manage.
      Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
      Website - Facebook

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      • #4
        Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

        At first I thought this thread was titled "BEADboard Ends on Tabletop"- I thought you'd been spending a little too much time with Kreg..............

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        • #5
          Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

          I generally use a stopped/blind/housed spline unless a visible bit of joinery is desired; much easier to do esp in confined area or w/ large slabs solo. Will usually use 2 or 3 pc spline w/ ~1/2" gaps. Have also used some KD cam draw/connector bolts for plugless mounting
          Donald on the basis of his net worth valuation-

          "...feelings, even my own feelings, and that can change rapidly day to day"

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          • #6
            Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

            mortise and tenon screw it tight in the center elongate the other holes for movement leave play in the ends of the tenon should be no issues
            Tom D.

            more tools please.

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            • #7
              Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

              Originally posted by MarkMc View Post
              I generally use a stopped/blind/housed spline unless a visible bit of joinery is desired; much easier to do esp in confined area or w/ large slabs solo. Will usually use 2 or 3 pc spline w/ ~1/2" gaps. Have also used some KD cam draw/connector bolts for plugless mounting
              ABSOLUTELEY!

              best advice yet, same as I do mine and many other applications no failures as of yet.
              JASON

              "The measure of success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom"

              George S. Patton

              www.jmsbuildersandremodelers.com
              (shameless plug for the google bots)

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              • #8
                Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

                David - I've used a detail (similar to the guys spline recommendation but using a tenon arrangement instead) provided by Gary Rogowski in a Taunton Press publication titled "In the Craftsman Style".

                The tenon(s) formed on the ends of the top are plunge routed while the ends themselves could be mortised in a router table or shaper. Gary glued the middle tenons and left the outside ones floating. All were plugged (sounds like it would work well with your overall design). He also milled the ends a sixteenth thicker and a tad wider than the top to incorporate shadow lines.

                You might want to take a look at the pictoral (in your library?) - he has some great ideas and does beautiful work. I'd detail it more here (sketchup) but I dunno about the legalities of doing so. Look it up!

                Sounds like a nice gig. Big thick ($$$) pieces.
                If you can't fix it with a hammer - you have an electrical problem.

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                • #9
                  Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

                  Thanks for all of the comments. I'm glad no one is hard-selling the sliding dovetail. I can see doing it, but it would take at least a long day to set up and do it. On my workbench I milled a big tongue on each end of the bench, ran a matching dado on each breadboard piece. Seeing the tongue/groove at the end looks OK and I'll probably do it on this one.
                  Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
                  Website - Facebook

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                  • #10
                    Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

                    David- that's what I do- a big tongue- I'll make that a good 1 1/2", then groove the breadboard end about 1/2". Mark out 3 tenons- I make them 3-4" wide. The center mortise is tight, the ones to the side are fairly loose. Center gets glued, side ones are loose, but pegged from below (temp the breadboard end in, drill hole for dowel, then pull and elongate the hole in the tenon so it can move), then install gluing the center tenon and gluing in the dowel on the bottom. If it works with the design you can drill the dowel all the way through and make it decorative.

                    Now- sliding dovetail: I only like this detail for really small BB ends- about 1" max. Make an L shaped fence to fit on the router with a long down leg that is reinforced. Then you run the router using the fence to hold it (sort of like a biscuit joiner)- it's much more accurate than standing the table on end. You've got to flip the table, but that's easier than standing a 9' board on end. Use router table and creep up on the dovetail- the fit should be somewhat loose, otherwise you'll never get it all the way on. Peg the center.
                    http://www.lavrans.com

                    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

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                    • #11
                      Re: Furniture question... breadboard ends on tabletop

                      You might also plane or joint the bread board end with a bit of bow so that the ends stay tight when pulled into place by the center fastening.
                      Dan Bloomer
                      Bloomer-Cucci, Stairbuilders
                      www.handrailing.com

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                      • #12
                        Have you tried those furniture being offered at http://www.javateakoutdoorfurniture.com/ , I am trying to check and try those and see how they will fit my desired interior design. And I also found out that they are also good for outdoor use.

                        http://www.javateakoutdoorfurniture.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have you tried those furniture being offered at http://www.javateakoutdoorfurniture.com/ , I am trying to check and try those and see how they will fit my desired interior design. And I also found out that they are also good for outdoor use.

                          http://www.javateakoutdoorfurniture.com/

                          Comment

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