Best and easiest way to attach a breadboard end - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Best and easiest way to attach a breadboard end

I'm making a table top out of 2x8 kiln dried doug fir. I used biscuits and edge glued the top itself, but for the breadboards I was trying to figure out the best/easiest way to attach them, which are also 2x8's. I know mortise and tenon is probably the best and I do have a router to cut them, but I'm wondering if there's an easier way to attach them while still allowing for wood movement. The table is about 36" wide. All advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 10:14 AM
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Do yourself a favor and do it right the first time and be done with it. I could explain how but this illustration is pretty good. Where it says glue the dowel to the end only, it just means put enough glue on the dowel to keep from falling out and not put so much glue it glues the tenon to the breadboard end. Another option which I prefer is to use screws to attach the ends. That way it squeezes both sides of the end holding onto the tenon better.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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so instead of the dowels use screws? I'm assuming I would just screw some 1" screws from underneath so it doesn't go all the way through and the elongated holes will allow for the movement.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfurey14 View Post
so instead of the dowels use screws? I'm assuming I would just screw some 1" screws from underneath so it doesn't go all the way through and the elongated holes will allow for the movement.
The majority of breadboard ends I've seen were done with screws. The screws were sized to go about 1/8" from going through the top. By doing that it pulls one side of the mortise against the other. Sometimes the tenon shrinks over time and you could just tighten the screws to fix any looseness. With dowels all you can do is drill them out and replace them and glue the tenon in the center with some epoxy.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Ok perfect...I will go with the screws then instead of the dowels. One other question if you don't mind. I'm new to using a router to cut the mortise and tenon...how perfect does the mortise and tenon need to be? I cut the tenons to be 1/2" thick and 3" long. But they're not "perfect". When I say "not perfect" I mean each pass with the router was not exact. Some passes were a little deeper or shallower. I haven't cut the mortise yet. Do you think I'll have a problem?
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 04:02 PM
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Ok perfect...I will go with the screws then instead of the dowels. One other question if you don't mind. I'm new to using a router to cut the mortise and tenon...how perfect does the mortise and tenon need to be? I cut the tenons to be 1/2" thick and 3" long. But they're not "perfect". When I say "not perfect" I mean each pass with the router was not exact. Some passes were a little deeper or shallower. I haven't cut the mortise yet. Do you think I'll have a problem?
3" long tenon may be too much. I could be wrong but I don't think you will find a router bit to mortise 3" deep. If you didn't mind seeing the joint in the finished table you could mortise the breadboard end on a table saw with a dado blade and run it all the way from end to end. Otherwise make your tenon about 1/16" less in length than the router bit will cut. If you have to buy a router bit a spiral bit will work better for that application. A spiral bit will pull the chips out of the hole.

The more accurate you can make the mortise and tenon the better. It should be tight enough it takes a hammer and a block of wood to get the parts together. Just don't make it so tight you split the breadboard end.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-22-2015, 07:17 PM
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I wouldn't use a router

For the mortise, why not make a glue up? As stated 3" is too deep for a router. You could make a glue up with 1/2" stock on either side and fill in the ends a whole lot easier. You may want to hand plane you tenon so it's more even, checking it for thickness as you go.

I had to make some through tenons on a head board, so I just use a 3 piece glue up, leaving the "hole" open where the tenon came through. Worked just fine.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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3" long tenon may be too much. I could be wrong but I don't think you will find a router bit to mortise 3" deep. If you didn't mind seeing the joint in the finished table you could mortise the breadboard end on a table saw with a dado blade and run it all the way from end to end. Otherwise make your tenon about 1/16" less in length than the router bit will cut. If you have to buy a router bit a spiral bit will work better for that application. A spiral bit will pull the chips out of the hole.

The more accurate you can make the mortise and tenon the better. It should be tight enough it takes a hammer and a block of wood to get the parts together. Just don't make it so tight you split the breadboard end.
I actually found a 2 1/2" straight cut router bit at Lowes and with my router adjusted as far as it can go it actually reaches 3". I don't really mind seeing the joint on the outside edge, I will look into getting a dado blade. My biggest problem is I'm new to making a mortise and tenon with the router and it's not really coming out that great. But I guess it works. The design allows me to put a 2x4 underneath for extra support, so I just drilled 1/4" holes for the screw to go through and used a washer, this way it can still move. I will just have to keep practicing I guess. Any tips you can offer?
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
For the mortise, why not make a glue up? As stated 3" is too deep for a router. You could make a glue up with 1/2" stock on either side and fill in the ends a whole lot easier. You may want to hand plane you tenon so it's more even, checking it for thickness as you go.

I had to make some through tenons on a head board, so I just use a 3 piece glue up, leaving the "hole" open where the tenon came through. Worked just fine.
Not sure I quite understand what you mean by a glue up for the mortise...could you please explain? I'd love to try it, if it will make it easier to accomplish this. Thanks.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 10:48 AM
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OK, I'll try....

A mortise is a "slot" in a solid piece of wood. A glue up would look the same, but be made of 3 pieces of wood.

A top and bottom plate, the thickness of your top, minus the tenon thickness would form the insides and outsides of the mortise. The length being the same as your top, the width being the length of the tenon plus about 1" or so.

A middle piece, the thickness of your tenon would form the ends on 2 sides on one length. It would look like a long narrow "C" with the opening being the size of your tenon.... plus a little for movement.


Got it?

Glue them all together, Cut to length and sand them to the top thickness and you are all set, no drilling, routing or other operations.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-23-2015 at 10:56 AM.
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A mortise is a "slot" in a solid piece of wood. A glue up would look the same, but be made of 3 pieces of wood.

A top and bottom plate, the thickness of your top, minus the tenon thickness would form the insides and outsides of the mortise. The length being the same as your top, the width being the length of the tenon plus about 1" or so.

A middle piece, the thickness of your tenon would form the ends on 2 sides on one length. It would look like a long narrow "C" with the opening being the size of your tenon.... plus a little for movement.


Got it?

Glue them all together, Cut to length and sand them to the top thickness and you are all set, no drilling, routing or other operations.
I think I kind of get it. But by doing it that way, then it won't look like one solid piece of wood. Don't think I would like that look for the breadboard end.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 11:31 AM
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You are correct...

No, it won't look like a solid piece of wood. I happen to have an example of this laying around and I will post photos of it. It's made from MDF, so there isn't a lot of differentiation in the laminations:
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-23-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Ahhh I get it now. Thanks for the pictures. Maybe if I can 1/2" stock pine or something I could make it work and look pretty close to a solid piece. It might not look that bad. The doug fir and the pine wood may be a little different, but not enough to notice.
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