breadboard end desing on tables - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-03-2017, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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breadboard end desing on tables

I have heard that pinned mortise and tennon is the best way of attaching breadboard ends to tables, mostly because of wood movement in the different grain orientations (~8% tangential and ~0% longitudinal)

First question is is this such a problem after wood is finished? would sufficient coats of any kind of varnish create enough of a moisture seal to prevent such drastic movements.

if not, my second question is if wood moves this much then there would be a drastic difference in the edge b/w breadboard and table top edge., are noticeable misalignments seen throughout the year with pinned mortise and tenon breadboards?

my eventual take away would be if I am fine just using biscuits to attach breadboard end or should I use mortise and tenon simply from a durability stand point.

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post #2 of 3 Old 03-03-2017, 06:58 PM
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Finishes slow MC changes, they don't stop it completely. Even finished, wood still moves, there's not a whole lot you can do to stop that actually.

Moving on to he second question, yes, there is a noticeable misalignment between the table and the breadboard ends as the MC changes. How much depends on the width of the panel, the wider the panel the more of a change in dimension you get.

Last point, biscuits are barely suitable for helping align a panel, I wouldn't dream of using them to try to attach breadboard ends. Pinned M&T, splined or dowels would all work better. Even screws would be a better option

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-03-2017, 09:26 PM
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Using a solid wood panel on a table top over 40-50 years the center panel can shrink as much as a 1/4" and the breadboard doesn't shrink in length. The finish may help prevent cup warp but nothing is going to stop the wood from shrinking. The center of the mortise and tenon can be glued but out from the center you have to elongate the holes for the pins to allow for the wood to shrink. Anything that prevents the wood from shrinking when it wants to will cause the top to split to releave the pressure.
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