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post #1 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Breadboard Ends Help

Hey guys I am working on a farmhouse table for my brother and have to do some breadboard ends. I was trying to think of an easy way to attach the vertical side board to the horizontal boards. I was planning on doing a mortise and tenon but I am not sure if I would be able to make a mortise hole 3 to 4 inches deep using a regular chisel and a router.



I just bought a 1in forstner bit I was hoping I could use 1in oak dowels as loose tenons instead of making a mortise and tenon joint. It would be way easier for me to hand drill a 4 inch hole rather than trying to chisel out a square mortise hole. I am going to attach some photos of my design so you guys can get a better idea as to what I am trying to do. I know that wood moves and you are supposed to leave some space in the mortise and tenon joint and I was hoping that by shaving off the sides of the dowel I would account for that, but something tells me that it might not work.



Should I just do the mortise and tenon joint for breadboard ends or will using dowels work and not crack the wood? My main problem is making a deep 4in hole. What type of chisel is best for deep holes.


Ryan
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post #2 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 01:05 PM
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You don't want to rigidly attach a breadboard end to the table, with dowels or any other means. The table will expand and contract across the grain with changes in humidity and the breadboard end will prevent that and the table will crack & split. You need an attachment method that allows for wood movement.

There are many examples on the web for doing this - example:
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/t...dboard-ends-2/
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post #3 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Im going to give this method a try.

https://youtu.be/0cAoPqd7BMQ

If the center dowel is glued in and rigid and the rest are loose on the breadboard side only it should allow for the movement.
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post #4 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 02:12 PM
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I don't see that method allowing for movement of the width of the table. The dowel holes would have to be oblong, not round and tight fitting.

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post #5 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 03:17 PM
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there is no allowance for movement ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
I don't see that method allowing for movement of the width of the table. The dowel holes would have to be oblong, not round and tight fitting.

I don't like what I saw. If you have to hammer the breadboards ends on there's no allowance for movement. Loose tenons are actually loose. You don't need 4" deep holes, 2" or so would be fine. The purpose of breadboards ens is to keep the planks from shifting or cupping. When the planks expand or contract across the width the breadboard may actually extend beyond the planks a bit. That's just the nature of the beast.



If all I had for tools was a drill and Forstner bits, dowels would be about the only choice. So, how do you make oblong holes? Not so easy unless you have a router and a long bit. Maybe two holes not adjoining would work better. Then you can rout out between them. That's what I would look into.



This approach would be better. It's shown for doors, but would also work for the table top.


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; 12-30-2018 at 03:22 PM.
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post #6 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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If a 2" depth is all I need then I will have no problem making the holes oblong with a router.

I just thought since the breadboards on the ends are going to be 7" wide I should have a longer tenon to support them.
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post #7 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 05:32 PM
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Don't try to reinvent the wheel...

Hello Ryan,

Please disregard this post if you are just wanting to experiment with seeing how things work for yourself...That can be fun too...!!!...

The video's version is...strongly not recommended!...for a number of reasons.

Since you did ask here on the forum, I would offer the following understanding and feedback...

Like I tell most of my students/clients (and folks like you seeking advice) don't try to "reinvent something" until you have a reasonable (or considerable) amount of time doing...whatever it is...the way its know to work...and proven to do so. Once you have that experience, its not only fun, but could lead to even deeper understanding and/or rediscovering a way that has been lost. Some folks have the experience to do this pulling from gathered knowledge from other, while most need to be more practical about it and just...do the work...the way its know to work well over time...

So, from a traditional perspective of the craft of woodworking, the general..."rules of thumb"...(not set in stone)...for most forms of "bread board ends"

1. Wood movement...MUST!!!...be accounted for in the proper and understood way...

2. The tenon, spline and/or tongue should (at minimum) should extend 1/2 the width of the Bread Board itself...2/3 is best practice for large one or ones that will take regular bending loads from leaning, lifting or other pressures....

3. Fix from the center of the Bread Board...ONLY!!!...with joinery and/or glue is fine...

Those are the big ones, there are more, but they are more specific to other applications, methods, and systems like green wood, floor systems, structural architectural loads, etc...

Here is a link to a video of a dear friend (a wonderful aspiring craftsperson) that uses nothing but hand tools...

Example of one form of Bread Board End done traditionally

Here is a link to another long post thread on this forum about the same subject:

What I did wrong...


Hope you find this of some value...and please note...there is a lot of advise and guidance on the internet these days...a lot of it isn't based an much more than "opinion' and very little or very narrow experience...

j
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post #8 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice Jay. I would rather not experiment and do it the best way possible with methods that have been proven to work. I didnt know the tennon should be at least half the width of the board. I wonder if it will matter though scince I am putting the legs directly under the breadboard.
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 06:43 PM
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Design Choices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrosephMansby View Post
Thanks for all the advice Jay. I would rather not experiment and do it the best way possible with methods that have been proven to work. I didnt know the tennon should be at least half the width of the board. I wonder if it will matter though scince I am putting the legs directly under the breadboard.
Hi Ryan,

I think we are "dipping our toes" into the design end of this now...???

I'm very cautious, as an educator, not to dabble too much (unless asked for a critique) in how someone is going about the presentation aesthetically for their work. "Style" and what you chose for it, is up to the creator of the piece and often outside the context (and taste?) of others.

From a structural perspective, tradition, and wood movement perceptive...I don't think I would recommend a "fixed leg and/or apron" assembly anywhere near the Bread Board end itself. Both aesthetically (my own and tradition) they tend to be set back from the Bread Board a fair distance. This not only accommodates the person that may sit at the end of a table, but also to avoid the issues as described...

Look forward to following your progress...

j
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post #10 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 08:06 PM
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Loose tenons using a router

A quick search on You Tube reveals dozens of videos on making loose tenons using a router:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...with+a+router+


They are not "wrong" if used correctly. If you understand that the wood will move from the center in or out, then you can glue the center one and allow the end ones to "float". Kinda simple really. The thickness of the tenon and the width of the mortise are what is important to keep the planks flat but still allow for movement laterally.


How you make the tenons or the mortises is entirely your choice, by hand or using a router, or a combination. Either method will work fine. I make my mortises using a router and a centering jig for stock 2" wide or less.


https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/memb...on-quilt-rack/

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 #11 of 29 Old 12-30-2018, 09:17 PM
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Jay has covered most of what I'd recommend...MAIN thing is WOOD MOVES!!!! It's alive, it NEVER dies it just MOVES around!!!

The "What went wrong" link is one of the better informative of MANY threads here regarding breadboards and wood movement and joinery. I also don't recommend the leg or skirting under the breadboard. Don't get overwhelmed , they're NOT as hard to do as they look...just intimidating.

One note is...with all tables with breadboards, at times the breadboard will be "proud" (longer) and other times "shy" (shorter) due to humidity changes effecting the main part of table. Nothing to get bothered by, they've done it for centuries...wood doesn't change....moisture/humidity levels affects it!!!

Enjoy and have fun!!! Please post us some pics of the build , WE love to see wood!!
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post #12 of 29 Old 12-31-2018, 09:36 AM
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All good info here, I'm absorbing it all. What I don't understand is if you apply any glue to that breadboard piece, how can anything expand or contract if they're all being held at the same point?


Reminds me of when I did a cedar closet last year. I used tongue n groove paneling to line a small closet. I made those joints fit so tightly together I was like yea this one solid closet! Mostly used adhesive and finishing nails. Well, to me surprise, a day or two later I had several boards pop off because the boards expanded and were squeezed. Lesson learned, leave some gap in those grooves!
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post #13 of 29 Old 12-31-2018, 09:57 AM
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Only the center board is glued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaelax View Post
All good info here, I'm absorbing it all. What I don't understand is if you apply any glue to that breadboard piece, how can anything expand or contract if they're all being held at the same point?


Reminds me of when I did a cedar closet last year. I used tongue n groove paneling to line a small closet. I made those joints fit so tightly together I was like yea this one solid closet! Mostly used adhesive and finishing nails. Well, to me surprise, a day or two later I had several boards pop off because the boards expanded and were squeezed. Lesson learned, leave some gap in those grooves!



Only the center board is glued or pinned. All the other boards have tenons but they are NOT glued so they are free to move laterally or horizontally. All the mortises and tenons are a slip/snug fit on the vertical dimension so they will keep the boards from cupping or twisting, at least that's the theory..... The mortises are wider than the tenons on the other boards to allow for movement.



This video show how this works.... wiggle room for the tenons:



You can make a continuous dado on the table end and then glue in separate spacers that allow for the extra gap for expansion. You just need to "space" the spacers properly for this approach to work properly.


Here's a slightly different approach, still uses a continuous dado, but with a long wedged tenon in the center:

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; 12-31-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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post #14 of 29 Old 12-31-2018, 11:02 AM
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That was a very clear video, thanks. Though I'm still having trouble understanding how this method is effective at allowing expansion. I get that he only glued the center board, but the ones with the pins are sort of locked into place as well, which I would think defeats the purpose of making the holes in the breadboard side larger for the dominoes. And if the end boards are locked into place, then allowing room in the joints for the middle boards to expand seems pointless since they can't really expand due to the end boards unable to move. Maybe I'm thinking about the mechanics incorrectly, I'll draw a pic and post a new thread because I'm curious but don't want to hijack the thread.
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post #15 of 29 Old 01-06-2019, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update, bought a drill guide to help me drill the forstner bit straight into the ends of the table. I also made a jig to stay flush with the table. The drill guide did not work! I was hesitant to use it at first as there was about 1/16 play in the chuck but was determined to use dowels. I already bought the dowels and really wanted to use them . I will attach a pic of how crooked the breadboard was when I attached the breadboard to the table.

Im switching to using a router now with an edge guide. Its just very scary using a 3" bit and its going to take longer. Will post pics of what I have so far. By no means does it look pretty but no one will see it any way.

I will post more pics when I get the ends attached.
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post #16 of 29 Old 01-07-2019, 12:14 PM
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please do not try to plunge a 3" bit with a hand held router and an edge guide. it will be almost impossible to achieve good results, not mentioning the HIGH danger level.


as you can see, dowel joinery takes very precise measuring and drilling which is why it is seldom used any more. the jigs used must be close to perfect


try checking the 90 degrees on your homemade jig if you want to continue with dowels.... you may just be able to clean some of those holes up and still use it???
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post #17 of 29 Old 01-07-2019, 12:35 PM
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What he said ^ !!!

The only way to safely do this on the ends, in my opinion, is to make a pair of "L" shaped supports, 3" or 4" on a side and clamp then to the top on either side. This will support the base of the router while you move it along. Next, because they will be flush with the end surface, the edge guide will need to ride on one of the support's edges. They must be made accurately and parallel to the side faces!



You don't need the mortise to be 3" deep. It's too much for the router, too dangerous and just not needed for strength. A 2" depth will be plenty. It look like the mortises have been a bit cobbled up. That will be benefit a snug fit for the tenons. You can clean them up using this method IF you are cautious. Make your tenons a corresponding width, and a snug but not binding fit.





I just realized that you have reversed SOP and put the mortises in the table ends rather then having tenons in the ends..... Ooops.
This will keep the planks from shifting as will a proper glue joint, BUT not from cupping, the main purpose of breadboard ends.


You won't like this bit of free advice..... saw off what you have and do it properly, tenons on the table top ends and mortises in the breadboard. In order to keep the table the same length you could make you breadboard ends wider if that's an issue.

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 #18 of 29 Old 01-07-2019, 04:36 PM
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This topic was discussed here .....

See this thread for an anlaysis of mortising the table top end:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/t...7/#post2029863
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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 #19 of 29 Old 01-08-2019, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Im doing loose tenons which will prevent cupping.
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post #20 of 29 Old 01-12-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Managed to get one side on. Using the router which was so much easier compared to using a drill and forstner bit. Holes are straight and parallel to the sides.

Decided to only go 2" deep because 3" seemed crazy. Maybe if i had a plunge router I would do 3".

I did mess up the drawboarding though and was pretty pissed. I drilled the holes on the tennon farther away from the center table instead of closer to it. Such a stupid mistake but was just rushing to get it on there. The dowels on the breadboard side in the picture don't go all the way through and are just there to hide the holes.

If I do another table I will not do loose tenons and just cut the tenons from the table itself. Which is what I should have done in the first place. I just thought dowels would be easier.
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