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Discussion Starter #1
I have been asked to build someone a coffee table, and they like a bit of a country/rustic look, so liked the idea of a table top similar to the one in the attached image. I understand how the breadboard end is supposed to work with a solid top, but I'm a bit confused about how the separate planks in this table are joined - to each other and to the breadboard ends.

Is it tongue and groove? Are the tongue and groove joints glued together? Or is the whole top just held together by the breadboard end?

Is it usually a slot the whole length of the end piece, or individual mortises for each slat, each left with a bit of wiggle room for expansion/contraction of the wood?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My question not so much about the breadboard end as it is about the construction of the main body of the table top. You can see the separations between the boards in the tables I linked to - it's not just a typical edge glued panel. It looks like tongue and groove, maybe? Why else would I be able to see a line between the planks?

If it's tongue and groove, I'm trying to figure out if those tongue and groove joints are typically glued together, or whether they are just put together dry?
 

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I am not commenting on how the pictured table is put together. I am commenting on personal preference for table tops in general.
I do not like lines, like those in the above table. They are almost impossible to clean. Spill something on it, and it's there forever. Get crumbs down in there, and ...
Well, you get the picture.

If you can get the "customer" to agree, put their table together with no gaps/lines in the top of the table.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea... Not saying it'd be my first choice of tabletop, but they saw this style and really liked it. And I've owned one before... Cheap particleboard one. The lines are annoying, but you can clean them out with a toothbrush if you have to. I did it many times before building the table in have now.
 

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My question not so much about the breadboard end as it is about the construction of the main body of the table top. You can see the separations between the boards in the tables I linked to - it's not just a typical edge glued panel. It looks like tongue and groove, maybe? Why else would I be able to see a line between the planks?

If it's tongue and groove, I'm trying to figure out if those tongue and groove joints are typically glued together, or whether they are just put together dry?

It was quite common for English Draw-leaf and other slightly rustic style tables to have little bevels between the boards to creat a 'look' which has nothing to do with the underlying joinery. You put a small 45 degree bevel on the boards before you join them, and sometimes the bevels are stopped short of the ends.
T&G is not as strong as just a straight glue-up in many cases and isn't required for this.
My last dining table I had for 30 years and it had grooves and never caused a problem, and the one I just completed (project showcase a few posts back) doesn't have any grooves. When I make my front door it will have the grooves to make the planks stand out more.
 

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Those boards are most likely cut like that to give it an effect and probably just glued up normally. I've built some rustic farmhouse tables out of construction grade 2x10 and the edges are rounded over and gives it that effect. You need to joint all the board of course. You can add dowels or dominos or even pocket holes but straight glue will do. Here's a good vid on how to build a top like that.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/the-not-so-rustic-rustic-outdoor-table/
 

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Glue the board together, you don't want to have a crack that spilled milk or whatever can get into, all you are doing is putting a profile on the top edge of the boards after jointing and before gluing. When clamping use a cawl and maybe even glue the boards on one at a time, with the vee you have to get them right on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great! Thanks guys. That's just the sort of information I was looking for. Thatbdeos seem like the simplest method anyway - I'll just joint the boards, cut the decorative v, and then edge glue them.
 

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I glue the top up as a solid piece, then use a veining bit in my router to put the lines on the table.
You can space them evenly or random widths. I suggest you set the depth no deeper than 1/16".
 

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I glue the top up as a solid piece, then use a veining bit in my router to put the lines on the table.
You can space them evenly or random widths. I suggest you set the depth no deeper than 1/16".
I would only use that method if I was very confident in my ability to use a router, a beginner could easily have an "oops" and ruin the entire top.
 

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I glue the top up as a solid piece, then use a veining bit in my router to put the lines on the table. You can space them evenly or random widths. I suggest you set the depth no deeper than 1/16".
I would use this method. This way you will eliminate the possibility of having to clean glue squeeze-out from the v shaped groove.
 
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