The Maple Queen Bed
Completing the Build on the Farmhouse Table Top

Oak Dining Table: Breadboard Ends

After getting the table top re-joined, flattened, and trimmed to final length, it's time to start installing the breadboard ends.

Not only do breadboard ends add some aesthetic beauty to a table, they serve a structural purpose. Done correctly, the breadboards help prevent the top from cupping across its width over the long-term. What's interesting, however, is that the fixing of one problem using a breadboard introduces another problem - that of wood movement (expansion and contraction from changing humidity) across the width of the top conflicting with the cross-grained breadboards attached to the ends. What to do? Utilize "floating" mortise and tenon joinery (that allows the top to expand and contract) and "drawbore" dowel pegs (that keep the breadboard pulled up against the end of the table).

 

Using the Festool Domino XL to cut all the mortises (holes) into both the end of the top and the mating side edge of the breadboard...

20200205_140334

 

Gluing the 140mm (5.5") long Dominos (tenons) into all the mortises in the end of the top...
20200205_140334
20200205_140334
20200205_140334

After drilling dowel holes through the breadboard at about half the mortise locations, I test fit the breadboard onto the tenons, and use a bradpoint drill bit to poke through the dowel holes and make a mark on the top face of the tenons. I then remove the breadboard, use an awl to move each of the marks on the tenons about 1/16" closer to the end of the top. I use those new marks to hand drill holes through the tenons. Those holes are now offset from the holes going through the breadboard by 1/16"...

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20200205_154322
20200205_154322

Next I put glue on the center tenon only, and I push the breadboard back onto the tenons and clamp it in place. I then hammer dowel pins through all the holes in the breadboard and tenons. The holes in the tenons being slightly offset, it has the effect of drawing the breadboard tighter up against the end of the top.

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20200205_190645

After letting the glue dry overnight, I flush-cut the dowel pins and sand to make sure the top surface of the breadboard is flush to the table top.  You might notice that I have cut the breadboard to be slightly longer than the width of the top. This being winter with low humidity, the top is a little bit contracted across its width. Once summer arrives and the wood absorbs some of the higher humidity, the top will expand again and be a closer match to the  breadboard on its ends.

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20200206_142721
20200206_142721

Whew, thanks to the grace of God that's done! One more breadboard end to go...

 

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