Breadboard Ends

Can these small strips of wood prevent the wide top from cupping? I don’t know, but they cover the end-grain and make the top look complete.

The breadboard end is essentially a tongue and groove joint with a couple of integrated mortise and tenons fastened with some draw-bored dowels. I found that the process of making them on the scale of this table top was a little easier than the practice ones I did on a small chess board (see this post here).

Breadboard ends make the final planing of the table top difficult as you now have grain running in two opposite directions. I planed the ends almost flush, but finished the job with a palm sander. This kills two birds with one stone as I had problems with tear-out in the mahogany and have to sand as a last step anyway (more about my tear-out problems here).

The outer edges of the table top were not parallel and still rough sawn. Because of this, I made the breadboard marking lines with a square using the center line from the glue-up.

I fastened the breadboard ends using 1/4″ walnut dowels I made using the Veritas dowel former.

The final touches to the top were to saw a curve into the long sides and bevel the undersides to make the top visually (but not structurally) more delicate. To draw the curves, I simply cut a long thin strip from a 2 by 4 board of pine. It was a two-person job though – one had to hold the strip to the marks at the ends and center of the table top, and the other then drew the curve with a pencil.

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One thought on “Breadboard Ends

  1. My recent experiences making breadboard ends on a similar table top project showed me that the primary benefit is to cover end grain and esthetics. The benefit of using breadboard ends in minimizing warp is probably greater when the stock is thinner. In my case I was using nearly +7/8″ stock and my breadboard ends seem esthetic.

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