In this video and blog, I try and solve a lot of questions I get asked in regards to how to properly attach breadboard ends. I have seen many different methods which are good and some that are not. Board movement is a big thing that happens especially when you have cross grain to long grain intersections. Tongue and groove joinery is my preferred method of joinery when joining all the long boards together to not only give strength but to keep the alignment of all the boards from one end to the other.
Common methods that I have found in this kind of constructions is pocket holes and biscuits. There are downsides to both methods. Pocket holes do not allow for movement, even though you may not have glued the boards. Especially when you run the screw in from the BB end into the longboard instead of the other way around. Biscuits are really bad because you MUST glue the BB to the longboards. Doing this LOCKS the BB end to the long boards which can make your table crack with movement over time.
Because of this, a much stronger joint must be used with allowances made for movement. You can use loose tenons, integral tenons, or even dominos.
After all your tongue/tenons are made you need to cut grooves in the BB ends and then layout where your pins are going to be located. Since my tenon is 1” wide, I locate the hole for the pin midway on the tenon (1/2”) and drill a 3/8” hole.
Once drilled, I attach them to the table top to finish the hole through the tenon using the BB as the layout template.
Before removing the BB, scribe a line to use later for alignment.
Using an aggressive drill bit, widen the hole from left to right, but do not alter the center hole. This will limit the movement from the center of the table outward.
Before attaching the BB end, use glue only on the center panel on either side of the pinhole but do not cover the entire panel.
Glue in the dowel pins making sure that you pass through the other side.
After some sanding, routing, and staining, these tables get multiple coats of precut lacquer with sealer and delivered to the client.
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