Barnwood Countertops #3: Dimensions & The Tongue

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Blog entry by spunwood posted 12-29-2011 07:00 PM 2170 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Breadboards: Resources Part 3 of Barnwood Countertops series Part 4: Still Breadboarding: The Main Groove »


Okay, so how big should the battons (breadboards) be?
How big should the tongue, the tenons….?

Well, I am not sure if there is a hard and fast rule. I went with a mixture of necessity, imitation, and inspiration:

1. I calculated the length of each coutertop section which I wanted to end up with, including space at the wall for movement.

2. I calculated how much each breadboard (-loss of tenons) would add to what I already had.

3. Then I made a decision on the ratio of tongue to tenons; on tenon to the outer edge of the breadboard; on room for play, such as glue, fit, seasonal movement.

4. I am not going to post exact dimensions

5. I ended up with a tongue that was approximately 3/8”; tenons that were 2.5” wide x 1” more than the tongue

The Tongue

Mind you, I already milled the breadboard ends to size, including a few extra ones, and two that are extra long to make up for needed space.

I was not ready to make the tongue on the countertop sections.

Why the tongue 1st? So that I can use it to fit the groove in the breadboards.

The method I used came straight from a Popular Woodworking video which I posted on the previous blog entry.

I will use the pictures to walk us through:

1. The first thing I did was to make a number of test cuts:

-to check the depth of cut on 3/4” mlcs the pattern bit
(which should be 1/3 the counter, or 1/2 the waste I need to remove)

-to test the spacer block I am going to use to set my guide block for the router to ride against

-to test my router offset (how far my bit is from the edge of the face plate)

2. After these test cuts, I set up my guide with the appropriatly sized spacer:

The inner clamps hold the spacer and gently snug the guide block to the appropiate position.

after removing the middle 3 clamps, leaving just the guide or fence:


3.I prepare for the first pass on the top part of the tongue

-I discover that the round part of my base plate gives me enough offset to use as a guide for the 1st pass

Round Edge

Round Against Fence

-I am careful to use the baseplate and router handles to keep the baseplate flat on the countertop, rather than tilting foward

First Pass

-on each pass I am careful to slow down at the exit area to prevent blow out.

4. I do the second pass with the square edge of my base plate (this might only work for my router which just happened to have the right offset).

Square edge used in second pass and pressed firmly against guide

Second Pass

you can compare this to the first pass again

5. One side is now done

6. I flip the countertop and do the second side

Both Sides

All done! 7 more to go.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

1 comment so far

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891 posts in 4348 days

#1 posted 01-05-2012 04:42 PM

I thought i was so-o-o careful doing this on the casket i made, even using a depth gauge thingy with 24ths on it! yet i still took too much off creating the tenons and had to shorten the the entire project by 1/2 an inch!!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

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