Any knowledge on Breadboard ends??

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Forum topic by Ruewood posted 06-16-2017 12:48 PM 791 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 947 days

06-16-2017 12:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ash tip question jointer plane tablesaw router chisel joining modern traditional

Firstly hello and thank you very much for taking the time to read my question! I very much appreciate it! I’m in my 2nd year of woodworking, and unfortunately do not have a cool 60 year old neighbor to guide me on my journey, so i figured i should start reaching out to fellow woodworkers through forums whenever i may have doubts or question. Specifically, I’ve got a question pertaining to breadboard ends. Im working on an Ash trestle table, 36”x72”, 3/4” top. I routed the tongue table ends, and routed the groove on the mating breadboard end. The breadboard end is 3” wide, with the tongue recessed inside, the tongue being 1.5” deep. I bored holes for 1/2” Wenge wood pins all the way through, making sure to elongate the 1st and 3rd holes for any wood movement. I chiseled the tops of the pins square instead of the traditional round dowel, as well as the corresponding breadboard top area only. I assembled everything together, making sure to only use glue on the middle 1/3 of the tongue, the complete center pin, and the 1st and 3rd pins only the pin heads. Unfortunately, i realized too late that i had only elongated the holes on one tongue and not the other! So one breadboard end is by the book, while the other has the holes bored the same size all the way through. Does anyone know if this will be disasterous, will the Wenge and Ash be an issue, will I be OK? Any knowledge is greatly appreciated, I live in southern California where we get relatively dry summers if thats of any insight. Id be more than happy to provide some pictures should anyone be interested in seeing how its come out so far. Again thank you!

6 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 06-16-2017 12:59 PM

You will probably be OK. You’re probably not going to get a lot of movement given your location.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TungOil's profile


1371 posts in 1097 days

#2 posted 06-16-2017 01:49 PM

Check out this article from FWW, this will help you estimate the potential amount of movement in your top based on humidity changes

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Ruewood's profile


6 posts in 947 days

#3 posted 06-16-2017 06:25 PM

- johnstoneb

Thank you for the response, not sure how to respond directly in a way that notifies you of a response? I was thinking that same thing

View Ruewood's profile


6 posts in 947 days

#4 posted 06-16-2017 06:26 PM

- TungOil

Thanks for that link, I glanced at it and will take a more in depth look!

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1522 days

#5 posted 06-17-2017 01:42 AM


If you decide that allowing for some movement of the top is needed, you may be able to introduce (+/-) 1/8” allowance in movement of the top without having to remove the breadboard. This idea would entail removing the exiting end Wenge plugs at the ends of the breadboard. New Wenge plugs could then be made that are ½” x ½” x ¼” x ½” shouldered plugs for insertion. The new plugs could then be driven in until the ½” x ½” shoulder is at or above the tongue in the table top. Then 1/8” x ½” Wenge shims could be glued in place on the underside of the table, ensuring the shims do not extend into the table top tongue.

This method would allow the top expand or contract across its width by 1/8” before the movement in the top is constrained. It would be important to keep the ½” x ½” end of the plug as well as the shims from recessing into the tongue of the top.

View Ruewood's profile


6 posts in 947 days

#6 posted 06-17-2017 03:07 PM


I see what you mean, so the peg would be 1/4’ wide in the middle where the tongue is. Great idea, thank you!

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