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Tabletop breadboard ends

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Anonymous

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What are people's views on how far the spacing should be between fixings in breadboard ends on table tops?

My technique is to find the centre, this takes the 'fixed' dowel, and then every 6 to 9" I put in a 'moveable' dowel -- ie it's fixed in the breadboard, but the flange on the boards is slotted so they can move. My current project is 75" long by 38" wide but has a different twist in that the side boards and ends are 1 1/2" stock, but the centre boards are 3/4". I anticipate different movement in the two thicknesses which may have to be accounted for.

Here's a thought - how about solid fixing the thick stock around the outside, but letting the thinner stock move. rather like a solid raised panel? This should avoid the usual problem with the breadboard only matching up exactly with the sides at certain times of the year/humidity levels. How much movement should be allowed for? When making raised panels in New England I used to allow up to 1/2" per foot on 3/4" stock (based on experience), but that much could be a problem for a 38" wide table.

Thoughts?
 

Philly

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1/2 inch per foot! Ouch!
That's going to look aweful as a breadboard end. I think if your wood is reasonably seasoned then go for the "correct" width of end piece and just make sure you allow the top to move. Have you got a tongue running the full width of the table or are you using tenons to hold the ends on?
cheers
Philly :D
 
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Anonymous

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I'll be using a tongue full width.

The movement was worst case from hot and very humid summers (90%+ RH) to very dry (10%- RH) and cold winters
 

Philly

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Thats wide variance-guess you'll have to put up with it being too wide or too narrow depending on the time of year. I think there was a good article recently in Fine WW by Chris Becksvoort on wood movement-worth a look if you've got it.
regards
Philly :D
 

johnelliott

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Have you thought of not using a breadboard end? Then all you would need to do is allow for movement at the top to frame fixings. I know it's a matter of taste, but I prefer to see the end grain, makes it even more obvious that the top is solid wood, and if it should move a bit, get a bit wavy, better still, just like an old table
John
 

Aragorn

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WHW
If I use breadboards I do them exactly as you described, although I might use a stopped groove in the breadboard so that the tongue doesn't show at the edges.
I am not too enthusiastic about the "floating panel" idea you descibed. I think this has the potential to create an unwanted gap all around the panel that would be a food or dirt trap on a table top.
Even though you are using different thicknesses of timber for the main panel, I reckon a breadboard edge the same thickness as the edge timber will be fine.
IMHO
 
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Anonymous

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Leaving the end grain open isn't an option as I'm using different thickness of wood for the edges and the centre -- it would look 'interesting' to say the least. I'm just going to go ahead with the standard breadboard ends using a stopped groove as suggested. I don't expect to get the same degree of movement as I got in the US as the humidity levels in the UK are in a much narrower range, generally, except for odd days.

I selected the wood this morning from Goulden Hardwoods near Andover. Paul and Brian were VERY helpful and rough cut the pieces for me ready for planing and finishing. They have some nice stock in now, and have some beautiful and very large/thick beech if anyone is looking! Due to oak stock availability I changed my design slightly, but as a result the thin boards had to be wider and they had some really beautiful 10-11" boards with fabulous patterning. I'll be making up over the weekend and will post pictures on my website when it's done.
 
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Anonymous

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The top is almost finished - bar the fine sanding and a final oiling. After testing my stain on some scrap pieces I decided to finish with Liberon dark oak stain but to warm it up a fraction (as it dried too grey for my liking) I added two drops of pure red to one capful of stain and that enhanced the colour nicely to a deep rich brown.

Apart from my bedroom furniture, this was the largest piece I've made in my workshop and it tested the use of the space. I have now repositioned the table saw to use it as an auxilliary 'bench' and am thinking of a minor redesign to my main workbench to be able to clamp larger pieces vertically.

Some in here will be pleased to know that I did a lot of work either by hand or using the router. I invested in a #5 plane and jointed all the boards by hand after rough sizing on the table saw using a home made jig to straighten the edges. Most jointing was done in the dining room with the pieces clamped to the table as my workbench wouldn't handle them. HID was fine with me doing that - after all she paints in the living room! Gave me an excuse to refinish that table as well...

Glue-up was 'interesting' as my largest clamps are only 36" and I had 38" wide. I used ratchet tie-downs that I have for holding wood securely to my roof bars on the car. I didn't use protection strips when clamping, which added to the distressed look my customer wants.

The process I followed was:
1. Plane all boards to thickness.
2. Joint all boards square
3. Select exact patterning wanted on the main boards and cut to rough length.
4. Biscuit the 10" boards together.
5. Attach edge boards (thicker).
6. Using router, cut ends square and to length.
7. Cut breadboard ends to length.
8. Rout stopped slot in breadboard ends.
7. Using router, cut tenon on ends of table boards.
8. Attach breadboard ends - screw at centre point, two screws in slotted holes 6" from sides.
9. (This bit was fun!) smash heck out of it with big hammer, clamps, cold chisel, scredrivers and other sundry items. I was surprised how hard you have to hit oak to get any damage!! :eek:
10. Lightly sand.
11. Stain.
12. (still to do) lightly sand and apply finish oil coat.

I'm going to use "Old English Lemon Oil" for the final finish. It has little effect on colour, and smells great. Nice for a kitchen, where this table is going.

Very enjoyable project :) and profitable :D as I got a good price on the wood. If the depth adjustment on my router hadn't stuck, causing me to waste 2 hours fixing that, the whole project would have taken about 16 hours, including fetching and choosing the wood. I'm also fussy about cleanliness and tend to clean up the floor after every series of cuts...

FWIW I threw out three bags of shavings, most from the planer...

Here's a link to the picture: http://www.managementtectonics.com/wood ... iture.html

(I still can't get that Img thingy to work!)
 

Chris Knight

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Brian,

Looks like a good solid top! I think I would have preferred a slightly more glossy finish myself but that is very much a matter of personal taste of course.

Well done on the glue up without the right clamps - must have ben a bit of a facer at first!
 

dedee

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Brian are you selecting the IMG button in front and behind the URL of the image



Andy
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Chris. As I said, I haven't put on the final finish yet. The stain is water-based and I'm going to let it dry for 48 hours before I lightly sand the raised grain and then apply the final oil. No hard sanding so I leave in the distressing marks. The oil will give it a bit of gloss, but not too much. I'm still thinking of wax as an alternative -- have to call my customer for her preference. Yes the clamping was a bit of a poser for a while! HID actually came up with the answer...

Andy - I will experiment! Thanks for the tip.
 
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Anonymous

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Updated picture loaded - I couldn't wait to see how it turned out with the final finish on! The picture doesn't look true, though, as the light reflects strangely -- there's what looks like a huge hole in it, on the centre board, but this is actually a duller area caused by the grain pattern. It does look 'old' though!
 

dedee

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Brian, it certainly does look distressed. Do you have an image taken before you distressed it?

Andy
 
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Anonymous

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As I said, the picture isn't true to life, probably because of the light reflection. The surface isn't finely sanded (client's request) which has caused large areas in the photograph to look much darker than they are. Some even look like big holes, although they are simply areas that catch the light differently. That said, the client is VERY happy. It matches her old elm base and is totally in character with the rest of her furniture and old house (complete with old oak panels).

Here's the picture post-distressed but prior to staining.

http://www.managementtectonics.com/wood ... C-003F.JPG

Nomatter what I try I can't get the img and url things to work, so I just put in a link
 
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Anonymous

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Link to pic added - see previous post

BTW, the client collected the tabletop today and loves it! Exactly what she wanted. Only minor problem is matching stain to the old base, but I've given her a pot of matching stain which should do the trick.
 
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