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"Vanity" breadboard ends

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Snettymakes

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I pilfered some old oak cabinet doors from a work colleague which I have processed into a modest collection of strip wood and small panels. He had previously asked about the practicality of making a toy box for his son and I talked him through the process of MDF faker shaker construction and options for a nice wooden top.

Guilt over the quantity of walnut that I took off his hands has kicked in and now I'm making the toy box for him. We have decided to use the oak reclaimed from the doors for the lid, I always think it's a nice story if materials have had a previous life (and I'm certainly not giving up any of my walnut 😂). Unfortunately my modest yield is going to dictate the size of the lid, and therefore the box.

It's just about viable but I'd like to eek out as much as I can. I have sufficient width, with a couple of left over pieces that I could use to extend the length as "breadboard ends", however the thickness and width of the stock doesn't seem sufficient to create tenons for the breadboards to anchor to sufficiently. I wondering about just creating a rebate and groove and gluing them on.

My question is, for a limited size glue up, how much do I still need to worry about wood movement? If it's a bad idea, does anybody have any better ways of attaching the "breadboards" or should I just abandon the idea and live with a shorter box?
 

NickM

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I pilfered some old oak cabinet doors from a work colleague which I have processed into a modest collection of strip wood and small panels. He had previously asked about the practicality of making a toy box for his son and I talked him through the process of MDF faker shaker construction and options for a nice wooden top.

Guilt over the quantity of walnut that I took off his hands has kicked in and now I'm making the toy box for him. We have decided to use the oak reclaimed from the doors for the lid, I always think it's a nice story if materials have had a previous life (and I'm certainly not giving up any of my walnut 😂). Unfortunately my modest yield is going to dictate the size of the lid, and therefore the box.

It's just about viable but I'd like to eek out as much as I can. I have sufficient width, with a couple of left over pieces that I could use to extend the length as "breadboard ends", however the thickness and width of the stock doesn't seem sufficient to create tenons for the breadboards to anchor to sufficiently. I wondering about just creating a rebate and groove and gluing them on.

My question is, for a limited size glue up, how much do I still need to worry about wood movement? If it's a bad idea, does anybody have any better ways of attaching the "breadboards" or should I just abandon the idea and live with a shorter box?
How much thickness/width do you have to play with?
 

profchris

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My ukuleles, with soundboard width under 6 inches, move enough that I have to allow for expansion in the construction. Of course, they are very thin, but I'd guess a toy box is at least 12 inches wide, which I'd say means potentially expansion of up to 1/4 inch (in practice, less because indoors tends to have more stable humidity). More likely is that you glue up at workshop humidity, but the toy box lives near a radiator, and so dries out, shrinks and cracks.

Couldn't you just rout both top and breadboard end for a floating tenon, but then glue the tenon into the top?
 

Pete Maddex

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I have done that on a table I used an 18mm plywood tongue, but for a toybox 6-9mm would be fine.

Pete
 

Cheshirechappie

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It's quite feasible to mortice even fairly thin stock. The sides of Canterburys (the antique magazine rack type things) had sides and dividers of 3/8" (10mm) stock or thereabouts, mortice-and-tenoned together - so mortices of about 1/8" (3mm) thick. The internal lids on an vintage writing slope in family possession are framed with mortices and tenons in stock of less than 1/2" thick. Mortice chisels of 1/8" and 3/16" are not as common as 1/4" and 5/16", but they can certainly be found. I've even seen the occasional 1/16" mortice chisel offered (though collectors usually pay good money for those).

The downside is the need to acquire a special chisel of a size not often used, or perhaps a router cutter if machine methods are preferred. It's not really a good plan to try to sink even a fairly shallow mortice with a thin bench or bevel-edged chisel, so the special tool really is needed, and that may be judged a bit spendy for a one-off job. It's certainly possible, though.
 

Snettymakes

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How much thickness/width do you have to play with?
18mm or less.

Thanks for all the replies, it seems like my main concern was the lack of thickness, and that doesn’t sound like a problem so I’ll go hunting for a mortising router bit thin enough and see where I go from there.
 

NickM

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18mm or less.

Thanks for all the replies, it seems like my main concern was the lack of thickness, and that doesn’t sound like a problem so I’ll go hunting for a mortising router bit thin enough and see where I go from there.
18mm should be fine for breadboard ends. You can have a 1/4" mortise/tenon and plenty either side. It's actually ideal as it complies with the "rule" of thirds!

The lid for the box below is done that way and is 18mm.

(I'm sure you know this already, but (assuming you want the movement of the panel to be from the centre) the outer two mortises need to be oversized and the holes for the pegs need to be elongated. The central tenon and peg can and should fit tightly. Only the central tenon is glued. All pegs can be glued, but, on the outer tenons, it's best if the peg is only glued in the breadboard end and not in the tenon. I tend to tap the peg in a bit and then put some glue around it before tapping it the rest of the way in. That should draw the glue in but not all the way through.)

IMG_7939.jpeg
IMG_7940.jpeg

IMG_7936.jpeg
 
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glenfield2

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18mm or less.

Thanks for all the replies, it seems like my main concern was the lack of thickness, and that doesn’t sound like a problem so I’ll go hunting for a mortising router bit thin enough and see where I go from there.
Out of curiosity what was the ‘faker Shaker’ construction you spoke of in the OP? Sounds like it might suit a novice like me.
 

Snettymakes

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Out of curiosity what was the ‘faker Shaker’ construction you spoke of in the OP? Sounds like it might suit a novice like me.
Stick 6mm mdf on to an otherwise "plain" mdf box to create the raised look of rails and stiles (hopefully I'm using the correct term there).

Plenty of YouTube videos on it, Peter Millard has one here Shaker-style doors in MDF [video 405]
 

Snettymakes

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18mm should be fine for breadboard ends. You can have a 1/4" mortise/tenon and plenty either side. It's actually ideal as it complies with the "rule" of thirds!

The lid for the box below is done that way and is 18mm.

(I'm sure you know this already, but (assuming you want the movement of the panel to be from the centre) the outer two mortises need to be oversized and the holes for the pegs need to be elongated. The central tenon and peg can and should fit tightly. Only the central tenon is glued. All pegs can be glued, but, on the outer tenons, it's best if the peg is only glued in the breadboard en
18mm should be fine for breadboard ends. You can have a 1/4" mortise/tenon and plenty either side. It's actually ideal as it complies with the "rule" of thirds!

The lid for the box below is done that way and is 18mm.

(I'm sure you know this already, but (assuming you want the movement of the panel to be from the centre) the outer two mortises need to be oversized and the holes for the pegs need to be elongated. The central tenon and peg can and should fit tightly. Only the central tenon is glued. All pegs can be glued, but, on the outer tenons, it's best if the peg is only glued in the breadboard end and not in the tenon. I tend to tap the peg in a bit and then put some glue around it before tapping it the rest of the way in. That should draw the glue in but not all the way through.)

View attachment 97184View attachment 97185
View attachment 97187
d and not in the tenon. I tend to tap the peg in a bit and then put some glue around it before tapping it the rest of the way in. That should draw the glue in but not all the way through.)

View attachment 97184View attachment 97185
View attachment 97187
thank you for this, it's exactly what I needed to hear. Your lid is approximate to what I intend to make, so that gives me lots of confidence.

I would prefer a stopped dado on the breadboard ends, presumably I'd just need to leave the tenon a little short of the stopped dado to allow for expansion at different rates?
 

Cabinetman

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Yes that’s right, just mention Americans say dado, we call it a groove when it goes with the grain as in your breadboard end and a housing when it goes across the grain.
A dado to Europeans is a bit of wood on a wall as in a dado rail, Italian in origin I think. Ian
 

NickM

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thank you for this, it's exactly what I needed to hear. Your lid is approximate to what I intend to make, so that gives me lots of confidence.

I would prefer a stopped dado on the breadboard ends, presumably I'd just need to leave the tenon a little short of the stopped dado to allow for expansion at different rates?
Yes, that sounds right to me.
 

Snettymakes

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The downside is the need to acquire a special chisel of a size not often used, or perhaps a router cutter if machine methods are preferred. It's not really a good plan to try to sink even a fairly shallow mortice with a thin bench or bevel-edged chisel, so the special tool really is needed, and that may be judged a bit spendy for a one-off job. It's certainly possible, though.
I have a 4mm mortise chisel, assuming a 6mm mortise (18/3), presumably that would be adequate?.. or am I better using a chisel that is sized to the correct mortise width?

I have no experience with chiseling out mortises (I prefer to lean on the accuracy of power tools), I will practice some and cross my fingers more :D.

I do have a 6mm uncut spiral bit, I might see whether I can get sufficient accuracy with my router.
 

Snettymakes

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Yes that’s right, just mention Americans say dado, we call it a groove when it goes with the grain as in your breadboard end and a housing when it goes across the grain.
A dado to Europeans is a bit of wood on a wall as in a dado rail, Italian in origin I think. Ian
Hah, a hazard of learning most of my theory from American TV and YouTube. It's good to know and use the correct terminology, particularly when trying to communicate asynchronously like this 👍🏼
 

NickM

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It will be much easier to make the mortise with the right size chisel. You might get away with a 4mm mortise and tenon but if your boards are 18mm I think 6mm is going to be better.
 

Snettymakes

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It will be much easier to make the mortise with the right size chisel. You might get away with a 4mm mortise and tenon but if your boards are 18mm I think 6mm is going to be better.
right you are!

Wife! NickM said I absolutely need a 6mm chisel, I can't use anything I've got, I absolutely have to buy a new chisel. I know, I know, I'm sad that I have to spend money on tools too, but it is what it is 🤷🏼‍♂️.
 

NickM

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As long as she doesn't enquire about my knowledge in these matters, that sounds fine! There are others on here whose opinion would carry a lot more weight!
 
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