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How to fit your table top with a "Breadboard" edge!
2/10/02

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Making a bread Board edge on your table top is really not that difficult. Most of these are just cut off flush with the edge of the table, some are "blind", that is you can't see the tongue and groove fron the side. Mine will be a mitered bread board edge. A little more planning but still possible for the novice with the proper tools.


In this pic I'm making a 1/2"dado in the center of the edge stock. Do this by putting a dadeo blade in your table saw narrower than your desired finished cut. Set up your fence so you'll plow out a section "about" in the middle. Then turn the piece end for end and run it thru again. Measure, and if you need to be wider, move the fence closer to the blade just a bit. Run your stock, flip it again and run it again. This flippin assures the groove is exactly in the middle! 
Keep moving the fence and flippin the stock till you get your desired gap. You don't have to be perfect, the hard part will be making the tenon fit the groove!
To cut the tenon, I chucked a 3/4" straight cutting bit in my router and set the depth for 1/4". I measured the width of the tenon i wanted, minus 1/32", and added the distance between the blade on the bit and the edge of the router. This is where i set up the fence.
It's important to add a scrap of wood to the right hand side, wherre the bit will exit the wood. This prevents tear out.
This piece is actually some cut off from the bread board edge. Split it in 2 and it becomes a handy measuring device for checking the depth of your rout.
 

Feather Board

 
Table Featherboard
Table Featherboard


Straight Router Bit
Straight Router Bit


36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps
36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps


See my Ride: 1600 Vulcan Crusier
You can also use it to lay out your work. 
It's important that the top and bottom are the same. But if you have to play around a little with the fit, the top side should be perfect. Remember you can always shorten the tenon by a 1/16" if you rout in too far. 
The bread board edge is cut long, and will be mitered to fit the front piece. This way, no end grain will show. But these side pieces, where the grain is perpendicular to the top, will only be glued near the front for about 5". The rest will be held with hard wood pins, drilled from below so they don't show on the top. 
This is the front being glued back onto the bench. No need for a tounge and groove joint here as the grain patterns are parralel.
Biscuit above and below the mortise in the bread board edge will keep the 45 degree joint tight. 
4'' Steel Engineer Square
4'' Steel Engineer Square


Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557
Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557


Plate Joinery Biscuits
Plate Joinery Biscuits


Now the top will swell along it's width as it reacts to humidity. The bread board edge is only glued the first 5" closest to the 45 degree joint. The rest is held in place with dowels. Drill the dowel holes from the bottom, being careful not to go thru the top. Then take the edge off and elongate the holes in the tenon so the dowel can move front to back in the hole.
This also means the back of the desk  willshow the results of the swelling and contracting.
But since this is going to be built in against a wall I'm not too concerned.

After stain and finish. Almost perfect!

Hmmmmm..... a new top for my work bench????

General Finishes Wood Stain
General Finishes Wood Stain


General Finishes Urethane Topcoat
General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat


 
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