01 April 2019

31 Mar 2019 Breadboard Ends


After I glued-up the top panel, I cut the end caps to the correct width and length. I had planned to make the end caps 1/16” thicker and ⅛” longer than the tabletop to create a slight little shadow line on top and on each side. I think this would be a nice feature, but I knew my customer was going to use this piece a lot for serving so I decided against creating an edge. Then I cut a ⅜” wide mortise 1 1/16” deep centered on the edge of the inside of the end cap. To make this moritise, I used my table saw, but a spiral upcut bit in a router table taking several small passes would also work.

With the mortise cut, I moved back to the top panel and cut the tenons. I used a plunge router with a large diameter pattern bit. Setting the depth to get exactly a ⅜” tenon in the center of the panel took some trial and error, so I used a scrap piece from the cut-off of the panel to get the setting correct. Once the bit was set at the correct depth, I took several passes until I had a 1” tenon. With each pass, I moved a straight edge in until I reached the 1” mark. To allow the top to expand and contract with humidity changes, I cut the ends of the tenon off with a jigsaw and handsaw flush with the shoulders.

Normally, mortise and tenon joinery is glued together, but if the end caps were glued to the top panel of the table, they wouldn’t allow for any wood movement. So for my buffet, I used pins. I pinned the mortise and tenon joints by drilling a hole through both pieces stopping just before I go completely through the bottom of the panel. Finally, I added one more step to allow the panel to move; I elongate all the holes in the tenon (except the center one) before driving in the dowels. This allows the panel to expand out in both directions, while the center pin anchors the end cap to the panel. I even put a bit of glue on the center dowel for stability. Then I drove in a short length of dowel and trimmed it flush with the top surface. For a unique accent, I added paduk splines to this project.