Practice a centuries-old technique on this small contemporary piece.
by David Picciuto
Found on everything from refined 18th-century highboys to muscled Arts & Crafts tables, breadboard ends are a handsome and time-tested way to prevent wooden panels from warping over time. Correctly made, breadboard ends not only keep panels flat, but also allow them to expand and contract with seasonal (or other) changes in humidity.
Key to successful breadboard ends are the pins that join the tongue of the panel to the groove on the end piece. For this application, the center pin is fixed in both the panel and end, but the outer pins are installed in elongated holes that allow the panel to move freely with shifts in humidity. But other breadboard ends, such as those found on a drop-front desk, for example, feature fixed pins on one end to force expansion and contraction to happen on the unhinged edge.
This small cutting board is a great project on which to get started with breadboard ends, and it features a modern look with its use of contrasting woods.
Podcast: Listen to the “Making It” podcast with David Picciuto, Jimmy DiResta and Bob Clagett.
Blog: Read “Breadboard Ends: Why & How” on our website.
Video: Learn how to make breadboard ends using a router, free on our website.
In Our Store: “Make Your Own Cutting Boards: Smart Projects and Stylish Designs for a Hands-On Kitchen,” by David Picciuto.
In Our Store: “The Woodworker’s Kitchen,” by A.J. Hamler.