Power-tool Joinery: Breadboard Ends Keep Tops Flat

This traditional joint ensures the only cup on your tabletop will have coffee in it.
By Bill Hylton
Pages: 78-80

From the October 2006 issue #157
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The breadboard end is a traditional device for preventing a broad panel such as a tabletop from cupping. It is a narrow strip of wood that runs across the end of the main panel. Obviously, it must be attached in a way that allows the panel to expand and contract. But it also must be attached in a way that won’t allow the panel to cup without forcing the strip to bow. This means there’s got to be some form of interlock.

You should be aware of the aesthetic. The breadboard’s length won’t vary, but the width of the panel will. It may turn out that the only time the two dimensions match is when you construct the tabletop. Thereafter, you’ll have an endlessly varying difference. Get used to it. (If you want the look but can’t accept this quirk, use plywood for the panel and glue on the breadboard end!)

From the October 2006 issue #157
Buy this issue now