Breadboard ends

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
In the past I have used a router to cut across the grain on the table top, protecting the end from tear out several different ways. I started off cutting the groves in the end pieces using the table saw and slowly moving the fence until I reached what I wanted. I bought a Frued dail a width dado and started using it. I was about to pull out a router and start setting it up. Then I had a thought, scary. Why not use the dado set to cut the cross grain top cut. Will this work or am I missing something? I know, make a test cut. Since I am just returning to woodworking I do no have the usual stash of left over pieces to do this.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
I am unsure which cut you are talking about. The mortice in the end, or making the tenon on the main table top? If its making the tenon on the main section, it is a lot easier to move and control the router than to try to slide a large top over the table saw if its a full sized table.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Either will work but I would probably use a router. I don't love their noise or mess but I don't like manipulating big pieces on the table saw. I might use repeated cuts with my track saw to do the tenon on the top.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
What are the dims of the top? If the width is less than 1/3 the length, I would not recommend a dado. Yes, a dado can work, "but" even aside from safety, you're going to have issues pushing it across the dado accurately. Personally, I would not attempt it unless the table was practically square.

The other issue you'll have is keeping the top pressed flat against the table saw top. If there is any variation in the top, you aren't going to get a consistent cup. On the other hand, a router will follow the contour of the top.

I have done them by scribing a line, and using a down cut spiral bit/router and edge guide. Sneak up on the scribe line.

For the BB, the grooves can be done with a dado, but the mortises are best done on either a mortising machine, router, or horizontal router.

Plunge cuts on a router table are not dangerous if you set up properly. An auxiliary fence long enough so a stop block will capture the BB at its furthest mortise.

BTW, you'll find the wobble dados are somewhat lacking compared to stacked dado sets.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
It can be done with a RAS, but I’d hesitate trying to move a table across a table saw unless it were the size of a small end table.
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
An RAS is limited by its depth of cut (I have three) and the top‘s end edge needs to be clean and square using an edge guide with a router. Square that up well beforehand it would be the best way to cut the dado for your breadboards. Cut the breadboard mortise first and sneak up on the table top dado with equal cuts on both sides for the best fit. (Great excuse to buy a router, BTW)
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
You must be cutting some thick stock if you’re reaching the limits of depth of cut of your three RAS’s.

Edit: I think I misunderstood—maybe you meant forward and back stroke?


An RAS is limited by its depth of cut (I have three)
 
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Brian Patterson

Bstrom
User
You must be cutting some thick stock if you’re reaching the limits of depth of cut of your three RAS’s.

Edit: I think I misunderstood—maybe you meant forward and back stroke?
I meant across the full length of the arm. Dados are very easy to make on an RAS. I do it all the time.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
While I’ve cut dados with a RAS, a long cross grain dado would have to be a rip cut, which is pretty sketchy on. RAS, to say the least.

Unless the panel is small enough like Zach said, a router is the safest, most accurate tool for the job.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Why not use the dado set to cut the cross grain top cut. Will this work or am I missing something? I know, make a test cut. Since I am just returning to woodworking I do no have the usual stash of left over pieces to do this.
How wide will your table tops be? I've used this method for wide table tops like a dining table 36-42" wide. It keeps both cuts indexed to each other for an excellent fit of the breadboard cap.

 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
I have done this. I used a hand held router and a fence for the tenon. A router in the table for the mortise. Finished with a hand plane.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
Has anyone tried doing breadboard ends as two mortises with a loose tenon joint?

Ideal application for a Domino, but non-Domino approaches?

-Mark
 

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
Woodworking is not like riding a bicycle. I have really done some dumb things since starting back. Do not know why I decided to try and reinvent the wheel. I am going to do this the way I have always done it. I will use a hand held router with small fence attached to cut the cross grain tenon. I will use a router table with fence to cut the mortise. This a simple sofa table so it is not wide or very long. Final dimensions yet to be determined.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I have used the domino approach. I glued the main table side of the domino in place first then drilled my peg holes to create a drawbored mortise joint; glued the breadboard side in the middle only; and drove the pegs in place. It works quite well. I used much longer dominos than the gentleman in this video. It is a fast an accurate method without having to manage large pieces on a table saw or make stopped dados with a router. The router method though is also effective and fairly straight forward.
 

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