Breadboard end joints are used in woodworking projects to join two boards together to create a working surface or join two pieces of wood together for purposes of fastening or gluing. The common term for breadboard end joints is bobbins. The joint is intended to prevent a wooden panel from cupping as well as allowing it to contract and expand along the grain against changes in atmospheric pressure. The breadboard ends are basically long rails which are mortise-and-tenon’d to accept tenon fittings on the edges of the board.
Mortise-and-tenon joints are extremely strong due to the presence of a large area of solid wood. Due to this feature, a small Nick in the woodwork can greatly increase the overall strength of the piece. When purchasing a wooden breadboard end, it is a good idea to purchase a few extra fittings, especially if you anticipate building more furniture. In addition, when planning your project, make sure that you buy a piece of wood that will fit the breadboard end you intend to use. Sometimes it’s difficult to measure the correct size holes for the tenons, since they can vary depending on the diameter of your woodworking project and the diameter of the hole drilled.
To ensure proper installation of your tenon pieces, take out all the screws from the panel and set the panel on a solid workbench. Drill straight into the board at several places, securing each row with a screw. You should have about twelve holes for tenon fittings.
Use the supplied tenon grinder to grind away excess panel tenons, and tap the grinder on the wooden board to get the sharp end into its slot. You may need to sand the edges before fitting the tenon grinder into the grooves. Insert one or two dowels into the grooves provided on the end of each panel and fasten them with screws to hold the panel tenons in place. Fasten panel tenons onto the tenon grinder with a tenon pin, then turn the screw counterclockwise to tighten the nuts.
If you intend to build a drawer, first attach the side panel to the tenon grinder with a twenty-four-inch-long piece of wood. The tenon should be positioned in the upper right hand corner of the frame, against the wall. Fasten panel grinder to the frame with twenty-four inch screws, and then turn the screws clockwise to secure the tenon to the frame. This will give you a strong framework for your drawer. Now attach the side panel to the tenon by running it up the left side of the frame.
As for the remaining panel tenons, you can use either the face plate screws or the edge guide grinder to joint them together. Use the edge guide as a guide so that you know where to drill the holes for the tenon joints, and then attach them using your twenty-four inch nails. Drill a series of six or eight holes in the tenon, and then use your edge guide to hold them together. Fasten the tenon grinder to the frame by screwing them together, and then turn the screws counterclockwise to tighten them.
One last way to join the tenon grinder to the frame is through the use of a mortise and tenon mill. The mortise and tenon mill will allow you to make tenons to exact measurements for your breadboard panels. This is a great option because it eliminates the need to guess at how much each hole should be, which will give you an incorrect joint. You can also use the mill to mill long and wide mortises in order to create larger holes.
In summary, if you are serious about your home project, you should seriously consider joining your breadboard end panels. They can add incredible value to your overall home design when used correctly. You should also consider adding a wood-based caulk to the joints as a seal, since this is one of the most common causes of premature wood rot. With these simple tips, you can create the perfect joints for your new breadboard end cover.