I recently made a dining room table with breadboard ends.   I took some photos of the process for those of you interested in how it is done.  You can do these with power tools, but it is a simple thing to do with had tools as well.


I start by cutting the table ends to shape, then defining the tenons.  I use a rebate plane and a router plane to get the tenon thickness dialed in.   I left a 3/4″ long tenon nearly the entire length of the table, stopping approximately 1″ from each end, then formed  3 longer tenons to support the breadboard ends.   Mark the  end board from the tenons, leaving enough play to account for wood movement ( 1/4″ on each side in this case), then move on to chopping the mortises.

Laying out and chopping the mortises.    Layout with a square and a mortise or marking gauge, then start in the middle of the deeper mortises.  Cut a v shape to start, then define the mortises  edges after full depth has been achieved.


Once you have the deeper mortises done, you then cut the long  mortise .   I did this one with a mortise chisel,  then cleaned up with a router plane.

I like to use a drawbore approach to keep the end board tight to the table.  Drill holes in the bread board end.  These are 5/16″ holes.  Then slide the breadboard end over the tenons.  Use a transfer punch to mark the hole locations.  Remark the holes about 1/16th of an inch closer to the table center than the transfer punch marks.  Drill the holes, then elongate them with a rasp.

Make yourself some dowel pins if you don’t have an appropriate sized dowel.  Simply cut a slightly oversize square, then pare down until its mostly rounded.     Dome or point the ends of the dowels. Make sure to test them in a scrap piece with the same sized hole drilled in it.  This helps guide the pins through the holes, since they are offset.

This shows the offset though the holes.  It is a little much for this 1 1/8″ top, so use the rasp to get the offset close if you somehow got the offset a little off.

I neglected to get pictures of the assembly phase, but it is pretty simple.   Glue only the center tenon, tap the breadboard end in,  apply a small amount of glue to the pegs, then lightly drive in the pegs.


Wait until the glue sets, then trim the pegs flush, sand, finish and you’re done!