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UAB_DAWG

Rustic Outdoor Table

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Hey everyone,

First time posting in the forum. I did a search for this question but wasn't able to find an answer. I do apologize if it's been discussed before. Anyways, I'm working on the rustic outdoor table and I'm considering joinery for the breadboard ends. The original plan was to use a tongue and groove joint with drawbored pins but I saw a photo of the same project using T&G on lumberjocks and the ends of the breadboard were terribly warped so I'm a little scared to go that route. My other thought was to use a haunched mortise and tenon joint that was also pinned. This seems like pretty common joinery for breadboards but again I'm worried about curling and warping at the ends. Also, I think I'd have a tough time making the tenons long enough with my setup which is why I planned on the T&G originally. My other thought was to use a stopped tongue and groove joint. This would remove the lap joints at the end and solve the warping problem but I'm worried that the amount of material I'd have to remove from the ends of the tenon to account for expansion. If this is an acceptable solution, how much relief would you guys recommend between the tenon and end of the stopped groove/mortise. Also would I run into problems with such a long tenon? Would my pins blow out with this type of construction? I live in Alabama so I have a lot of seasonal moisture changes to account for.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm pretty open to anything at this point since I haven't started cutting the joinery yet.

 

Edit: After reviewing the original photo I notice the grain direction of the breadboard. Would a straight grain board be enough to safely reduce the risk of using the T&G method?

 pb9byq7.jpg

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Yea, straight grain is a good idea and I think mortis and tenon with a pin will work.  I think were the table you have pictured went wrong was a tongue a grove that was open on the ends allowing weather to get in.  It doesn't look like it was a good fit to begin with, tooks like it was happy to begin with.  And the grain choice.

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I would go with the draw bore technique, I used this for the first time on a live edge coffee table it was way less daunting then I thought the only glue was on the very ends of the dowel just before I drove them the last little bit you will have to drill the dowel holes through the bread board first then clamp the bread board end onto the table press the drill bit through the dowel holes to mark the center of the dowels onto the tenons I drilled the holes 1/32" back towards the table from the marked centers the holes on the out side I elongated laterally to allow wood movement center hole is not elongated make your dowels long enough to put a taper on the ends to get started in the hole then drive them through the bread board ends and tenon until the taper comes through the bottom of bread board put a little glue around the top of the dowel then drive it in enough to glue it into the bread board. 

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I used loose tenons to make tenons and haunches be cause the length of the table was 5' I stood the table on the ends and used a jig (it is sitting on top of the table in the first photo) and my hand held router with bushing.

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1 hour ago, UAB_DAWG said:

 pb9byq7.jpg

Welcome!

Ok now re the picture something is really wrong here how on earth did that joint ever fit together? Was the table made with wet lumber? That is a lot of shrinkage for what it is. The bread board is tight on inside edge yet a 1/4" short on the outside edge 

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Guys, thanks for the feedback. Sounds like the mortise and tenons are the way to go. The problem is my table is going to be about 8' long with the breadboards attached so turning the table on end with a jig for a loose tenon method is going to be a challenge. It's also going to require me to buy a new router bit. I was thinking 2" is an appropriate length. Can I get by with 1 1/2" on a 6" breadboard? I think I could make an integral tenon work but again, tenon length is my only challenge here.

Alternatively, does anyone have a suggestion for cutting the mortises in the table top horizontally?

 

Higtron, great table. Now you've got me considering a contrasting wood species for my BB ends.

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7 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Welcome!

Ok now re the picture something is really wrong here how on earth did that joint ever fit together? Was the table made with wet lumber? That is a lot of shrinkage for what it is. The bread board is tight on inside edge yet a 1/4" short on the outside edge 

I wondered the same thing. This was just something I came across on lumberjocks that scared the mess out of me. It's possible this could be attributed to poor joinery and leaving this table out in a rainstorm. So I could be stressing over nothing but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. My deck is not covered but I plan on coming up with a waterproof cover for the table when it's not in use.

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4 minutes ago, UAB_DAWG said:

Guys, thanks for the feedback. Sounds like the mortise and tenons are the way to go. The problem is my table is going to be about 8' long with the breadboards attached so turning the table on end with a jig for a loose tenon method is going to be a challenge. It's also going to require me to buy a new router bit. I was thinking 2" is an appropriate length. Can I get by with 1 1/2" on a 6" breadboard? I think I could make an integral tenon work but again, tenon length is my only challenge here.

Alternatively, does anyone have a suggestion for cutting the mortises in the table top horizontally?

 

Higtron, great table. Now you've got me considering a contrasting wood species for my BB ends.

FYI Matt Cremona made a farm house outdoor table with BB ends and it sits outside might want to chk that build out. I've been to his place a couple of times and it seems to be holding up well.

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Standing the table on end was just the method I used on my coffee table on a rustic table that went out doors I would cut the cheeks of  my tenons  and haunches with a hand held router and straight bit using a straight edge to get a perfect cheek you could do this working the 8' top off of saw horses or bench. I was just trying to make a case for the draw boring technique. Good luck with the table!

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BTW I think the reason the bread board end curled up at the end in the photo was because the mortise went all the way across the top I would stop the mortise  an 1" or 2" from the edges which would keep that curling issue from happening.

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I would do a draw bore M&T. If getting long enough tenons is an issue maybe practice a new method? The length of the tenon is one of the benefits in breadboard ends to keep the end from getting too squirmy.

Also like stated above I'd stop the mortise before it gets to the end as well. You want to prevent moisture from getting into the joint and causing the wood in there to expand and contract.

I may be radical and suggest not using the breadboard ends. Except for aesthetics they are generally used in situations where they aren't needed.

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Awesome feedback guys. If i could nix the breadboard ends I would but the wife says they are a must. If I use 6" wide boards for the BBs what would y'all suggest for tenon length? 1 1/2" gets me done without having to buy a new router bit but if I need to go longer, I can always use an excuse to buy something new :D

The only other breadboard ends I've done were on a dresser but the top was fully supported by the dresser carcass so I didn't need to worry about support.

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I actually have done both these methods with success.  Personally, I prefer the mortise and tenon as the tongue and groove with the open ends of the groove lend its self to several failures, one of which is demonstrated in the picture above.  Part of the key is good and careful fit.  The other is that the holes through the tenons for the pegs should be elongated in the direction of expansion - cross grain on the tenons, parallel to the grain in the breadboard end.  It doesn't take much, make the hole oversize by about an eighth, a sixteenth to either side of the peg.

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It is the wood! I live in Florida. High humidity. Lots of mold and mildew. The only reasonable choice is wester red cedar. Almost as soft as cardboard.(not quite) But it holds up to the weather. Avoid sap wood and the center pith. I get the widest boards. Whether I'm working in4/4 or 8/4. I waste the center of the tree. Check the end of the boards and avoid the center rings. Pass on that board. And if you insist on outdoor joinery then dry them out a few months. Or it will shrink and crack.

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A recent project. A cedar bench for my rain barrel. For out door stuff I use stainless steel screws and let them show. I leave space between the top boards for drainage and shrinkage. I ripped up 2 x 10's. Best wood.

 

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One option for the M&T: Use a router with an elongated baseplate, a top-bearing pattern bit (or a baseplate collar) and a wide-ish piece of ply as a straightedge. Mill away the ends of the table top from each side to form the long integral tenons. The long baseplate across the wide ply straightedge keeps the router rock stable and in a consistent plane. Counterweights on the back of the baseplate help.

As for deeper mortises, use the router as deep as the bit you have, then finish the bottom with a chisel and/or drill.  It doesn't need to be pretty.

For a 6" breadboard, I'd want at least 2" of depth on the tenons. 

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