Dining Table Build – Breadboard Pins

Back to back weeks writing about the dining table build, crazy! This week is all about drilling the holes used to pin the breadboard in place. Once again using my favorite diagram, the pins are used to hold the breadboard tight against edge of the table, while allowing the wood to expand and contract along the length.

All of the pins go through both the breadboard and tenons on the table top. The middle pin hole is sized exactly the same as the pin, locking that point in place. Then the rest of the holes are elongated along the length of the breadboard. This allows the table itself to expand and contract separately from the breadboard.

In order to drill the holes for the pins, I had to first attach both breadboards to the table top. This was not an easy process. Unfortunately, across 8 feet the breadboard was a bit warped and twisted. Something that I could have limited by cutting and installing the wood right after buying it, rather than letting it sit in my shop for weeks as I did. I also had to take a lot of time sanding the tenons to be slightly less thick, as they were an extremely tight fit from the beginning. Eventually though, after a fairly long struggle and with Allyson’s help, I was able to get both breadboards fully on the table top.

One breadboard partially installed.
After a ton of force with the mallet, both breadboards were in place.

Once the breadboards were installed I could drill through them fully to create the initial holes for the pins.

Not seen in this photo is a guide block I used on top to drill a straight hole.

The clamps were used to hold a piece of wood underneath the breadboard which helps prevent tear out. Initial holes drilled, I then had to remove each breadboard to elongate all of the holes in the tenons, except for the middle one. I did this by drilling holes on both sides of the middle hole, and then sanding to make it one smooth hole.

This photo includes the guide block I used to drill straight holes.

After finishing elongating the holes, the breadboard was ready for final installation. But because I had to transport the entire table up to Fort Collins, I left it unassembled. Final assembly will include driving oak pins through the holes I just created to hold the breadboards in place.

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