A Square Deal (11)

A hot and humid day, with thunderstorms in late afternoon. I spent the morning tweaking the drawing and refining the joinery details for the breadboard end connections. I wanted to have the wrinkles ironed out before doing any more cut out.

Satisfied with the arrangements, at least on paper, I headed to the shop to continue the cut processing. Last post I described the cut out of the tenon blade from the end of the table top slab. Today’s task was to define the tenons themselves, of which there are three on each end. Running between them is a long stub tenon, or tongue if you prefer that term. The stub tenon portion improves registration between the end of the table slab and the breadboard end, and reinforces the tenons at the same time. Generally speaking, the more surface area you can wrap up into a joint, the better, provided that the cut-out is accurate and leads to a good registration of surfaces when fitted up.

I marked out the stub tenons and full tenons on the tenon blade, and after a moment or two to reflect upon the scene, making sure the layout was correct, I proceeded into the sawing:

Trimming the end portions off was the easy part. The webs between the tenons however were another story. The slab is too big and heavy – not to mention unwieldy -to conveniently offer up to the bandsaw, so I elected to get out the azebiki and make the cuts that way:

These saws are meant to cut in narrow spaces and to start cuts in the middle of panels, however cutting through 1/2″ of bubinga was a big ask. No teeth were lost, which is good as it is a Miyano saw, and those ain’t made any more.

A while later, the saw emerged out the backside:

I cleared enough space so I could get in there with my ryoba again:

One down:

Onto the next one:

One side now done:

A while later the other end of the slab is brought to the same stage:

I kept the cuts slightly proud of the line, intending to trim to the mark afterwards. Towards that end, he-he, I set up the slab vertically with the machined metal angle iron edge guides clamped up:

I planed a couple of blocks of wood to serve as a running surface for the router.

First off I trimmed the end grain of the tenons:

That was followed by the stub tenon portions:

Checking the length achieved on the stub tenon after trimming – target was 0.75″:

A little blurry there with the pic. It really wasn’t critical with these parts that I be that accurate, and hitting the number was more happenstance than a deliberate act, but I’ll take it when I can get it. Plus or minus a hundredth would have been fine.

Once the tenons end faces and edges were trimmed all around, I could proceed to chamfering the tenon arrises with chisel and plane:

All done through this stage:

Another view:

There’s more cut out yet to come on these, but that is the bulk of it. The table top remains quite flat, so I’m feeling relieved about that. Each time I do cut out work on this rare and costly piece of material I am slightly paranoid and take a lot of care to ensure no mistakes. So far so good, knock on wood.

Next I’ll turn my attention to the breadboard ends themselves. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more thrills and spills in this two-table build. On to post 12.

6 thoughts on “A Square Deal (11)

  1. Chris;
    How are you today?Love the Miyano saw.When and where did you acquire the azabiki(I think)?It seems set up takes much longer than the task its self.Pics look good! Keep up the excellent description and detail!Have a good day and drive safe!!

  2. J.T.,

    set up often takes 90% of the time. The cutting goes pretty quick.

    I bought the Miyano azebiki in 2003 or so, when he was still alive and making saws. I use it sparingly.


  3. Hi Chris, looking good as usual. I've done a number of breadboards but never with the “double interlocking” feature along the length. What force is this engineered to oppose?

    Harlan Barnhart

  4. Harlan,

    thanks for the comment. it took me a moment to understand your question, however I believe it is in reference to the tongue and groove, yes? If so, the force it is designed to resist is that of the breadboard end's potential wood movement. The breadboard end will be dadoed along it's length, and cutting it that way promotes a certain tendency to open up when shrinking and swelling. If you consider the section of the breadboard to be like the letter 'C', then the tongue and grooves are intended to keep the 'C' shape closed, and not to open wider. If it opened up, there would be a surface discontinuity between the breadboard and the table slab, which would be readily felt.


Anything to add?