I'm watching this video as a guide on how to build my new desk tabletop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USx0Pc6grZ0.

I'm very new to woodworking and have a question about structural integrity:

Are the breadboards described in the video necessary if I am making the tabletop from maple wood?

Thanks for the help!

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    P.S. You're unlikely to find maple of decent quality in any HD anywhere in the country, although there may be localised exceptions. P.P.S. In terms of finish choice for your table there's lots and lots of info available in the previous Answers here.
    – Graphus
    Jun 29, 2020 at 7:04
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    Hi and welcome to the Woodworking StackExchange site. We are a little different than a traditional forum in that we try to stick to a searchable question and answer format. To make it searchable for future users it helps a lot if you stick to a single question per post. Jun 29, 2020 at 19:04
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    @Graphus is right, that is totally the wrong way to add breadboard ends to a tabletop. It will be very weak under the stresses a table typically sees and it will cause major issues with wood movement. It makes me sad to see this video has over half a million views... Jun 29, 2020 at 20:13
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    Please edit this question and narrow it down to a single question that will attract best answers.
    – user5572
    Jun 29, 2020 at 20:18
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    @jdv I just edited. Thanks
    – atulw
    Jun 29, 2020 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


I want to go for a natural, light look so can I use maple wood without a stain?

Yes, you can use any wood you want without stain, there is no rule that says you need to stain wood. The finish you choose can effect the color to some degree so testing on some scrap is a good idea. Every type of wood has unique characteristics, i can not list them all here.

Are the two side pieces necessary?

The breadboards do serve a function, while you could technically get away with not using them ( because of the pocket hole joinery of the other boards ) they tie all of the ends of the other boards together. If you did not tie them together then each board could/would twist and/or warp, resulting in the end of your table being uneven and wonky.

That being said, breadboards done with pocket hole joinery are not really accomplishing the structural integrity that breadboards are designed to provide.

What type of wood should I use? Home depot calls the 2x4 Maple pieces "studs", which sounds more like structural wood. Will that be okay for a desk?

You can choose any kind of wood you like based on your own criteria I.E. color, grain, hardness, stability etc. Make that decision base on your own research. Maple is an excellent choice, it is used for butcher block worktops.

It does need to be thick enough to be stable for the dimensions you choose. You may want to go to a dedicated lumber supplier instead of a home improvement center where the selection is limited. ( i would be shocked if the Home dumpo has 2x4 Maple )

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    LOL and +1 (+1000 if I could) for "Home dumpo"... Jun 28, 2020 at 22:44
  • Thanks for this information! I will definitely consider some alternatives to home depot.
    – atulw
    Jun 28, 2020 at 22:47
  • Also, where can I find maple wood?
    – atulw
    Jun 29, 2020 at 3:00
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    @atulw check your Yellow Pages (uh, er... I mean search the internet) for a local place called a "sawmill" or "lumber yard". Throw out all the results that sell things that aren't wood. If you're in the US, some of the dedicated woodworking stores will stock some lumber among all the tools, but even if they don't they'll be able to direct you to the lumber suppliers in your area.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 29, 2020 at 11:58

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