I’ve been planning to build a farm style table for our patio. If I join the top boards using pocket screws + titebond III and attach the top to the base using angle brackets with wide slots, will I be ok as far as expansion and buckling? Wife would rather not have gaps between the boards. I will be staining and applying a good amount of spar urethane to the top while the base will be painted. My wife wants bread board ends as well.

Wood will be top will be 5 - 2x8 framing timbers from local lumberyard.

This is the inspiration for the table - enter image description here http://www.ana-white.com/woodworking-projects/farmhouse-table-updated-pocket-hole-plans?epik=dj0yJnU9cmNYNTF2T1p3RXdxVHhNSl8wX1NyM1B3VVRraTBuYUgmbj1PNS1YdkJJbTdUTnhSTXYyeXhCRU5BJm09MyZ0PUFBQUFBRnpJd09v

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    I suggest that the breadboards be longer than the width of the table to absorb expansion. There is an important design to breadboards to accommodate differential movement, so you cannot pocket screw the top to the breadboard. I suggest you do a little research on how they are made if you have not built them before.
    – Ashlar
    Apr 30 '19 at 23:27
  • "My wife wants bread board ends as well." Be sure to attach the 'breadboard ends' correctly if you must include them..... as a rule of thumb this generally means not doing it the way they're shown on Ana White!
    – Graphus
    May 1 '19 at 8:14
  • Wow, yeah...the way that site is showing you to do breadboard ends is totally incorrect. Your table is going to blow itself apart if you just glue and screw the breadboards onto the rest of the tabletop. If you just screw them on without glue it might allow enough movement to survive, but it won't accomplish the purpose of keeping the top flat. I can't believe that they'd publish a design that poorly thought-out. May 1 '19 at 18:25
  • Also, it looks like they're attaching the top to the aprons with pocket holes. This won't allow movement of the top across its width. These plans are terrible and show a total lack of understanding of the basic properties of wood. May 1 '19 at 18:28
  • Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t planning on using the pocket holes to hold the top to the base. I was going to use angle brackets with slots. I’ll modify commercially available brackets if I can’t find what I need. I’ll be sure to look further into breadboard ends as well.
    – Steve
    May 2 '19 at 0:10

As long as the slots in your angle brackets are perpendicular to the grain of the top they should allow the top to expand and contract.


I think you have a problem with the planned environment. On a patio it's going to get rained on regularly. The temperature is going to vary a lot too. And you're using SPF lumber, which when you buy it is often wet enough to squirt at you when you nail it.

This sort of table is tricky to do well when used in an indoor environment.

While not nearly as rustic and cool, consider making the top of marine plywood. Route pin lines in the surface to make faux boards. Finish is done with a Tromp l'oeil finish with streaks for grain.

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