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I am either making two benches and a table OR adding to my scrap pile. Regardless, I would like to know how far apart to space the holes for the table top or bench tops. I am using 2.x 4's for the bench and the boards are 41" long, then I"ll add an breadboard to each end. The table top is aprox. 63" long. The long boards will be slightly less then 48" (i am splitting 3 - 2 x 8 and 1 - 2 x 10 in half, so will square the ends off as skinny as I can, then cut the remaining piece in half) anyhow...they will be slightly less then 48 and will have 2.x 8's as the bread boards on each end. Not sure why they are called bread boards.

For the tabletop  I'll be alternating the 2 x 8's with the 2 x 10s (5 pieces total) What should the spacing be for the pocket holes on the longer pieces? and on the three center boards of the 5, do I only pocket hole on one side to the next board, or should there also be a couple coming from the board I am going into. what about the two end boards, or breadboards?

did that make any sense?

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Hi Debora,

As a general rule when gluing panels, we recommend a screw about 2" from each end, and then screws spaced every 6" to 8" along the rest of the board length. You can put screws just in one side of each joint. You'll find this information on your SkillBuilder DVD under the "Edge Joining" section.

I'd probably follow the same spacing for adding the breadboard ends. One thing to note: I'm not sure if you're gluing boards together or not. If so, on the breadboards I'd add glue near the center of panel, but not at the ends. That's because the boards in the main part of the panel will expand and contract in width some due to seasonal humidity changes. The breadboard ends, though, won't expand and contract in length. So, by just screwing on the breadboard ends or by gluing them just at the center and using only screws on the rest, the wood movement wont cause cracks, splits, etc.

If you're using 2x4s (1-1/2" actual thickness) you should have your jig set for 1-1/2" thickness, the drill bit stop collar at the position for 1-1/2" stock, and assemble the joint with 2-1/2" screws, as detailed in your Quick Start Guide booklet.

The breadboard term comes from the original construction. Bread boards were traditionally built with boards at the end positioned 90 degrees to the rest of the panel. That way it was easy to cut holes for carrying handles, etc. So, today when we build a table top that way, it gets referred to as a breadboard-style top, or a top with breadboard ends.


Forgot to say, the breadboard ends also helped to keep the panel flat (and still do). With a breadboard that got hot, moist bread placed on it, there was a tendency for the panel to bow. The breadboard ends, running crossways, help keep the panel flat. That's not as big of a deal with the table top or bench top, since it will be attached to the base. In these applications, a breadboard end is more of an aesthetic choice.


Thank you for all that. I love hearing how something became what it is. Right now, I am still trying to figure out how to square up the table, as when I measure crossways, its about 1" different. I am pushing the corners with the  help of my hubby, but would love to do it with no help. I think I'm going to dig around for one of the ratchet straps we use for our tree stands, to hold it in place while I screw the corners in. Its going to be a rustic table, so it probably won't matter a whole lot if its out a little, but I still want to try and get it as close as I possible can to square. I realize its tougher when you are using lumber, but I can't  help but over analyze this whole process. Then will begin cutting my tops.  The wood is still super heavy, so i am not sure if its ok to just proceed or wait longer. Its been almost two weeks that it has sat indoors to help dry.

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