Breadboard misaligned

Old 11-28-10, 09:46 AM
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Breadboard misaligned

I have a breadboard that is misaligned. There seems to be a gap between two of the boards and the sides seem to be off.
I have tried to hammer it back together but the middle never gets flush and one side always seems to be off. I know I could purchase a new breadboard but this one has sentimental value and I would like to fix it.
Can anyone offer advice.
Old 11-28-10, 11:02 AM
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You have an issue with expansion and contraction on this piece. Wood expands more across the width of the grain than the length. So when that center section expands, it will be larger than those end pieces that run perpendicular. It also appears to me that the end pieces were glued along their entire length. If those center pieces aren't allowed to expand and contract, you will have splitting. Ideally the end pieces should have only been glued in the center and left free to float on the end. However, it is too late for that.

To repair you will need some yellow wood glue and clamps to squeeze it together. Put something like a scrap piece of wood between the clamp pads and the breadboard to protect it from dents. Wipe any squeeze out with a damp cloth. I wouldn't expect the ends to be flush when you are done with it.

Make sure you keep water away the breadboard. It's ok for it to be damp when you clean it, but don't soak it in a sink.
Old 11-28-10, 11:02 AM
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Can you pry up the bottom board to eliminate the gap?

What's the application of these boards? are they T&G? or do they just butt together?
Old 11-28-10, 11:06 AM
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As wood ages, it often shrinks. And wood shrinks more on the ends than it does in the middle. So either the last board, or the one adjacent to it has shrunk and it is wider in the middle than it is on the ends. It could also have expanded in the middle if water got into the seams due to washing the board. This explains why when you hammer it back together, you still have a gap on one end. It is rocking in the middle.

The solution probably involves dismantling the board, and shaving some off of one or both boards so that they meet. This is often done with a hand planer or a bench joiner, but a belt sander or table saw might also work. You would want to identify which side of the board is bowed and make it straight again.

It could also be that the board simply needs to be reclamped and glued. Pipe clamps would probably work best to do this, with one on each end. You would glue the board, clamp it and allow it to set up. While most glues will set up in an hour or so, leaving it clamped for longer won't hurt anything.

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