Author Topic: Capping the end-grain ends on a woodworking bench top  (Read 872 times)

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Offline Mr. Ree

  • Posts: 7
Capping the end-grain ends on a woodworking bench top
« on: July 16, 2022, 05:55 PM »
I am in the process of building a Roubo workbench and would like to cap the ends of the bench top not other occupied by end-vices, with decorative caps.  The ends are approx. 11"w  x 4"d hard maple. The caps are 11"w x 4"d x 3"t  May I simply put a couple of dominos (plus glue) in the end to attach such a cap?  Or do I have to account for wood movement in the top in some fashion?  If the latter, how best to do that? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2353
Re: Capping the end-grain ends on a woodworking bench top
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2022, 12:01 PM »
Yeah, you have to account for the movement of the top. A cross-grain cap cannot be glued in place. You could make something like a breadboard end, but it could only be glued in the center and left to float on the ends. This means that the cap will not always line up with the rest of the top though, so your design needs to reflect that.
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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5877
Re: Capping the end-grain ends on a woodworking bench top
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 02:47 PM »
11” is not so wide. It will probably only move about an 1/8” from one season to the opposite.

You could pin the cap hard in the middle and accept the 1/16” on both ends.

Or you can pin it hard on the front and let all the movement show up on the back.

I’d use a pair of big dry Domino’s for alignment but use a pair of big lag bolts to keep the cap tight.
I’d go for keeping the cap aligned with the front of the bench so I’d use a snug pilot hole for the front lag bolt and an oversized pilot hole for the opposite bolt. I’d make large counterbores first (big enough to accommodate movement of the back bolt and it’s washer) the same size as one another for appearance sake, after determining what would make a good plug to fill the bore hole.

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 376
Re: Capping the end-grain ends on a woodworking bench top
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2022, 07:49 PM »
Local climate is a big factor, living in a desert means very little movement, high humidity means a lot of movement which must be allowed for.