Mission to two Mission Coffee Tables #3: Tenons Tenons Tenons...

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Blog entry by Everett1 posted 07-02-2012 03:19 AM 8009 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Jointing Until my Joints hurt Part 3 of Mission to two Mission Coffee Tables series no next part

It’s been a busy and productive past two days. Got all my stock to dimension and ready to go.

Cut everything to length with my uber awesome “miter station”...

Oh yeah, look at my built in stop blocks baby!

I’m a tenon’s first kind of guy. My only reasoning, and not sure how good it is, is I like to take the pieces with tenons, and use those in 3D for the layouts of my Mortises. With a piece like this with a lot of slats, I feel it’s easier that way, at least for me.

I use a Tenon Jig and Mortise jig that I built with plans I bought from Proven Woodworking: The guy there is super nice, and these two jigs allow me to make my tenons and mortises with a rabbet bit in my router (the mortise jig will be seen in my next progress report, since mortising 96 holes is in my future…)

just have to make sure everything is 90, and use something as a spacer when clamping the work piece. I use a penny, but that proved problematic for my drawer dividers, which are only 5 inches (including tenons) long, so I used a bearing from my router bits I had in the drawer

The rabbet bit I have was quite a big space for the small pieces for the project, so I ended up taking a flush trim bit and slapping a smaller bearing on it, worked great. Shoulder is a LITTLE small, but It will do. I’d rather that then tiny tenons, but my margin for error on the mortises is lower, but that is what test legs are for

Then for my pieces with through tenons, they have to be much longer to reach through the 1 3/4” legs. I got this 2” Freud flush bit, and again, just put a smaller bearing on it. I’ve learned, with the method I use, on wider pieces, it’s best to make the cut from every witch way possible, so I cut, flip the board, cut, turn the board around, and repeat. Annoying, and I might venture the table saw method, but I really like making them this way.

And there we have it folks, I think I counted right, I made 96 tenons today, in the sun. But I got a little bit of a tan for once…

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

3 comments so far

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3312 days

#1 posted 07-02-2012 11:44 AM

Wow, you have a lot of joinery ahead of you with all those tenons.

You make yours a lot thicker than I make mine. I usually make mine to conform with my router bit sizes.

I make my tenons on the router table, but I cut my mortises first with the plunge router most of the time and then cut and shape my tenons to fit.

I do go in stages as you do though, batch cutting pieces, marking them for their position in the project, and everybody in their respective pile.

View groovy_man_6's profile


148 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 11-15-2012 05:07 AM

dude, that’s INSANITY! I can’t believe you did that in 1 day! I never even thought to try a router for that… you’ll have to show me. I bought a tenon jig for my table saw but haven’t tried it yet. I usually go the hardwood dowel route rather than mortise tenon.. once you go dowelmax, it’s hard to go back.

Looking good man, Can’t believe it’s all together already.

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2533 days

#3 posted 11-16-2012 03:23 PM

yeah, i started it in the summer, then we had 5 weddings to go to this year, so every weekend was travel and time away, ugh.

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

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