Tenon Jig for a cheapo Craftsman Table Saw #1: Initial thoughts

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Blog entry by LegendInMyOwnMind posted 05-17-2011 10:54 AM 2569 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Tenon Jig for a cheapo Craftsman Table Saw series Part 2: Squaring up the table »

I recently bought a really nice mortising machine. Spent more on the tool than anything other than my nice Miter Saw. Want to have a good solid tenon jig. Problem is my El Cheapo Craftsman Table Saw has non-standard tracks. I think I have a solution to the non-standard tracks (not yet verified though).

Random but Related Thoughts

1 – I don’t want a router tenon jig because there are way too many passes to get the tenon cut.

2 – I want a tenon jig that is referenced to the miter tracks, not the fence. I’m not convinced this fence is consistent when it’s clamped down, but the tracks are not moving. I can’t buy a off the shelf tenon jig (read metal construction one) because of the non-standard tracks (referenced above).

3 – No matter whether you use the fence or the tracks it is important to square the blade to the table and the tracks. That’s a given with any method. So with the accumulation of tolerances squaring the blade to the table added to squaring the fence to the blade, that’s just too much IMO.

4 – I want to use the $15 dial indicator I bought at Harbor Freight. I like the idea of having 1 mill accuracy.

5 – I want repeatability.

6 – I want stops so I can set and forget the settings.

7 – I don’t want to reverse the piece between cuts.

8 – I want a drive screw which takes multiple turns to dial in the width with precision.

I really like the woodgears guy's design . It’s a really elegant way to cut tenons on a table saw (video ). It’s a very complicated machine though. His jig does all except #8 which he doesn’t need since his design has a lever and stops.

-- Doug - When all you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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