LumberJocks

Equipping the Shop #5: Tenoning Jig - with add-on digital readout

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Ocelot posted 1033 days ago 2411 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: I ordered a bandsaw - Grizly G0513X2 Part 5 of Equipping the Shop series Part 6: Harbor Freight 6-inch Jointer - Model #30289 »

I had in mind to make a rail and stile sort of thing, with what I think are called box joints in the frame. After I took a whack at using the fence on the table saw to guide some pieces on end to cut the box joint notches, I decided that I really needed a tenoning jig.

So, after reading a bit on-line, I ordered a tenoning jig from Rockler. I think you can get the same jig for $20 less from Grizzly, but I didn’t notice that til after I ordered it.

To obtain the maximum range of motion, and allow me to cut at zero (tight agaist the blade) without worrying about cutting into the cast-iron fence, I added a 3/4” plywood face plate to the fence of the jig.

After playing around with the thing a little, I decided that it needed an upgrade, so I ordered a 6-inch digital readout (iGauge) from Grizzly. The same DRO is available from many on-line sources. I had only to get a friend to drill and tap a hole for a #8-32 screw in the cast-iron moving plate (to attach the end of the DRO rail), and hammer one of the brackets supplied with the DRO into the shape I needed to connect puck of the DRO to the base plate on the tenoning jig, and I had a jig that could position a workpiece within a thousanth of an inch over a 2.2” range of motion.

I can just turn the screw to get any position to the thousanth of an inch.

Then tighten it up to fix that setting.

It tends to move 1 or 2 thousanths when I tighten it up, so I plan ahead and dial it in a bit high.

I’ve used it to make some saw-kerf box joints out of scrap which I’m quite pleased with.

I’ve had to fiddle with the alignment of the jig, and I’m going to re-allign my saw as well, but I’m really having fun with the things I can do with this set-up.

One added bonus is that I can use this jig to align my saw. I only need to clamp a peice into the jig which has a protruding post or finger, then dial the jig out to touch that finger against the tooth of the blade on each side to measure (using the DRO) the distance from the slot in the table top.



14 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#1 posted 1033 days ago

Here’s the Rockler tenoning jig with a 3/4” wooden faceplate added and the iGauge digital readout (DRO).

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#2 posted 1033 days ago

To show what it can do, here I’m trimming the thickness of a scrap of ply.


Dial in the thickness and lock the jig. (The reading drifted by 1/1000 before I shot this photo.)


After clamping the piece and running it by the saw blade.


Checking the result with caliper.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#3 posted 1033 days ago

Mounting the DRO on the tenoning Jig

Installation of the DRO required drilling and tapping a hole in the moving plate of the tenoning jig for a #8-32 machine screw. This was used to mount (using a bracket supplied with the DRO) one end of the rail of the DRO. I’ve flipped the rail over so that the puck can be mounted more easily and with the cable coming out the top side.

The puck (slider on the rail) is mounted to a bracket fabricated from one of the supplied brackets simply hammered flat to remove a bend I didn’t need. The bracket is mounted to the base plate of the jig where the old pointer was originally mounted.

The tenoning jig, as I’ve got it set up, has a range of motion of about 2.2 inches. If doing box joints deeper than that, I’ll have to flip the stock and make some of the cuts from the other edge. A caliper and a calculator will be required in order to be sure that cutting from two different reference faces will produce the desired results.

Top view clearly shows the now useless inch scale which was stuck on the jig at the factory.

The readout unit can be placed wherever you want, and has magnets on the back so it will stay put.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#4 posted 1033 days ago

This morning, I checked the alignment of my table saw using the tenoning jig and DRO.

Here’s a little do-dad I made to help with the job.

After unplugging the saw, the do-dad was clamped in the jig and carefully dialed up until it touched a marked tooth on the near side of the saw with the blade fully raised. While moving the do-dad with the lead screw, I moved the blade slightly back and forth so that I could hear the do-dad scratch the blade.

Close up.

Here’s the readout with the do-dad just touching the blade.

Doing the same thing with the marked tooth rotate around to the far side.

The readout indicates that saw is aligned within 2 thousanths.
Now, there is some slop where the guide bar rides in the slot on the table and other factors which might contribute to inaccuracy, but I’m thinking this is good enough.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10405 posts in 1273 days


#5 posted 1032 days ago

Very informative post. I just bought a Wood River Tenon jig off CL for $25 and was worried about cutting into its fence. Thank you for solving that problem! I also noticed the tape measure on the jig aws worthless but I’m not sure I’m smart enough to install a DRO like you did. Maybe if I study this blog some more….. Thanks a bunch for posting this.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#6 posted 1032 days ago

Thanks for your comments, gfadvm!

The DRO was $20 + shipping from Grizzly. It completely transforms the tenon jig, in my opinion. Installation was very easy, but I would be glad to give more details of the installation if that would help.

Here’s a closeup of a joint I made with it at the corner of a frame made out of 3/4×1 inch rails. Even without glue, the frame is quite rigid and square.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10405 posts in 1273 days


#7 posted 1032 days ago

That is a perfect joint! I’m envious of your mechanical skills. If you lived closer, I’d pay you to install this on my jig. I may give it a try as it only cost $20. Be prepared for cries for help!!! I did attach the sacrificial board to my fence today. Do you think this DRO would work on my Wood River jig?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#8 posted 1031 days ago

Thanks! Without seeing your jig, I can’t tell if the DRO would fit. Can you post a photo of it?

Another thing that helped this joint is that I bought a saw blade with a flat tooth geometry so that the kerf is flat on the bottom. The first blade I tried left a non-flat kerf which shows gaps at the end of the joint.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#9 posted 1031 days ago

OK, I’ve had a look at the WoodRiver jig on the woodcraft site. Also, somebody reviewed it here on LJ.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1733

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2083094/33127/WoodRiver-Tenoning-Jig.aspx

From the photos, it looks only a litte different from the Rocker. I think you’ll have to drill and tap 2 holes to mount the DRO. Mine only required one hole because the jig had a little pointer mounted to it that I could remove to use that hole for mounting the sliding puck of the DRO. It looks like the WoodRiver jig has the pointer on the other side of the moving plate and has a scale on the round horizontal bar.

To be sure, it would help if I could see the other side of the WoodRiver jig.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10405 posts in 1273 days


#10 posted 1031 days ago

Ocelot – The scale is on the round horizontal bar and the little red pointer is mounted right above it on themoving plate. You can see both in the pic you linked. Now, where exactly do I mount the “puck”? Tapping and threading 2 holes shouldn’t be a problem. I may have to buy you a plane ticket to Tulsa if I cant figure this out!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#11 posted 1031 days ago

Ticket to Tusla. Sounds like a country song.

I’m guessing the other side of your jig looks just like mine.

The base plate extends beyond the sliding plate on the side facing away from you when you are using the jig. That’s the place to mount the DRO. One hole (number 1 in photo) goes in the side of sliding plate as far toward the hinge end as you can go, and the other hole goes in the top of the base plate, as far away from the hinge as you can comfortabley go. Number 3 in photo points to it, but can’t see it since it’s under the bracket. A bracket (in box marked 2) attaches to the hole on the base plate, the puck (what I call it) attaches to that, and the end of the DRO’s rail attaches (usiing a bracket that comes with it) to the sliding plate. The rail slide freely through the puck, which reads somehow it’s position on the rail.

The tenon jig has only 2 or 2.25” of movement range – because of the limits on the screw and on the slot in the top of the sliding plate, so the 6” DRO is more thay you need, the rail doesn’t hurt anything sticking out on the side away from the blade.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10405 posts in 1273 days


#12 posted 1031 days ago

The pics made it Much clearer. I think I can do this but I looked at my Grizz catalog and cant find the “DRO”. I’m not trying to be aPITA but it looks like I am. Appreciate all your efforts, now if I can just find the DRO.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

418 posts in 1221 days


#13 posted 1030 days ago

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10405 posts in 1273 days


#14 posted 1030 days ago

Thanks, I must have been looking with my eyes closed!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase