Around the Shop #16: Rough tenon jig

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Blog entry by Don W posted 1142 days ago 4999 reads 9 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Tool Chest Redux. Now that's better! Part 16 of Around the Shop series Part 17: Self made Bench hold downs »

I had a few request for this so here we go. I used this jig for the Really Rustic Chair and several other similar type projects.

You want the hole to be a little bigger than the tenon size you want. You will need to make a template for each size. I had a couple more made but one got broke and the other lost in my shop move.

This is the adjustable stop. It determines the lenght of the tenon. I usually make the tenons long and cut them after.

I made the router base from aluminum because thats what I had. Any siutable base should work.

Add an 1 1/2” round nose bit.

clamp it tight.

I then slightly taper the log. Use a hacket, saw, jacknife, what ever you like. Its not reqiured but makes starting them easier.

Spin the log as you insert it. Starting it take a little practice. I don’t recommend getting the gingers to close unless you fell your fingers are to long.

It comes out a little rough, and should be a little larger than you want. Here you can use a rasp, plane ir power sander to get it down to size.

Off to the bandsaw to cut the slot for the wedge.

And I think you know what to do from here.

I wanted a bigger tenon, so I made a new template.
I shaped out the bit hole with the bandsaw.
I cut a 2” hole for a 2 ” tenon.
Then tapered the edges.

Hope it helps

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

6 comments so far

View TZH's profile


420 posts in 1725 days

#1 posted 1141 days ago

Really cool idea! I’ve been using my table saw to cut tenons (a friend designed a jig for that purpose), and I’ve always wondered how I might be able to adapt it to make different sizes because the way it is now limits me to one size only. I’m going to have to try your design. Thanks for sharing.



View Mauricio's profile (online now)


6733 posts in 1736 days

#2 posted 1141 days ago


-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 1822 days

#3 posted 1105 days ago

I like your design. I can see how a 2” tenon on a tree limb would make a great slab table leg quickly. Getting the legs equal length would be easy too. Just cut the legs slightly long, and put the table upside down on my sawmill and cut the legs…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Don W's profile

Don W

14495 posts in 1152 days

#4 posted 1105 days ago

I wish I had a sawmill too. I typically struggle to get the legs the correct length. My wife says my tables have a limp. Now they don’t leave the shop until she’s tested the wobble.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View thatlabguy's profile


84 posts in 1277 days

#5 posted 1059 days ago

I don’t have a router so am trying to figure out how to cut the tenons using crooked bitter brush pieces plus trying to figure out the angle of the hole for 3-legged stools.


View Don W's profile

Don W

14495 posts in 1152 days

#6 posted 1058 days ago

Larry, do you have a draw knife? I’d try yo make the angle such that the legs are about the same width as the seat. So the angle would change depending o n the seat width and the leg length. If you needed or wanted more stability, you would go wider.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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