Tapered Tenon Cutter

  • Advertise with us
Project by galooticus posted 08-20-2016 09:49 PM 452 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, all credit for this design goes to mafe:

I tried making up a design on my own based on my earlier dowel cutter, but I wasn’t happy with it. A search turn up mafe’s design, which is excellent. This is an attempt to save money by making my own tenon cutter that matches the reamer I bought for making staked joints as described in the Anarchist’s Design Book by Chris Schwarz. I’m making the saw benches now (cutting a leg tenon in the first picture), and this little cutter is working well. The clamp holding the blade makes a nice handle. I clamp the leg vertically to my bench (no vises here) and spin the cutter on the end of the leg.

After a quick protype, I laminated a block from some ash scraps then bored and reamed a hole. I drew a vertical line from one edge to the block to the hole on each side. With a bevel gauge, I then drew a line that angles about 20* intersecting the vertical line and the edge of each hole. Then, saw to the line. I took the resulting wedge and glued it to the opposite edge of the block, making a second parallel face for clamping a blade.

I used the blade from my stanley #5, 2” wide. For my particular block, a wider blade would allow longer tenons to be cut. I’m finding 2” is fine—if I want bigger/longer, it’s easy to use a chisel with the back flat on the tenon to pare further all the way around.

This time I used two coats of orange shellac. Still too yellow for ash. I like working with shellac though, so maybe I’ll order some platina and some dyes for color. The reamed hole is unfinished, though I put some paste wax in for lubrication.

-- Andy in CA

3 comments so far

View JPJ's profile


792 posts in 2042 days

#1 posted 08-21-2016 12:53 AM

Nice job!

View kohalabeeman's profile


24 posts in 938 days

#2 posted 08-21-2016 03:34 AM

Aloha Andy,
This looks so much as a welsh rounder plane , used for round tenons for chair parts . Good and straight forward lay out . Looks as though its red oak , it may tend to ware down so with long use . But good for median usage . What part of the forest you working ? Local (home depot or local sawmill)?

View galooticus's profile


7 posts in 323 days

#3 posted 08-23-2016 01:45 PM

Thanks! Hi kohalabeeman, I made this tenon cutter from ash bought from a lumber yard. The leg tenon I’m cutting in the first picture is from a 4×10 beam I found in my yard, a gift from the previous owners. No idea what it is, it’s red in color and very soft… Redwood?

-- Andy in CA

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