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Loose Tenon Mortising Jig - Tested and Improved

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Project by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 1627 days ago 9548 views 65 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the Loose Tenon Mortising Jig I posted earlier. I did test it and made a few improvements.

The major improvement was the addition of a “rabbeted” piece in the back of the jig (see the second photo) to keep the plastic sled from tipping forward during the cut. I made the rabbet shallow and put a small champfer on the hardwood runner so that I can easily remove the sled between cuts.

Another improvement was to rework the stops by using excess toilet flange bolts that I cut off to about 1 inch long and tighten the stops with brass knobs. These work better than the thumb screws.

I also made a couple of more wooden stops so that I could hold the “clamping rail” up while I made the cuts on the end of pieces.

Making loose tenon joint and lots of them is so easy with this jig. The third photo is some of the mortises I made this week. Cut 144 mortises in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Lots of sawdust to clean up. Great fun!

I guess my next step is to make a set of plans.

I also spent a little time in front of the video camera and made a short video showing the use of this jig. See the video.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!





15 comments so far

View libraryman's profile

libraryman

39 posts in 2377 days


#1 posted 1627 days ago

Looking forward to your plans. I’ve been looking for a jig like this. Great work on the jig and video. Thanks!

View rbterhune's profile

rbterhune

171 posts in 1853 days


#2 posted 1627 days ago

Ditto…looking forward to the plans.

View HuntleyBill's profile

HuntleyBill

86 posts in 1722 days


#3 posted 1627 days ago

I’ll take a set too. Please let us know when they are ready. This jig is fantastic!

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

View donjoe's profile

donjoe

1360 posts in 1663 days


#4 posted 1627 days ago

Great job!

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1920 days


#5 posted 1627 days ago

nice work

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View rpete's profile

rpete

19 posts in 1647 days


#6 posted 1627 days ago

+1 on the plans. Great video!

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2157 days


#7 posted 1627 days ago

Now that looks like a fun project! I’m with the others on wanting to see some plans.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View 559dustdesigns's profile

559dustdesigns

632 posts in 1800 days


#8 posted 1627 days ago

This is an ingenious design, thanks for showing it off on video too.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View TJCROSS's profile

TJCROSS

149 posts in 1630 days


#9 posted 1626 days ago

Just the jig is a work of art!

-- www.theartsandcraftsstudio.com

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile (online now)

Sawdustonmyshoulder

255 posts in 2260 days


#10 posted 1626 days ago

I got a question over on the video blog page that I thought I would transfer over here.

Viking’s question was: Do you make you own tenons or is there a ready source for them? I have several projects that would most likely use 3/8” and 1/2” and possibly 1/4” tenons.

Viking, I make my own tenon stock out of what some call scrap and some call unassigned wood laying around the shop. It helps that I have a drum sander that sands in 1/128th of inch passes so that I can dial it just at the right fit. I round the corners with either a quarter round router bit or a appropriate sized bullnose router bit in my router table.

If I didn’t have the drum sander, I guess I could use the table saw to cut the tenons close and use sandpaper to fine tune the fit. I find that you don’t want the tenons too tight because the glue will swell the walls of the mortise and also the tenon. I am also going to add a saw kerf to the tenons to allow air to escape the mortise and not blow the glue out.

This ability to make your own tenon is really a great feature of loose tenon joinery because you don’t have to spend money on tenon stock or use expensive project wood to make tenons. Over the life of a project like I am working on now with almost 450 tenons at about 1 1/2 inch in stock length per traditional tenon equals about 25 board feet of lumber. And all of the tenons will be made from the stock that is cut off and headed to the trash.

I have some work to do on the chairs tonight but I will start on the SketchUp plans later in the week. I don’t work in the shop on Wednesdays (that’s the wife’s night with me) so I will do some “inside work” on the plans.

Thanks all for the kind comments!

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View gmerteng's profile

gmerteng

122 posts in 1745 days


#11 posted 1625 days ago

Great job on the jig, ingenious, cant wait for the plans.

-- Mert,Oshkosh WI,

View JimGo's profile

JimGo

3 posts in 1617 days


#12 posted 1617 days ago

This is fantastic, and great timing! I’m just about to do a bunch of mortises (not as many as you!); do you have an ETA for the plans you mentioned? I don’t mean to pressure you, just curious. Otherwise I’ll have to see what I can do on my own (which I doubt will compare favorably!)

-- - Jim

View iminmyshop's profile

iminmyshop

108 posts in 626 days


#13 posted 548 days ago

This is the best danged shop made mortising jig I’ve seen. Were plans ever made available to download or buy for this jig?

View tomk807's profile

tomk807

2 posts in 301 days


#14 posted 301 days ago

This is an excellent looking jig, and just what I have been looking for.
Can I obtain a set of the plans?

TomK in San Juan Capistrano

View tomk807's profile

tomk807

2 posts in 301 days


#15 posted 293 days ago

If you can e-mail the .skp file from your Sketchup drawing, it would be as good as a set of plans.

TomK

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