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Tenoning Clamp & Chairmaker's Tenon Saw

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Project by Ron Aylor posted 04-02-2018 09:50 PM 1632 views 7 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In preparation for an upcoming side table build, I made a tenoning clamp and chairmaker’s tenon saw. The tenon saw is 2-1/2” x 11-7/8” made from 3/4” alder and has a 3/8” Southern yellow pine sole. The saw blade is from an old Stanley gent saw.
 

 
The clamp is a 9” square dovetailed frame of Southern yellow pine 2×4s with a sliding chop via a hand screw. The hand screw was turned on my spring-pole lathe and threaded with a 3/4” screw box. The 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” x 6-1/2” keel allows for securing in leg or side vise.
 
               
 
Operation is simple … just work the tenon saw around the workpiece forming a shoulder while maintaining contact with the frame.
 

 
Before removing the workpiece, define the tenon cheeks.
 
               
 
Thanks for looking. All comments and/or questions welcomed!
 

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.





26 comments so far

View Joe's profile

Joe

327 posts in 1052 days


#1 posted 04-02-2018 10:01 PM

That’s a tool for a skilled woodworker. I’ll look forward to seeing the side table you build. Thanks for inspiring and sharing

-- CurleyJoe, In Southern Indiana

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

9615 posts in 2417 days


#2 posted 04-02-2018 10:30 PM

Ron, I like it. Thanks for posting.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2502 posts in 613 days


#3 posted 04-02-2018 10:45 PM



That s a tool for a skilled woodworker. I ll look forward to seeing the side table you build. Thanks for inspiring and sharing

- Joe


Thanks, Joe. The side table is on the drawing board. I should start the build in a few weeks.


Ron, I like it. Thanks for posting.

- theoldfart


Thank you, Kevin!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Mr_Pink's profile

Mr_Pink

63 posts in 337 days


#4 posted 04-02-2018 10:52 PM

That’s an interesting idea. Would you just insert wedges when you wanted to cut angled shoulders?

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1948 posts in 548 days


#5 posted 04-02-2018 10:58 PM

Ahh, so there it is. Now you’ve got me wondering if I could somehow use the same or similar saw as the miter jack saw I’ve been pondering. I was thinking I’d make that a flush-cutting saw, but no reason I couldn’t make it like your saw, I think. If you see smoke coming out my ears, it’s because I’ve stripped a gear thinking hard about new tools. ;-)

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2502 posts in 613 days


#6 posted 04-02-2018 11:27 PM


That s an interesting idea. Would you just insert wedges when you wanted to cut angled shoulders?

- Mr_Pink


No wedges needed … just angle the workpiece. Depending on the angle needed you might have to continue the saw cut on two sides with a dovetail saw as the blade only extends 9/16” on this particular tenon saw, but the shoulder will have been established on the other two sides for easy alignment.


Ahh, so there it is. Now you’ve got me wondering if I could somehow use the same or similar saw as the miter jack saw I’ve been pondering. I was thinking I’d make that a flush-cutting saw, but no reason I couldn’t make it like your saw, I think. If you see smoke coming out my ears, it’s because I’ve stripped a gear thinking hard about new tools. ;-)

- Dave Polaschek


I think this saw design would work great with a miter jack. Not only work great but NOT scratch up the face of the miter jack like a flush cut saw would. Go for it, Dave!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1948 posts in 548 days


#7 posted 04-02-2018 11:46 PM

I think this saw design would work great with a miter jack. Not only work great but NOT scratch up the face of the miter jack like a flush cut saw would. Go for it, Dave!

I think you’ve talked me into it, Ron. Just have to finish up this box I’m taking a night off from tonight first. Shipping deadline for the swap is tax day, and I might have to get my plane till done first so I have some bench space to work on. But soon.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2596 posts in 2156 days


#8 posted 04-03-2018 12:11 AM

Ron,
Nice work here. This is very interesting and I like the concept of operation. Did you see an example of this somewhere? Looks like it does a really good job on the shoulders, square in all directions (cheek to shoulder and shoulder to the sides) and around the perimeter of the piece.
How did you make the cheeks? by saw? I’ve seen videos of individuals who chop the cheeks close, then detail by paring with chisel.
The cheeks are the part that gives me the most trouble, seems like it won’t go, then won’t go, then all of a sudden too loose.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

7318 posts in 2009 days


#9 posted 04-03-2018 12:33 AM

I like this jig. I would say you done yourself proud. Anxiously waiting to see what you build with it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

9615 posts in 2417 days


#10 posted 04-03-2018 12:37 AM

I’m not sure how well it would work with a mitre jack. You would have to reposition the work to use a mitre plane effectively.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View metolius's profile

metolius

41 posts in 696 days


#11 posted 04-03-2018 03:09 AM

That is dandy.
I would have loved to watch your work: threading with a pole lathe!

View Steve_In_MN's profile

Steve_In_MN

18 posts in 22 days


#12 posted 04-03-2018 03:25 AM

Very impressive and well done! Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve, Minneapolis area

View Andre's profile

Andre

1786 posts in 1772 days


#13 posted 04-03-2018 05:46 AM

Me thinks I like this idea! Perhaps make the blade cut depth adjustable?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1948 posts in 548 days


#14 posted 04-03-2018 09:06 AM

I’m not sure how well it would work with a mitre jack. You would have to reposition the work to use a mitre plane effectively.

I’m not sure either, Kevin. But I think it’ll be easier for me to build than a flush cut miter jack saw, and if it doesn’t work, I should be able to take he wooden sole off and replace it with either metal or a thin piece of UHMW plastic to slide on the face of the miter jack. And if I put slots in the blade, as opposed to holes, I could make it with an adjustable depth of cut, as Andre suggests. I’ll be having dinner with my metal-working buddy later this week, and I’ll bounce ideas off of him, too.

It might end up not being very good at anything, but I think it has potential, and I’ll probably give it a try. Again, thanks for the idea and inspiration, Ron.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2502 posts in 613 days


#15 posted 04-03-2018 12:09 PM


Ron,
Nice work here. This is very interesting and I like the concept of operation. Did you see an example of this somewhere? Looks like it does a really good job on the shoulders, square in all directions (cheek to shoulder and shoulder to the sides) and around the perimeter of the piece.
How did you make the cheeks? by saw? I’ve seen videos of individuals who chop the cheeks close, then detail by paring with chisel.
The cheeks are the part that gives me the most trouble, seems like it won’t go, then won’t go, then all of a sudden too loose.

- Oldtool


Thanks, Tom. This has been around for a long time. There is an illustration by Aldren Watson in Country Furniture  (1974) of a miter box very similar to this clamp. In 2009 Stephen Shepherd discusses this clamp in his Full Chisel Blog,  and subsequently built his Tenon Clamp.  There are many variations of this device floating around. I really like Stephen Shepherd’s discussion comparing this clamp to the Moxon vise.

EDIT: Tom, I form the cheeks via a dovetail or back saw and tweak with a chisel to fit.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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