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Custom Tenoning Jig

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Project by dvhart posted 12-18-2010 08:54 PM 4660 views 15 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’d exhausted my tool budget for a project on an expensive router bit, square, and dado-set, so when it came to making the tenons, I decided to try my hand at a precision custom tenoning jig. I decided to keep it simple and only concern myself with square tenons (no angles). I reviewed some example jigs from a couple books (Tablesaw: Methods of Work, by Jim Richey, and Jigs & Fixtures, by Sandor Nagyszalanczy) for ideas and modified them to come up with a plan for this jig.

I wanted to be able to make 0-2” thick tenons in 0-2” stock. This defined the setback from the saw blade and the required table travel. The height of the fence was somewhat arbitrary, but was influenced by a 6” vertical fence and a max cutting depth of 3”. I made the jig deep enough to be stable, but small enough to allow the runner to engage the slot before the tenon hit the blade. I decided to make it a little wider than I had originally intended so I could use my left hand to keep the base flat against the table. I may add a wooden handle to the left side of the base after getting a feel for using it.

I made most of the jig from 3/4” baltic birch plywood. The runners are mahogany. I made the runners slightly large and sanded them to just barely fit in the slots. The bare wood fit very tight and took some effort to slide the upper table on the base. I then applied an oil finish (marketed for toys and food containers) to protect the wood but not build up a finish which would bind up the slots. Finally, I added a liberal coat of paste wax to both faces of the base and the bottom of the upper table, as well as all the mahogany runners. After buffer that out, the base slides effortlessly on the tablesaw and the upper table slides easily along the base. The final jig has next to zero slop in the runners and fences are nearly perfectly square to the table. This is the most precise jig I’ve ever made, and I’m very happy with the end result.

Update: Basic plans are available here: http://dvhart.com/darren/woodworking/dvhart-tenoning-jig.pdf

-- Darren





10 comments so far

View DaddyT's profile

DaddyT

267 posts in 2195 days


#1 posted 12-18-2010 09:03 PM

Hey thats awesome!! I might have to make me one

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2373 days


#2 posted 12-18-2010 09:18 PM

Very well done : ) Makes me wish I hadn’t spent the money on a real metal one now ….
Happy Holidays !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Seeharlez's profile

Seeharlez

83 posts in 1678 days


#3 posted 12-18-2010 09:46 PM

Nicely done – good simple design! I like simplicity, it never fails.

-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

View guyos's profile

guyos

9 posts in 2715 days


#4 posted 12-18-2010 10:50 PM

Nice jig, I have just made one like it but added a micro adjuster using an insert nut and a 6m bolt. Very accurate.
guyos

-- guyos

View dvhart's profile

dvhart

107 posts in 1700 days


#5 posted 12-18-2010 11:06 PM

@guyos, would you happen to have a pic, I’ve bee considering a micro-adjust.

-- Darren

View lighthearted's profile

lighthearted

142 posts in 1999 days


#6 posted 01-03-2011 10:48 PM

That’s just what I was looking for!

-- Chris http://thelightheartedwoodworker.com/

View dvhart's profile

dvhart

107 posts in 1700 days


#7 posted 01-03-2011 11:16 PM

Enough people have shown interested I decided to make my plans available. These are nothing fancy, just a couple 2-D drawings with some dimension lines. I didn’t add the handle or knock the corners off the base as shown in the plan – and I probably won’t as it works just fine as it is.

http://dvhart.com/darren/woodworking/dvhart-tenoning-jig.pdf

-- Darren

View lighthearted's profile

lighthearted

142 posts in 1999 days


#8 posted 01-03-2011 11:26 PM

Hmmm Thanks Darren but the link doesn’t seem to work.

-- Chris http://thelightheartedwoodworker.com/

View dvhart's profile

dvhart

107 posts in 1700 days


#9 posted 01-04-2011 12:30 AM

@Chris: sorry about that, uploaded a PS instead of a PDF. I’ve updated the file and have tested the download on my phone, should be working now.

-- Darren

View lighthearted's profile

lighthearted

142 posts in 1999 days


#10 posted 01-04-2011 12:32 AM

Hey thanks my friend!

-- Chris http://thelightheartedwoodworker.com/

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