Quick set tenon jig

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Project by Junado posted 177 days ago 2580 views 25 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I’m about to dive into a coffee table project for my brother. He just bought his first house and could use a home warming gift. The thing is, I’ve made mortise the normal way (miter gauge and dado stack), but I was dying for more accuracy and repeatability. My (small) table saw is finnicky with heigh adjustment, there is a bit of backlash in the adjustment screw and it made it hard to get accurate tenons. Plus, with stock of various width, I kept having to readjust my blade.

No more ! I bought these quick set tenon jig plans from Matthias Wandel (I have bought and built the 16” bandsaw as well, but this project is for another day) at and let me say this thing is fabulous. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade and I like accuracy and being able to work with machines that give accurate readouts. This jig does one thing, but it does it well and quickly.

Basically, you use the dial indicator as a measure of the displacement of the jig/piece of wood, which allows accuracy to the thousandths of an inch for the width of the shoulders and the width of the tenon. You use the lever upfront to move the carriage that holds the piece of wood and setup stops for each cut. I’ve used the jig to make a few test cuts so far and usually end up within 0.001-0.003” of the target value, so I am very pleased. It has a movement range of about 2 1/2”, so it should be plenty for any regular sized stock.

I’ve painted the plywood parts and the rest of the jig is made with scraps of cherry, finished with water based polyurethane and wax on the moving parts.

-- Julien

23 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile


731 posts in 1124 days

#1 posted 177 days ago

Now that is one fine device you’ve created. Looks like one might need an engineering degree to use it. (-:

I think I need to put that on my shop jigs to build list. Thanks for sharing.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View luv2learn's profile


1680 posts in 936 days

#2 posted 177 days ago

Julien, that is a mighty fine build. I too have built Matthias bandsaw and several other of his inventions. I have had my eye on this build for some time now. You have given me a nudge now to do it. Thanks for sharing!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View cyclops4069's profile


60 posts in 210 days

#3 posted 176 days ago

nice build!!

-- regards, cyclops4069

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

951 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 176 days ago

Nice work. Matthias is a gift to this forum! He has a fantastic gear design software program that I use for my clock making and it has saved me countless hours of calculations. I’m sure you’ll get lots of great usage from that jig. Incidentally, I plan on purchasing those plans soon and build one of these myself. I’m all but done using my 1000 pound delta tenon jig!!!!!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View a1Jim's profile


112016 posts in 2210 days

#5 posted 176 days ago

Very cool ,great job.

-- Custom furniture

View iminmyshop's profile


109 posts in 627 days

#6 posted 176 days ago

That looks like a terrific idea to put on the list of need to make jigs. Thanks for posting and thanks for the link to Woodgears.

View HuckD's profile


205 posts in 348 days

#7 posted 176 days ago

Nicely done! That’ll serve you well for years to come.

-- Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

View OldWolfsWoodShop's profile


153 posts in 581 days

#8 posted 176 days ago

Very nice, I have purchased the same plan, as my next project. Good job

-- Making Sawdust is great stress relief...

View Jeff82780's profile


182 posts in 1628 days

#9 posted 176 days ago

Great job! I also just purchased the project. hopefully mine will be good as your. did you have a hard time getting the steel rod into the bushing?

View Junado's profile


32 posts in 563 days

#10 posted 176 days ago

I encourage anyone who has the plan to go ahead and build it. It takes a minimum amount of material and can be done in about 3 days (I milled all my stock to size on a sunday morning, then did everything else over the following weekend).

@Jeff82780 I strongly suggest self aligning bushings. The ones I got were marketed as “vibration damping”, but they’re basically regular bushings held in a rubber sleeve. Even then, aligning everything was a bit fiddly; the play in the bushings really helped.

-- Julien

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3883 posts in 1013 days

#11 posted 176 days ago

Nice work. I’ve been debating buying the plans, you may have sold me.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View jmartel's profile


1923 posts in 783 days

#12 posted 176 days ago

I built the same one that I just finished up yesterday, actually.

View MakingCurls's profile


24 posts in 212 days

#13 posted 176 days ago

seems very intricate, but if you are getting the results you want then that’s definitely a winner :)

-- Out in the shed making curls

View kjwoodworking's profile


246 posts in 2520 days

#14 posted 176 days ago

Wow! You did great with some precise woodworking.

I appreciate what you built and also introducing me to Matthias Wandel’s site.

-- Kirk H. --

View ADHDan's profile


433 posts in 742 days

#15 posted 176 days ago

I have no idea what the hell is going on here, but that’s a pretty rad rocketship or whatever.

(Your tenoning jig has way more moving parts than mine; I bet it actually works great.)

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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