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View DylanC's profile

Loose Tenon Help

by DylanC
posted 1238 days ago


16 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#1 posted 1238 days ago

I do virtually always use loose tenons. However, I use a jig called the Mortise Pal.

http://www.mortisepal.com/indexb.html

With this jig you are cutting the mortises with a router, but the jig gives you such great control that you get almost a perfect mortise every time. They are sold by Amazon for $199.

There are lots of ways to do joinery and several ways to do mortise and tenons. I’ve explored almost all of them and I think this is the best approach.

You can try to make your own jig but this is so much easier.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View yooper's profile

yooper

181 posts in 1425 days


#2 posted 1238 days ago

There is also the Beadlock system, but you have to buy the tenons or the router bit to make them. It looks interesting, but I haven’t tried it.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18088

-- Jeff, CT - better late then never

View DylanC's profile

DylanC

114 posts in 1272 days


#3 posted 1238 days ago

Thanks for all the quick help. The store-bought jig looks like a nice tool, but the price is pretty steep. I like GarageWoodworks DIY jig. The design and set up are much simpler than other shop-built options I’ve seen on LJ.com and other sites. I also spent about 20 minutes watching a couple of YouTube videos from woodcraft about the various types of joinery including mortise and tenon, loose tenon, biscuits, dowels and pocket screws. That reminded me that I have a pocket screw jig already and that the false frames in this project are an ideal application for a tool I already have. My guess is that sometime in the not-too-distant future I will be making an investment in a shop-built mortising fixture.

Again, thanks for the great tips.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View woody57's profile

woody57

645 posts in 2025 days


#4 posted 1237 days ago

The garagewoodworks mortise fixture is very good. I have the beadlock system and it takes much longer than the garagewoodworks mortise system. Also, the tenon stock on the beadlock is pricey, with the garagewoodworks sytem you make your own very easily.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1448 days


#5 posted 1237 days ago

Question for LJs using these jigs—do you use a straight bit or a spiral upcut?

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View JHawkFan's profile

JHawkFan

23 posts in 1289 days


#6 posted 1237 days ago

Dylanc, I’m kind in the same boat as you. I’m new to wood working and the one project I’ve posted on here I did with loose tenons. I did it with router and no jig, just measured and cut. Those jig the guys are showing and are talking about would make things so much simpler. The thing I did learn from doing it myself is that it’s really not hard at all. They are simple enough to do, so do worry about it. I don’t have the years of experience these others guys do I’m betting but I can tell these guys are right on with what they are telling you.
If you want to go with the pocket screws you talked about look at Kreg jigs. This is a great fast jig, I have one and they have nothing but good reviews about them. I researched it a lot before I bought one. http://www.kregtool.com/Kreg-Jigreg-Prodview.html
If you want to spend a lot more on a tool/ system that does it all there’s the festool domino (and please no comments about how expensive festools are). It is NOT cheap but I’ve heard amazing how good it works.
http://www.festoolusa.com/media/pdf/pw_domino_review.pdf

Again good luck and thanks to you all for sharing as I am still learning about this too!

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#7 posted 1237 days ago

In response to Lee – I use a spiral upcut bit – but I think you could get by with a straight cut bit. Whether it is straight or spiral is less important than whether it is sharp or not.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2168 days


#8 posted 1234 days ago

Easy – In addition to the two or three bead lock type systems shown above, just use the Festool Domino $900; the Leigh Super MFT $450; or Trend M&T $450, similar to Leigh but not an equal competitor. You’ll have them all done in no time, matching fixed tenons or loose tenons.

-- Regards, Steve2

View Vasko's profile

Vasko

271 posts in 1284 days


#9 posted 1234 days ago

May I ask a stupid question? What is the benefit/application of a loose tenon? Never having seen one (that I know of) it looks to me like it would just fall apart – do you glue it, or is it free to move with expansion/contraction? See, I told you it was a stupid question! And I’m not embarrassed at all – lol.

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

View JHawkFan's profile

JHawkFan

23 posts in 1289 days


#10 posted 1234 days ago

Vasko, To best answer your question here’s a link at the bottom is a few videos watch them. He goes through a couple different joints, how to do them and the pros and cons of each. This should really answer your question and show you. The key is glue though for a fast answer, the Glue makes it strong.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2020139/28358/Festool-Domino-Joiner--DF-500-Q-Set.aspx

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

View Vasko's profile

Vasko

271 posts in 1284 days


#11 posted 1234 days ago

JHawkFan, those vids helped me tremendously! I actually thought the loose tenon wasn’t glued at all, because of the word “loose’ lol. I’ve been thinking about getting the kreg pocket screw jig, it was nice to see it used. I thought it was interesting that the presenter (Charles Reid?) said the pocket screws were great for small projects, but not big weight bearing ones – my friends just picked up 3 free-standing bookshelves made by the local Amish – two bookcases are 6-1/2’ tall, 4’ wide, 16” deep, and have 5 adjustable shelves – the third bookcase is one third that height, made to hold a 46” tv. I looked them over carefully while helping my friends get them in the house (being nosey & wanting to learn) and the only joinery I could find were two pocket screws in each corner of the units. The back panels (ply) were stapled to the frames of the bookcases. The bookcases are made out of poplar and cost $950…

Sorry DylanC for getting off topic…

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

View JHawkFan's profile

JHawkFan

23 posts in 1289 days


#12 posted 1234 days ago

Vasko,
I was surprised too what he said about the pocket screws. Everything else I’ve heard said that they are very strong joint if done right. If you go with the kreg pocket screw jig you won’t be disappointed. I have one and love it and like I said earlier every review I read on them said nothing but good about them.
As for your friends bookshelves, you only saw the joint you saw was pocket screws, loose tenon don’t show. That is one of the nice things about them, those and biscuits and dowels if done right and good you won’t see.
I’m glad I was able to help for once I’m the always asking questions here LOL

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

View Vasko's profile

Vasko

271 posts in 1284 days


#13 posted 1234 days ago

I hope to get the pocket screw jig later this month, and that was a good point about the hidden joinery that I couldn’t possibly see – I wasn’t thinking! : )

-- - Cindy, texture freak -

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2168 days


#14 posted 1234 days ago

Vasko and JHawk, run – don’t walk – to your Kreg dealer.

-- Regards, Steve2

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2356 posts in 2340 days


#15 posted 1234 days ago

I built Michael Fortunes Jig described in FWW#197 Works for holding odd shapes and angles – basically a home made Leigh FMT.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View DylanC's profile

DylanC

114 posts in 1272 days


#16 posted 1234 days ago

I’ll agree that pocket screws are certainly a useful type of joinery, but the others (standard/loose mortise, dowel, biscuit, etc.) all have their applications, too. I think one of the biggest arguments for tenons is their aesthetics. If done well, you can’t see them. Not so for pocket screws. Meaning if you are making fine furniture and you want people to focus on the craftsmanship and beauty of the piece, you might want to use joinery that is either hidden or compliments the design (dovetails, finger joints, through tenons, etc.). Pocket screws on the other hand are a quick, functional and practical method. Its really a matter of personal preference and available tools and time.

By the way, thanks to all the posters for their comments and help.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

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