I’ve been making the saw frame for my Chevalet project. The joinery calls for some tenon like finger joints that are fairly thin. I felt I needed a table saw tenoning jig for this work to get an acceptable result, so I made a simple one that took about and hour working at my usual snail pace.
Many of you will think this is woodworking 101 stuff, and you would be right, but I think it worth sharing anyway since it is easy to build out of scrap and requires nothing more than some flat panel, a little glue and a few screws plus a regular clamp. This jig is as accurate as your eye is to line up the cut with your saw blade and it requires you to adjust the fence for each cut.
The good news is that you need mark up for only one joint. You just make the first cut and then if you have multiples it is just to clamp the other pieces in for the first cut. The work pieces are then rotated 180 degrees and clamped in for the 2nd cut and so on. The finger cut requires more cuts, but the same principle applies, you just have to be careful to cut on the correct side of the line.
I made the jig so it could slide on top of my fence. The fence itself is a thin cheap aluminum rail that I beefed up with some MDF. Here are some photos. You can see the saw frame with the joints I cut sitting on top of the table saw fence.
Loaded up with a workpiece ready to go. There is no gap between the fence and the workpiece it is a black line on the fence which just happened to be there. It has nothing to do with the jig!
Side view to show how the clamp works
Showing the fence without the clamp or a workpiece
Another view just to show how it’s screwed together
If you decide to make this jig I would suggest you make it out of solid wood if you have some shelf panels or something like that. Solid wood will hold the screws a lot better than composite materials or even plywood on the edges.
One other item before I finish this blog. I have a fairly inexpensive 5 function combination machine made in Belgium that I’ve had for about 18 years. I just want to show my buddies the mortising attachment just for fun, since I used it today to put some mortises in my almost finished Chevalet saw frame. I rarely use this machine except for the times when precision is necessary, and I only have one 8mm mortising bit which can also be a limiting factor for smaller mortises, but larger ones are no problem as the table holding the workpiece can move up and down to make wider mortises. I have to admit that the cut was a little rough on the hard maple, so I guess my bit needs sharpening.
Here it is hooked up to the side of my combo machine
Here is the result.
I had an interesting day today. I got laser treatment for the glaucoma on my right eye, went food shopping and got an hour in woodworking. It is wonderful to have clear vision again. Maybe I will have fewer measuring errors now. If I were living in the ‘good old days’ I would not be able to read or more importantly continue woodworking. So in spite of the negative things about the current state of affairs, I still prefer the times we are living in, at least as long as Russia does not decide to annex Norway.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.