Tenon Jig

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Forum topic by DGood posted 01-18-2010 03:31 PM 2554 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DGood's profile


7 posts in 3289 days

01-18-2010 03:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Pocket hole joinery has become very popular these days and while is works well for face framing cabinetry and some other joinery, I felt that it falls short in making strong joints for furniture projects. Hence, at the Woodworking Show (Jan 8 here in Baltimore) I purchased the Delta Mortiser (which won’t arrive until March) to achieve a stronger joint. Lately I have been thinking that I also need a tenon jig for the table saw. So the question, which tenon jig do you all recommend or is there another easier way to accomplish making the tenon?

11 replies so far

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3311 days

#1 posted 01-18-2010 03:53 PM

I bought this tenoning jig from Grizzly last summer:

For the price, it is a solid investment. It took an hour to set it up to use on my saw (which included thoroughly cleaning the shipping grease off it with paint thinner, brake cleaner and a brass bristle brush and then drying it with an air hose!), and about 4 cuts to get the hang of it. For the price, it has done everything I have asked of it.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3438 days

#2 posted 01-18-2010 04:59 PM

Welcome to LI’s. If you’ve got the time, you can build your own. Not really all that hard. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Grizzly too, its just that I do not produce that much furniture to warrant the expensive of a dedicated tool like that.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View TheDane's profile


5575 posts in 3901 days

#3 posted 01-18-2010 06:40 PM

I bought a tenoning jig from Woodcraft a couple of years ago … it was on sale for $60. It is the same jig they have today for $90. My jig looks almost exactly like the Grizzly jig, and I think both of them are patterned after the Delta jig that Norm has been using for so many years.

I started out with a shop-made jig, but it just wasn’t accurate enough. Maybe it was my lack of skill or the poor quality of the tablesaw I had then.

BTW … don’t sell pocket-hole joinery too short. I built two end-tables and a coffee table for the familty room using nothing but pocket-holes.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DGood's profile


7 posts in 3289 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 06:42 PM

Thank you all for your advice and ideas. While the flat cut with a dado blade seems to be the least expensive, the jig claims to make a better cut and hence a stronger joint. (wish I had the mortiser to try it out)

My plans are to make a wine cabnet this spring (shop not heated) and will let you know which method I used and how the project turned out.

View TheDane's profile


5575 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 06:50 PM

With any of the jigs, you do need to dial it in, which takes a little time and some trial & error with scraps. But once you have it dialed in, you knock out a bunch of tenons pretty fast. One word of advice … some guys leave the saw running and just pull the jig back toward them after making the cut. Don’t do that … if there is any play in the jig at all, it can mess up the tightness of your fit.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View bul1seye's profile


16 posts in 3298 days

#6 posted 01-19-2010 08:06 PM

I don’t know if you have considered this but I was looking at this from Leigh Industries. It looks like a very slick setup and you can make the mortise and the tennon on the same machine. Leigh seems like a company with great ideas and from my experience so far great support. Just my two cents. It may be a little pricey for some but it looks to be a very accurate way of producing a mortise and tennon joint.

-- Jim Oswego NY

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3407 days

#7 posted 01-19-2010 08:21 PM

there is a fellow out there that made his own using a dial caliper. it works very well. you should check it out before buying. watch the video of it in action.

you can buy the plan for $11. very cheap. best designed tenon jig i’ve ever seen. the box joint jig is cool too.


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View lcurrent's profile


125 posts in 4053 days

#8 posted 01-21-2010 03:46 AM

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4112 days

#9 posted 01-21-2010 04:24 AM

The guy also has a box-joint jig on his website. I built my own version of his box-joint jig, and use it for almost all of my tenons, half-laps, etc.

-- -- --

View Karson's profile


35153 posts in 4638 days

#10 posted 01-30-2010 04:54 AM

I’ve just used the table saw and cleaned up the tenons with chisels.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View HeirloomWoodworking's profile


238 posts in 3978 days

#11 posted 01-30-2010 05:18 AM

I have resisted the temptation of pocket-hole joinery, and have used mortise and tenon construction for virtually all of my projects.

I have used the same tenon jig mentioned above by TheDane and Uncle_Salty and have had good success with it. Some of the other jigs mentioned may work equally as well (or better) but I have never had reason to try another method.

It has become a point of pride to point out to potential customers, or people admiring my work that I use the M&T method. It is of course a much more time consuming construction technique, but in the end I believe it helps give my projects the identity that I am striving to attain.

I am not saying that pocket hole joints do not have their place, nor am I looking down my nose at those that use it, I am only saying that I have thus far opted to not use it.

a great topic

-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

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