LumberJocks

Best way to trim tenons

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by dschlic1 posted 04-29-2016 04:59 PM 784 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1434 days


04-29-2016 04:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane joining

I have recently completed a router mortising jig to cut mortises. The original intent was to make mortise and tenon joints with loose tenons. However I have discovered that there is significant difference in router width between end grain and face grain. So I am looking at rough cutting the tenons on a table saw and then finishing them by hand.

My question is what is the best way to trim the cheeks on tenons? And what tool is best? I have been looking at several options such as rabbet planes, rabbet block planes and shoulder planes.


15 replies so far

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2282 days


#1 posted 04-29-2016 05:28 PM

Not sure there’s any “best” way to do this. Personally I seem to get the most reliable and repeatable results using a dado set in the tablesaw. A tablesaw tenoning jig that either runs along the TS fence or in the miter slot works well, although I find them tricky as the piece gets longer. I enjoy cutting them by hand but find it hard to get super-crisp lines on the shoulders. I’ve also tried using a #78 rabbet plane, but I have not had the success I hoped for (think I still need to work on setting it up so that the blade is straight). I’ve also had good success combining tablesaw (for the crosscut) and bandsaw (for the cheek cut).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2088 days


#2 posted 04-29-2016 05:32 PM

Depending on how much ‘trueing needs to be done I go from a shoulder plane to a sandpaper block. I tried a rasp but I did not like the results.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4855 posts in 2277 days


#3 posted 04-29-2016 05:42 PM

A fine tooth dado set and miter gauge will make completed tenons, ready for assembly.

Many ways to accomplish the task, but that’s my preferred method.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1434 days


#4 posted 04-29-2016 06:08 PM

I have found that it is very difficult to achieve a good fitting tenon on multiple pieces. Most methods of cutting the cheeks reference the two cheeks off of different board sides. Thus any variation in board thickness is directly reflected in the thickness of the tenon. While a 0.010” variation in board thickness will be almost unnoticeable, a 0.010” variation in tenon thickness will.

For this reason I want to cut the tenons close to size, but a bit larger than they should be. I will need hand fit each tenon into it’s respective mortise. This mainly will be reducing the thickness of the tenon by remove small amounts of wood from the tenon cheeks.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2571 posts in 1721 days


#5 posted 04-30-2016 12:37 AM

dschlic1, I use a MortisePal (sadly, they are no longer made) and don’t have a variance between the mortises in rails and stiles. Is your jig held securely in place? Are you making a number of passes to reach the desired depth? What is the diameter and quality of your router bit?

As mentioned there are many ways to fine tune a tenon and it depends on your available tools and abilities with each. I use a belt sander and check the fit frequently. HTH

-- Art

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1489 days


#6 posted 04-30-2016 04:26 AM

Regarding post #4: this to me is an argument for having all stock milled to the same thickness. Shouldn’t be a problem if you have a planer (jointer helps, too).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View jmartel's profile (online now)

jmartel

6572 posts in 1614 days


#7 posted 04-30-2016 05:15 AM

A shoulder plane will do quick work of what you are asking. If the tenon is longer than the shoulder plane is wide, you can follow with a block plane to bring the rest down to size.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2194 posts in 945 days


#8 posted 04-30-2016 12:29 PM

On wider stock I cut to a scored shoulder line on the TS using a dado blade. I also leave the tenons a bit oversized and fine tune with shoulder planes. I will often use a router plane on one side to establish parallel first, then fine tune.

On narrower stock like F&P doors I generally use a tenon jig.
I recently obtained a rabbet block plane which is very hand for wider tenons.

Sounds like a good approach I got away from fiddling with “off the saw” perfect cuts and since them ww’ing has become more peaceful for me ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tim's profile

Tim

3114 posts in 1425 days


#9 posted 04-30-2016 05:09 PM

I’m sure lots of the options above would work, but if you want a hand tool option a rabbeting block plane is probably the easiest for tenons that are longer than a shoulder plane is wide. Otherwise, as mentioned already, a shoulder plane works


I enjoy cutting them by hand but find it hard to get super-crisp lines on the shoulders.
- jdh122

Yeah getting crisp lines can be a real trick. Paul Sellers talks a lot about it in his videos if you want to see it done. Basically you don’t chop vertically with a chisel into your knife line until you have less than 1/16” of wood left. That way your knife line doesn’t get compressed back. That and cutting a crisp knife line and lining your chisel into it properly.

View jar944's profile

jar944

88 posts in 902 days


#10 posted 05-01-2016 07:13 PM



I have found that it is very difficult to achieve a good fitting tenon on multiple pieces. Most methods of cutting the cheeks reference the two cheeks off of different board sides. Thus any variation in board thickness is directly reflected in the thickness of the tenon. While a 0.010” variation in board thickness will be almost unnoticeable, a 0.010” variation in tenon thickness will.

- dschlic1

That’s the reason I do it on a shaper with both cheeks cut at once. Setup takes a bit more time, but they are as accurate as is possible with wood.

View ThomasChippendale's profile

ThomasChippendale

244 posts in 396 days


#11 posted 05-01-2016 07:23 PM

Spend more time in the set-up and less hand tuning. There are no reason a tenon would have uneven shoulders if it was cut square first. When I get an uneven shoulder, I go back to the table saw and shave it back to where it should have been in the first place.

Shoulders with the table saw, cheeks with the band saw

-- PJ

View Loren's profile

Loren

8304 posts in 3112 days


#12 posted 05-01-2016 08:01 PM

A sharp chisel works well, but an Iwasaki file is excellent
as tear-out isn’t an issue. Highly recommend the files for
joinery.

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

330 posts in 1434 days


#13 posted 05-02-2016 12:00 AM

I will “rough” cut the tenons on the table saw, I have both a ado stack and a tenon jig. I am going to go with a rabbeting plane of some sort. Doing a quick survey of what’s available I have three choices: a rabbeting plane (somescalled a fillister plane), a straight rabbet block plane and finally a skew rabbet block plane. I am leaning towards the block planes as they are smaller.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#14 posted 05-02-2016 08:37 AM

Paul Sellers would probably tell you to use a router plane.

Go to the 23:38 mark of this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBodzmUGtdw

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1773 days


#15 posted 05-02-2016 08:48 AM

If you have a shaper and a couple of rebate cutters with a spacer between them you can cut them perfect ever time.

That how I do it if I have many to do.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com