Tenoning Jigs

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Forum topic by therookie posted 04-05-2011 05:23 PM 4204 views 4 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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887 posts in 2825 days

04-05-2011 05:23 PM

I am building my mom a barristers bookcase for mothers day and there are a lot of mortise and tennon joints. I thought about doing them on the bandsaw but I figured if I could get a tenoning jig they might come out better. I was wondering the best brand of jig and the thoughts from others weather or not I should save my money and do them on the bandsaw. Thanks


10 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 04-05-2011 05:26 PM

I think you will get better tenons on a TS with a tenoning jig. However, tenoning jigs are not hard to make. I’d suggest that you consider making your own. There are lots of plans available (for free).

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

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12059 posts in 3753 days

#2 posted 04-05-2011 05:46 PM

Check out these links


BTW- why aren’t you in school ;^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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887 posts in 2825 days

#3 posted 04-06-2011 04:12 AM

Lew I am on spring break right now….. lol


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887 posts in 2825 days

#4 posted 04-06-2011 04:23 AM

oh yeah and thanks for the links.


View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 04-06-2011 05:13 AM

The bandsaw works great for tenons.

You don’t need a table saw jig to do them.

I usually bandsaw the cheeks and use a router table and an
end-mill to clean them up and make subtle thickness adjustments.

The router table can be used to refine the shoulders as well.

I learned this method from books and articles by Gary Rogowski.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3142 days

#6 posted 04-06-2011 04:52 PM

I have a Delta 34-184, two disadvantages on the manufactured jigs are blowout and width restriction.

To compensate for blowout: You use up a lot of scrap to provide backers.
To compensate for width restriction: You end up having a reference block the same height as the base to position your stock.

For haunched tenons you’ll still end up using a band saw or handsaw to create the haunch.

The Jet, Grizzly and Woodriver are all comparable, the only major differences are where the push handles are located. I like the Delta because my hands stay out of the way of the blade.

Once your dialed in through you can cut the cheeks on a tenon in about half a minute and run through all of them in one quick session.

The other main requirement is a good dado stack, so not a cheap solution but a good tenon jig will outlast you since they only see infrequent use.

Another side of the equation is making sure you have consistent mortises, again not a cheap solution but a dedicated benchtop mortiser again allows you to setup then produce large quantities in a short amount of time.

In the end though it all depends on your skill level, budget and time. Hand-cut tenons and mortises are amazing, same a dovetails, but the amount of time required to learn the skill is high. You’ll also need to have a reliable workbench to secure the piece, a marking gauge and patience. Building your own jig can be a very rewarding experience; but since you can puchase a tenon jig for around $100 it isn’t a major cost savings, at least when you factor in the time you’ll spend making the jig.

There are many ways to create T&Ms, finding one that works with you; skill level, budget and time. Just thought I’d play devil’s advocate for those who go the quick route.

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#7 posted 04-06-2011 05:55 PM

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#8 posted 04-06-2011 06:20 PM

^yeah, that’s one good way to go (Leigh, lol). I built a simple tenon jig for my tablesaw using a couple of toggle clamps & some plywood. Worked great. So, I had to mess with something that was working & bought the Rocker tenon jig. I was THIS close to buying the JET with the quick-release but my shopping cart was overflowing and the Rocker (WoodRiver I’m guessing) was only $89.00. It’s well constructed with good surfaces but it’s VERY heavy. You won’t be hanging this jig on your pegboard. It has really fancy fine-adjust controls and works well. $89 better than my homebrew? Not really. I’d build a really nice homebrewed jig if I were you. Good luck.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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887 posts in 2825 days

#9 posted 04-07-2011 07:48 PM

thanks for all of the feed back everyone. I think that I will end up building a home made tenoning jig so I can get the frames done on this bookcase.


View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#10 posted 04-07-2011 08:10 PM

I took some pictures of the Rockler jig so you can have an idea how it works. It’s pretty inexpensive if you decide to go this route but I searched “tenon jig” on lumberjocks and found so many homebrews that I’d rather have.

Here’s my simple 1 hour jig on a $99 tablesaw

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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