Tips & Tricks: Tenons

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 10-05-2011 07:04 PM 1993 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18615 posts in 4155 days

10-05-2011 07:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tenons tips tricks

what are your tips/tricks and strategies re: tenons

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

13 replies so far

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18615 posts in 4155 days

#1 posted 10-05-2011 07:05 PM

here’s a good LumberJocks discussion re: fixed vs loose tenons

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 10-05-2011 07:06 PM

Definitely looking forward to seeing these tips. I recently got a tenoning jig and am craving a benchtop mortiser

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3423 days

#3 posted 10-05-2011 07:28 PM

Sometimes I use a really cheap tenon jig on the table saw.
Other times I use a dado blade to cross cut the cheeks.
Then, other times, I use a router in a table.
Depends on the sizes and my moods.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3101 days

#4 posted 10-05-2011 08:24 PM

Ms Debbie, Ever since I made the screen door last year, I have been working on my M&T’s.
I recently purchased this book and it is taking up a lot of my time now making Mr. Chan’s jigs and practicing with them.

Although I have never reviewed a book other than a book report in school Oh so many years ago, I plan on doing a review when I have tried just about every thing in it.

As for fixed or loose tenons, at this time I prefer the loose tenons. With my woodworking skills at the bottom of the totem pole, I find them very strong and much faster and easier at my skill level.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2688 days

#5 posted 10-05-2011 08:44 PM

I see Rockler has a new M+T jig.. I’d be interested in seeing some reviews on it

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Brit's profile


7373 posts in 2837 days

#6 posted 10-05-2011 09:39 PM

Personally, I love to cut them by hand. I think that most of the time it is quicker unless you have a huge amount to do. Easy and accurate with a 2nd class saw cut on the tenon faces and 1st class saw cut for the shoulders. Cut to your scribe lines and undercut the shoulders slightly with a paring chisel and it will slide right into the mortise. No noise, just the satisfaction of a job well done.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View chrisstef's profile


17380 posts in 3001 days

#7 posted 10-05-2011 10:40 PM

Im with Brit, i cut em by hand and trim them up with a shoulder plane for fine tuning. I think its quite a bit quicker than setting up a dado blade on the table saw, unless you have a ton of them to do. I use a disston back saw 14 TPI.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3227 days

#8 posted 10-05-2011 11:20 PM

Tenons are a tricky bit of work for me. Thus far, I have used a router technique for cutting tenons, that my old high school shop teacher taught us many moons ago. Set your bit depth, place the work piece with a guide on your router mat, and nibble away from the inside out until the cut is done, then flip over, the ends usually get done by hand with a Japanese pull saw…

I’m honestly looking for a better method…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Grumpy's profile


23916 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 10-05-2011 11:44 PM

I like the loose tenon system.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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Craftsman on the lake

2790 posts in 3432 days

#10 posted 10-06-2011 12:08 AM

I like loose tenons but I like to cut solid tenons on a table saw but probably differently than most. If I have a board that is a 3/4” thick, I set the blade height to about 1/8”. then I set my fence the depth of the tenon. I slide the tenon crosscut manner several time then freehand use the blade like a router bit to take out the fins of wood. Sliding back and forth will smooth the tenon out. I do this on all four sides. It makes a fairly clean tenon that is identical on all sides. A chisel or a little sand paper cleans up the saw marks.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View TemplateTom's profile


93 posts in 3275 days

#11 posted 10-10-2011 11:59 AM

here is the answer I presented at our local Woodshow early September demonstrating not only the tenons but bridle joints off-set tenons tenons on a mitre and many more even finger joints and dovetails all done on the same Super Jig I have designed.
I madea statement some years ago when doing my presentations that I would never cut a tenon again and use only ‘Loose tenons’ Well I had to change my mind especially when I could produce the tenon with only one setting -up of the material all in ‘Ten Seconds’ even to rounding over the tenons raedy to fit into the mortice I produced with the router.

-- Getting more from my router with the aid of Template Guides Selection of Projects listed on You -Tube "Routing with Tom O'Donnell"

View TemplateTom's profile


93 posts in 3275 days

#12 posted 12-15-2011 12:55 AM

Just as a matter of interest the Jig is capable of producing a number of woodworking joints if you have a look at the other posts on you tube you will see that it is suitable for producing Finger joints and also dovetail even a dovetail or a tenon on the mitre. All made with the same jig that I made from material in the workshop (Shed)

-- Getting more from my router with the aid of Template Guides Selection of Projects listed on You -Tube "Routing with Tom O'Donnell"

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2964 days

#13 posted 12-15-2011 03:01 AM

Someone posted a video here a few weeks ago “speed tenons”, I only got to give it a go this week, I am converted. Worked like a charm. Use the router for anything wider than 6” running it on a zero clearance jig.

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