Cutting tennons

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Forum topic by Mike posted 06-25-2012 06:04 PM 1679 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mike's profile


60 posts in 2385 days

06-25-2012 06:04 PM

Hi all, what’s your preferred method for cutting tenons? I know there are tenon jigs for table saws, you can make them on a band saw, probably a router table could be used, not to mention hand cutting/ chisel…I’m interested in knowing how people make them, what they prefer and why. I’m betting this discussion will uncover some cool modifications or adaptations, as well as be a learning base for people like me who are trying to master the good ole Mortise and Tenon joint.

12 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3823 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 06:09 PM

Open tenons/slip joint on the table saw.

Invisible tenons table saw for the shoulders, cheeks
on the band saw or table saw. Depends on the length
and weight of the board being tenoned.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3215 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 10:40 PM

Dado blade on the radial arm saw. Safe and true.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3920 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 10:52 PM

Tenon jig on table saw or I have a home made horizontal mortiser, that also cuts tenons, that I use on long boards. When all else fails, I mark them out and use a Japanese tenon saw.

View madts's profile


1872 posts in 2515 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 11:55 PM

Tenoning jig on tables.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2866 days

#5 posted 06-26-2012 01:56 AM

shop made tenoning jig on the tablesaw

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DonnyD's profile


49 posts in 2350 days

#6 posted 06-26-2012 01:58 AM

tenon jig on table saw, rides the fence

View ShaneA's profile


7044 posts in 2774 days

#7 posted 06-26-2012 02:10 AM

As mentioned…length, width, depth and quantity have a factor into the method.. Just a few smallers ones I will nibble away at TS. More quantity small ones, a tennon jig. Long boards SCMS and band saw/hand saw combo. Mortises on benchtop mortising maching unless too big. Then forstner and chisels. Many ways to skin that cat.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3488 days

#8 posted 06-26-2012 11:48 AM

I don’t do a ton of mortise and tenon work, so I make mine on the router table and cut the mortises with a router as well.

A little quick work with a rasp and my shoulder plane and the square tenon will have its rounded shape for the mortise.

I may get a tenon jig for the TS one of these days if I continue with much furniture work, but for now the routers work very well for this.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 06-27-2012 05:05 AM

I use a slot mortiser for the mortises, then square them up. For the tenons I use the router table. I cut all the pieces to the exact length I need including the tenons. Then I use a marking gauge to mark out the shoulders. I cut all but 1/64 – 1/32” up to the shoulder. I fit it the thickness first then width. After it fits well I trim off the extra material using the marking gauge line as reference with chisels. Might sound like extra work, but it ends up perfectly square as long as the stock is square. I aways seem to end up with it not ending up perfect without using a marking gauge. The TS seems to have chipping and the router table and TS seem to end up with a corner or two slightly off.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2479 days

#10 posted 06-28-2012 05:30 PM

I actually cut all of my Tenons by hand. they are really quite easy. I use a Japanese saw for a really fine cut. And for the Mortises, it just depends sometimes I will just chisel them, other times I will use a drill and then clean up with a chisel and rasp.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Sylvain's profile


746 posts in 2675 days

#11 posted 06-29-2012 04:30 PM

have a look at this :

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View pintodeluxe's profile


5784 posts in 2989 days

#12 posted 06-29-2012 04:36 PM

I like a dado blade on the table saw. The reason for this—- you never have to stand a workpiece on end to pass it through the blade. With a dado blade, the workpiece is always flat on the tablesaw.
If you use a sacrificial fence and a wide dado set, you can make very clean cuts. Works great for through mortise and tenons.

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

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