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What am I missing? #1: re: tenon cutting and jigs and such.

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Blog entry by woodklutz posted 1253 days ago 841 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Why if we can cut a tenon on a table saw router table or band saw with out a jig device do we purchase or make devices to create them?
I tseems is so simple with a few carefully measured cuts the job is done.
So I ask very seriously why? What am I missing.

This question also applies to the myriad of accessories that you are told you need because you discover that if you did not know they existed you would have made it yourself out of necessity from scraps and felt proud that you did.

It is my opinion, that it also much more fun to create a jig or accessory.

Save the money for great blades and good tools.

-- honing my craft one mistake at a time.



8 comments so far

View sras's profile

sras

3773 posts in 1715 days


#1 posted 1253 days ago

I can give you an example in my blog (latest entry posted right after yours). When parts are curved and when you are making many copies (30 slats in my case), the jigs provide repeatability. I am sure one could figure out how to do this without any extra support, but I prefer to save the time and have a little extra assurance that I will be consistent.
It really comes down to a choice. There are several ways to accomplish any task.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2111 days


#2 posted 1253 days ago

I’ve been cutting them on my tablesaw for years but have just recently been thinking about building a pantorouter for the task. It looks like a very cool project to build and will cost pennies compared to a multirouter.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2591 days


#3 posted 1253 days ago

Aside from attaching a taller board to the tablesaw fence for better support, there is no reason for a tenoning jig. It is imperative that the parts to be tenoned be square and true however. And always start out with a couple of scrap set up pieces.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

209 posts in 1431 days


#4 posted 1253 days ago

I’m a newbie to tenons, but have made my first successful door using them. I have a table saw with built in (shop-made) router table extension. I don’t have a band saw, so I have never tried doing a tenon on that.

So far, I prefer to cut tenons on the table saw rather than on the router table.

Some cons on the router table approach:
  • Router tables produce a much larger volume of sawdust and shavings. I figure the more sawdust we produce, the more blade wear.
  • Cutting deeply requires several passes with the router. Too aggressive, and the piece walks away with poorly-shaped grooves or damaged wood.
Some pros on the table saw approach:
  • I can cut deep tenon cuts with one pass. True, I need a different setup to cut the shoulders. Still, this approach allows me to make many, or just a few, identical pieces, quickly.
  • Table saw blades can easily be resharpened, something I do regularly anyway.
Cons on the table saw approach:
  • it can take some time to get the tenon jig set perfectly. However, I’m not sure it’s any more than setting up a router table.

It’s also true that I am new to router tables, and as I get to know my equipment, I might find better ways to get the job done and thus change my mind.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

209 posts in 1431 days


#5 posted 1253 days ago

miles125 wrote: ”Aside from attaching a taller board to the tablesaw fence for better support, there is no reason for a tenoning jig.”

I respectfully disagree. Cutting a tenon on the end of narrow board is tricky to hand-hold for the cut, especially for thin boards. If I were to do this with my fence, I would like some kind of carrier jig (sled) to hold it perfectly upright and against the fence. My tenon jig includes this capability.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2408 days


#6 posted 1253 days ago

I agree with Mark’s last comment. I bought a tenoning jig 7 or 8 years ago. It sat in a drawer and has not been used until last week when I was working on some bridle joints for the doors of a cabinet I am making. I could see no other way to cut the mortises without using the tenoning jig. Other than this one instance it has largely been unnecessary to use when I have cut mortises or tenons, which I will usually do on my table saw.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2591 days


#7 posted 1253 days ago

”” Cutting a tenon on the end of narrow board is tricky to hand-hold for the cut””
Mark Colan

You solve that by ripping too narrow of pieces after the fact. Add a little wd40 to make sure all slides easily….Has worked great for me for a long time.

Maybe theres confusion in that i’m talking doors and you guys are talking cabinet doors. In that case, yes you would need a jig. Or else go to a much easier dowel assembly whic is what i do.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Pete_Jud's profile

Pete_Jud

423 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 1252 days ago

I have the delta tablesaw jig and use it all the time. I think I bought it because “Norm” had one.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

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