I would like to know which of the following way to cut tenons is
better and why:
- Use a table saw with a tenoning jig (home-built or store-bought
- Use a bandsaw
I would like to cut some tenons for a project. But I am also thinking
of getting a bandsaw in the future. If cutting tenons using a bandsaw
is better, I would prefer to get a bandsaw now instead of buying a
tenoning jig or building a tenoning jig (that will go to wasted).
Jay Chan wrote:>I would like to know which of the following way to cut tenons
is my unused, not going to waste, tenoning jig for the tablesaw. Cut the cheeks
on the bandsaw, shoulders clean up well on the tablesaw. C'mon, you know you
want the bandsaw! Tom
Someday, it'll all be over....
Have you considered a LN carcass saw, rip sharpened. After you learn how
(not difficult), by hand is quicker. I have the Delta tenon jig. As often as
not, I do them by hand. :-)
Have you viewed the Frank Klausz video about mortise and tenon work. He
demonstrates all the methods. It will give you a feel for how you want to
I have done it both ways. I prefer the table saw with a tenoning jig because
it gives a smoother cut. additonally, the jigs are usually micro adjustable
which is really nice. Most band saw fences are not micro adjustable.
(although some are.)
I have the adjustable Delta-type jig (mine is an import though). If you only
make square tennons, a shop built one is real easy and real cheap. I do a
lot of chair work, which has alot of angled tenons. In that case, I decided
it was just easier to by the cast iron adjustable jig than to try to make an
adjustable shop built one. You certainly could make it, but it would take
You can also do it with a dado blade and a table saw without any jig. I have
done this in the past and it works good. What i don't like about this method
is that I hate changing blades on the table saw. It take 2 second to grab my
tenoning jig, and I use my general purpose blade that is already on the saw.
Of course then you can also do it with a hand saw, chisel, plane, shaper,
router, or even a chain saw. Take you pick. They all work. I have never seen
it done on a wood lathe. Unless or coarse you are talking about round
tenons. OK, I have never seen it done with a thickness planer. There. That
is one tool that I don't think would work very well.
That is my $0.02
Joe in Denver
my woodworking website:
On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 16:36:15 -0800, Jay Chan wrote:
A TS with a tenoning jig limits the length of the piece being tenoned to
the distance from the TS top to the ceiling. Thing get unweildy long
before, and a dado set with multiple cuts can be used.
Longer work can be handled easier on a BS up to a point. You may also
want to leave the line and clean up with a sharp chisel.
The third option is a RAS using a stop block and dado stack with multiple
cuts as with the TS, but cutting from the top. You also can cut tenons
with the RAS by making the shoulder cuts first using a stop block and then
setting the RAS bevel so the blade is parallel to the table, setting the
work piece on an aux table so the blade is even with the left edge of the
aux table and the top edge of the blade is the shoulder cut depth above
the aux table. You then align the shoulder cut even with the left edge of
the aux table and draw the blade through the cheek cut with the off fall
dropping to the main table. This makes extremely accurate tenons on work
pieces of almost any length.
And finally, the old back saw cutting the shoulders first and cheeks last
leaving the line and doing a little chisel work with a scary sharp chisel.
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always
depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw
I use them both...Delta tenon jig for the cheeks, BS for the shoulders. I
prefer the tenon jig for the former due to it's micro adjustment ability to
get a tight tenon on what is usually the longer cut. That achieved, I go to
the BS because I am not so concerned about a little slop on the narrow cut.
Whichever way you go, you NEED a BS anyway. I have had one for about a year
and don't know how I got by without one for so long.
"Jay Chan" wrote in message> I would like to know which of the following way
to cut tenons is
I use both for almost every tenon I cut. Delta jig on the TS for the cheeks;
TS for the shoulders; and, for safety reasons more than anything else, the
BS for any haunches.
I personally don't like to cut the shoulders on the bandsaw because it is
not as precise as the TS. With the TS setup right, all tenons end up the
same length, and square, by referencing a fence/sacrificial fence and using
a miter gauge.
For the way I work, it is easier, and safer, cutting haunches on the BS with
a fence. They usually don't need to be as precise, so a little flex in the
BS blade won't generally cause a problem ... and the finger you save, may be
Get a band saw ... you'll eventually need it if your going to be serious
Swingman...I forgot that part...the initial cuts for both cheeks and
shoulders are always made on the TS. Adjust the blade height as needed but
NEVER move the fence to ensure that the lengths are always the same. Then
onto the tenon jig for the cheeks and to the BS for the shoulders.
I use both the TS and BS for tenons, though I have a tenon jig I seldom use
it unless it is at some odd angle, I know my regular rip fence is accurate
to 0.005 so I just use that to cut the checks.
Depending on the number of tenons being cut if using the BS I set up a stop
to control depth on the checks and then another stop that sets all the
shoulders the same.
Compared to the methods that have been in use for thousands of years either
method is more than satisfactory. The neander method is to make a diagonal
cut down to the shoulder, reverse the wood make another diagonal cut to the
other shoulder, then a third horizontal cut full depth; traditionally there
was no clean up of the checks with a chisel, trade examiners would deduct
marks for that as it meant you couldn't either saw or mark out correctly.
On 2 Apr 2004 16:36:15 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Jay Chan) wrote:
Bandsaws can also resaw, cut curves, clean out dovetail waste, and
rough rip. They are very handy tools to have.
That said, I prefer to do tenons on a table saw, with a sled, stop
block, and dado blade.
On my first m & t project I cut the tenons on my bandsaw. I've since bought
a tenon jig and it makes (for me anyway) a far better cut. More accurate,
repeatable, smoother cut. While I'd never give up my bandsaw, it is not my
tool of choice for tenons.
Most uf use use the tools we have as best we can if a specialized tool is
not available. It depends on your goals and priorities. After a few years
of playing iwth wood I finally bought a mortising machine and a tenoning
fixture for a total outlay of $350. I can get a very good result using a
$25 pocket screw jig also. Or the biscuits that I already have. I just
like the idea of a traditional m & t joint over equally effective newer
If you have the $$$, buy the bandsaw along the way. It is very handy for
cutting short lenghts of dowels, cutting curves, assorted trimming and
thouch up. The first time you need a 1/4" thick piece of wood and all you
have is 5/4 stock, you will appreciated the re-saw capability of the
Thanks for all the newsgroup members who have responded.
Seem like using a table saw with a store bought or a home-build
tenoning jig is the way to go (instead of using a bandsaw). This means
I don't have an excuse to buy a bandsaw. On the other hand, I pick up
a good "reason" to buy a tenoning jig that has micro adjustment; this
is what I need to justify everything.
As of the bandsaw, I think I will have to put it on hand until I find
a need to resaw wood. Unfortunately, that project is not on the
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