Same time I bought the mortiser, I bought the Delta tenon jig. So far I've
only cut one tenon, but it was a nice fit. I'm looking forward to doing the
rest of them.
I've done them on the bandsaw in the past but was not happy with the
results. I don't have a dado blade so I did not get to try that method.
I use power tools (table saw, with fence and Delta tenon jig, and a bandsaw
with fence) to cut the majority of my tenons. While there are many ways to
accomplish the same thing, the following is my preferred methodology:
I cut mortises first, then cut tenons.
The most important part in cutting tenons with power tools is "batch
cutting". IOW, cut ALL parts which require the same operation using the same
saw blade and fence stop settings BEFORE resetting equipment and fence and
going on to the next operation. This is especially important when using the
"fence as a stop" for cutting the shoulders.
Order of cut, depending upon type of tenon:
Delta table saw tenon jig to batch cut the cheeks on all parts.
Note: If you use a jig like the Delat, ADJUST it repeatedly, on scraps of
the _same_ thickness, to get a precise fitting tenon for the width of the
mortises which you previously cut. Most of these jigs/tools are infinitely
adjustable and will cut a tenon of a precise width, so take the time to get
the precision it will give you, otherwise you will be chiseling, planing,
sanding and otherwise wasting time fitting each tenon into its respective
Table saw with lowered table blade to cut shoulders. use a miter gage and
table saw fence as stop (cut any short shoulders, generally with a required
blade height change, BEFORE moving the table saw fence!)
Bandsaw, with fence, to cut excess material off any short shoulders or
haunches. This last operation can often be done with the tenon jig, but is
faster setup on the bandsaw.
Fit tenons into their respective mortises "hand tight" ... if you have to
pound them with a deadblow, they are too tight.
Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the length of a tenon for the shoulder
to fit precisely against the leg/stile. Do this with a hand saw, bandsaw, or
chop saw ... but NEVER recut a shoulder after this operation. :)
Tenons for the slats for Misssion style furniture I usually cut with a dado
set, a miter guage, and the table saw fence as a stop. You do yourself an
immense favor if you design the mortises and tenons for slats so that one
height setting of the dado set cuts all four sides of the slat tenons.
In the last step on cutting tenons in slats, and in the likely event someone
in the future will be dense enough to snug a dado blade (or any blade for
that matter) against a table saw fence, be sure to use a "sacrificial fence"
attached to your table saw fence.
"Swingman" wrote in message
If it fits in my delta tenon jig; I use that. Otherwise I use a dado blade
on the table saw; or for just one or two; I hand cut. For furniture sized
items; I do shoulder cuts (4) [may need two setups], then cheek cuts with
miter gage and no inset (the pieces cut off drop down into the saw and do
not bounce around the shop). Use whatever method or sequence that works for
I built a tenoning jig for my PM66 that fits in the miter slot. It
even has a fine adjustment setting with wing nuts. This makes quick
work of the cheek cuts. If there is a lot of material to remove, I
use the bandsaw to cut away most of the waste to prevent a flying thin
piece of wood and to get a more accurate cut. I used to cut the
cheeks by doing multiple passes over the table saw blade. Cutting
and making adjustments to tenons is a lot easier than
cutting/adjusting the mortise.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.