Had to cut the tenons on the aprons for a set of tables I am making...
Carefully checked the height of my blade then lowered a touch for the
test cut. Made the first cuts then flipped over and as predicted the
tenon was too wide. Raised the blade and trimmed again, repeated
until the tenon fit correctly.
I then proceded to cut the tenons on the remaining seven aprons.
After finishing all my cuts I discover that the first piece I used was
slightly thicker than the others causing all of my other tenons to be
Moral of the story
Check the thickness of all of your stock and plane them to the same
thickness before working them. I guess that is why they say 1 by
stock is *approximately* 3/4.
Should work well unless the tennon needs to be centered and the pieces are
not the same thickness.
Actually a RAS saw with a dado set would solve the inconsistent stock
problem. Tennons would be centered and the same thickness regardless of
Except, that while a good method for cutting tenons on the table saw, it's
already been in woodworking books and magazines for decades. :)
You still need to address the many other project perils inherent with your
original problem of inconsistent stock thickness ... a good idea being to
mill your stock to consistent dimensions to start with.
It you do use these type jigs with stock of inconsistent thickness, be sure
to remember to pick out a "reference face" on each workpiece and stick with
it so that things like planned apron 'reveals', or lack thereof, will be
Nice - unless your stock thickness changes in which case you need
to adjust the fence
it's not only the tenon size you have to worry about - but the
location as well. Get apron legs off by just 1/16th inch on each end
AND in opposite directions then try and get a square table.
if there's a way to screw it up
I'll find it - twice
I feel your pain...
Main reason that I recently bought a planer, also..
When possible, I prefer to over head route.. partly to see what the bit is
doing, but mainly because the shopsmith uses 1/2" bits and the router 1/4"..
I made about a dozen small drawer fronts from oak scrap and decided that I'd run
them through the shopsmith with a round over bit to give me a more finished
look.. drawers were for the shop..
I realized too late that when overhead routing, your stock thickness is MUCH
more critical than face down on a router table..
Some edges were barely touched, some rounded, some had lines from the bit
cutting too deep..
It was a lesson that I needed to learn..
Things that don't kill you wear your ass out...
Please remove splinters before emailing
Yeah this is an old trap that lots of us have fallen into.
It is OK to just dimension all the stock to the same thickness for a
project. I sometimes use this method and even do some extra pieces
just for safety. However, the most accurate approach is to devise a
milling plan that ensures you get a repeatable thickness regardless of
stock variance. This requires that the second cut is indexed from the
face of the first cut.
Of course an easy approach is something like an FMT or Multi-router.
Another is the dado trick mentioned.
For an indexing method I have used a tennoning jig and modified it so
I did the fisr cut in the normal manner and then added a block at the
bottom so the second cut actually indexed off of the previous cut. You
have to have a second shim up higher that is thinner by approx the
difference in the first cut. Hard to explain here I guess.
You can do the same thing with a dado on a RAS. Do all the first side
cuts. Then build up base to place the first face on (face down). It
can also act as a stop to line up the shoulders if you set iu up right
but I usually have a stop at the end during both cuts which is easier.
Again, not to easy to explain but the distance from the base to the
dado cutter above is consistent so then is the final face to face dim.
If you'd used the Festool Domino you could've avoided three
1. by using loose tenon joints rather than mortise and tenon
joints there'd be no test cuts, no tricky set up
2. as long as you reference off the "outside" face it doesn't
matter how thick the stock is.
3. if you reference off the top edge of the apron part and the
top of the table leg you don't have to worry about a gap
between the top of the leg and the top of the apron
You also don't have to mess with "visible length" PLUS the tenonS
lengths. And if you screw up the location of a mortise you can
glue in a loose tenon and Do Over - nice to have an UNDO ability.
Screw up a tenon and you have to either make a new part or
"adjust" it's partner to match the screwed up part.
Oh - and it's almost impossible to be injured by the DOMINO -
the nasty spinning carbide thing is either IN the wood or
BEHIND the face of the tool - inside where it can't bite
Sheesh, you should be in their marketing department. I've read about
these (Domino) here and in print, saw a in-depth demo at AWFS and
still never wanted one. It just looked too much like my expensive
biscuit cutter that spends most of its life collecting dust.
Now I want one.
LOL, I have 2 "Biscuit Cutters" and a Domino. It really works much much
better than the biscuit. If the competition ever builds a cheaper version
down the road I suspect the Plate Joiner will be history.
It's kinda cool also using the Domino to make "through tennons" which the
Biscuit Cutter could not do too elegantly. :~)
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