Tenoning Jig

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Tenoning Jig

This essential workhorse is easy to build, accurate, and very efficient to use

By Paul Anthony

Of all the jigs in a furniture maker’s arsenal, a tenoning jig is one of the most useful. It allows you to use your tablesaw to cut tenon cheeks, openend mortises, spline slots, and other cuts that require standing workpieces on end. Various commercial models are available, most of which ride in the saw table slots. Unfortunately, I’ve found the ones that I’ve used to be expensive, heavy, and somewhat clunky to adjust. I much prefer this shopmade version, which is designed to straddle the ubiquitous Biesemeyer-style rip fence found on most modern tablesaws. Unlike the angle-adjustable fence on commercial models, the fence on this jig is fixed at 90°, but that’s fine for the vast majority of joints. In any case, you can outfit the opposite face of the jig with any additional fence configuration you like. As shown in the drawing above, the jig design couldn’t be much simpler. What’s important is that the fence block is milled perfectly square, and that the face panels are deadflat. When made properly, and fitted well to the rip fence, the jig produces terrifically accurate joinery. (Check out page 28 to see it in action.)

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