Trying new woodworking skills #9: Making tenons

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BJODay posted 10-04-2013 03:49 AM 1328 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Motises Part 9 of Trying new woodworking skills series Part 10: Tenon trouble »

I began cleaning out the mortises. I followed BTimmons advice to start slow and sneak up on the line. I had to find my strongest “cheaters” and a work lamp. I don’t know what I ever did to ruin my eyesight. This worked well. I cleaned up all of the mortises for the smallest table. They do not look as clean as ones I’ve seen posted here and on Youtube but each one is smoother than the previous one.

I was a little nervous about finishing all of the mortises so I thought I’d make the tenons for the first table. This way I can evaluate my work as I’m doing it.

I’m making the tenons on a router table. It has a Jessum lift and is very repeatable. The first pair I made seemed a bit sloppy. I have to remember that if I take off 0.004” of an inch, it really doubles because I take it off both sides. So on the second pair I was working a little more cautiously.

This is how the tenons feed through the router bit when cutting the cheeks:

This worked fine. This is how it feeds through when cutting the shoulder:

Not so good! The bit pulled the piece into the gap of the fence very slightly:

I’m glad I was ruining small pieces. I closed the gap and started fresh:

I remade the sloppy piece and the new one turned out well. Then I made three more pieces that are the apron for the table. It’s a lot of minute cuts but they fit snugly. I realized I have to be very careful marking the pieces. It is easy to flip them or rotate them. So I marked “Top”, “Left” “Right”, “Front” and “Back”. Each tenon is individually fit. So when I finished a tenon I marked it “OK”. while I continued on the opposing tenon.


1 comment so far

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3817 days

#1 posted 10-08-2013 12:05 PM

Be very careful with pieces that small. It’s all trial & error, and much practice. Just remember, nothing is perfect.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics