Trestle Table #26: Cut Through Tenons on Stretcher

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 10-30-2016 02:15 AM 1168 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: Leg Assemblies Part 26 of Trestle Table series Part 27: Fitted Through Tenons into Leg Mortises »

I have been very pleased with the leg assemblies I glued together yesterday plus this test cut of the through tenons I will be cutting soon on the trestle table’s stretcher.

The through tenons are 3/4 inches thick and just over 3 inches long. To cut these tenons I use a 3/4 inch tenon spacer on my table saw’s multi-use RIP fence jig. The spacer is 3/4 thick plus the kerf’s width of my Freud RIP blade.

The test cut tenon fitted right off from the cuts made on my table saw.

In order to use my 3/4” tenon spacer I had to glue an additional 3/4” plywood pad piece to my tenon push jig. I made two tenon push jigs when I made the RIP fence jig. At the time I thought it would just be a good thing to have two tenon push jigs made. Now I know why I needed a second. An infrequent use of a 3/4 inch thick tenon would require a thicker pad to hold the space plus the timber I was cutting to make a tenon at my table saw.

I make my first cut at my pencil mark and then I placed the spacer between the test piece and my tall RIP fence. Straight from my saw this test tenon fit well into the through mortise. I do not expect that to happen every time but it will be close enough to easily fit with my shoulder plane or a wood rasp.

I learned this spacer technique from master woodworker Tom McLaughlin. He has been a frequent guest and designer on PBS’ Rough Cut with Tommy Mac. I took an online course from Tom to build a craftsman style rocking chair. I have yet to finish that project; maybe this winter after my Christmas gifts are completed.

I first cut a test 3/4 inch through tenon to make sure my 3/4” tenon spacer was going to be correct or close to fit the through mortises on my trestle legs. They were an exact fit right from the table saw cut.

This image just shows the opposite side of the tenon push jig with the stretcher in position ready to have its tenons cut.

I cut my tenons in my trestle table stretcher.

They fitted just fine into the through mortises. This was straight from cuts on my table saw.

I used my hand chisels to clean the shoulders after cutting the majority of the outer pads off at the bandsaw and then trimming to the cheek line at my table saw with my Incra miter gauge.

Then I pencil marked the top and bottom line or point of the tenon that will define how it will fit into the through tenon. I trimmed those off at my bandsaw. So now I can test the overall fit of this tenon in my through mortise. I will do that tomorrow and finalize the through tenons by also making 8 degree mortises that the wedges will fit through.

-- --- Happy Howie

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