Chair makers saw / Tenon Jig

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Project by tinnman65 posted 10-05-2014 12:08 AM 7663 views 40 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This may seem familiar to some of you,this was a project by Jeff Miller that was in Popular Woodworking Feb.2014 #209. This is apparently an old tool that was mainly used in France by early chairmakers. After seeing this I knew I had to make one.The tenoning frame holds the work and creates a perfectly flat surface for the saw to ride on. This little jig cut perfect shoulders on tenons with ease. You do all your layout as you normally would with a marking knife or scribe then use a jig to line up these marks to the cutting edge of the saw and cut. The spacer block that is used to line the saw up is a block of wood with a washer filed down to a cutting edge attached to its edge at the exact height as the lowest point of the saw blade. Jeff Miller used a Lie Nielson saw blade for his saw, well that wasn’t going to happen for me. I just bought a kobalt tenon saw from Lowes for around $14, and used the handles from on old plane.The whole thing is walnut except for the base of the saw which is maple.
If you do tenons on curved parts or angled shoulders or if like me you sometimes have trouble even on straight tenons you will love this tool.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

18 comments so far

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2890 days

#1 posted 10-05-2014 01:00 AM

Very cool Paul! Is the jig post just lagged to the frame from the back? Perfect fixture for the tail vise!
Looks like a great bench buy the way.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View mbs's profile


1685 posts in 3819 days

#2 posted 10-05-2014 03:09 AM

Interesting. I wouldn’t mind seeing a video if you have time to make one.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Vince's profile


1272 posts in 4308 days

#3 posted 10-05-2014 05:31 AM

That’s Beautiful

-- Vince

View shipwright's profile


8593 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 10-05-2014 06:59 AM

What a fine old jig. Paul. It reminds me of my miter jack
There must have been an immense number of these wonderful jigs around before the electric motor came along and shuffled them off to the Dusty old store room.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View tinnman65's profile


1408 posts in 4292 days

#5 posted 10-05-2014 11:42 AM

Thanks for the nice comments ,
I think the older I get the more affinity I have for hand tools.

woodcox, yes that is exactly how it is attached

mbs I’ll see if I can make a video and post it

Paul , That is just what I thought when I first saw it, I think the magazine came out just after you posted the miter jack. That miter jack is on my bucket list :)

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View savannah505's profile


1854 posts in 4465 days

#6 posted 10-05-2014 01:36 PM

pretty cool bud

-- Dan Wiggins

View calisdad's profile


334 posts in 2388 days

#7 posted 10-05-2014 04:51 PM

Awesome !! I wish I had that much walnut laying around.

Japanese pull saws (Ryoba: ) have rip teeth on one side and crosscut on the other. Might be a fine addition to your arsenal.

-- Groveland, CA.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3171 days

#8 posted 10-05-2014 07:03 PM

Great jig and very nicely made!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View SteveGaskins's profile


762 posts in 3465 days

#9 posted 10-05-2014 08:21 PM

Nice jig and a fine way to cut tenons.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4858 days

#10 posted 10-05-2014 11:04 PM

Hey dude, that’s awesome! Nice job on it.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View kiefer's profile


5799 posts in 3545 days

#11 posted 10-06-2014 02:11 AM

Nice looking jig and well done .
I like your approach with the saw blade you used certainly much more economical .


-- Kiefer

View Isra's profile


135 posts in 2282 days

#12 posted 10-06-2014 11:58 AM

Gret job, it looks great and it works great too. Thanks for sharing it.

-- Isra, Salcedillo (Cantabria),

View mafe's profile


12609 posts in 3968 days

#13 posted 10-12-2014 12:17 PM

Really cool and what a wonderful version you have made.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sylvain's profile


1081 posts in 3378 days

#14 posted 10-15-2014 02:19 PM

Very nice build
You can see a version of this in use at:
(the tenoning sequence starts at about the 5 minute mark).

‘boîte carrée dite “à tenons” ‘ item 571 on page 40 of the catalog of the “Forge Royale” pointed to in the Lost Art Press blog of May 19, 2014.

similar object here

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View tinnman65's profile


1408 posts in 4292 days

#15 posted 10-19-2014 10:39 PM

Thanks Sylvain, That catalog was really interesting to see. The video was pretty cool also, the guy on that band saw had cutting to a line mastered. Now that I have seen the “Bilboquet” in action I might consider making one. It makes laying out the tenons look pretty easy. All these links were definitely worth a look.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

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