TS Tenon Jig - Sometimes Simple is Best

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Project by USCJeff posted 02-20-2008 06:21 PM 9696 views 55 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As the title eludes, I’ve found that sometimes simple is best. After looking at many elaborate manufactured and shop-built jigs, I found that many were a bit too involved. For the most part the goal is to hold stock perp. to the blade in which it is being fed into. It also must be able to cut an equal portion on each side of the tongue with ease.

This jig has a tall 90 degree support and rides the fence. The toggle clamp is nice as it is fast and always there. A clamp would accomplish the same thing, but it’s one more thing to grab. The vertical brace is 3/4”. It can be replaced when tear out starts occuring. The toggle clamp is calibrated to hold 3/4” stock. Instead of grabbing a wrench to adjust the toggle for thinner stock, I normally grab a thin scrap as it’s faster.


Using Toggle w/ Spacer:

On the rear, the supports are not glued, only screwed. I can tweak the supports to maintain 90 degrees if needed in the future. I made about a half dozen of the handles many months ago and they have been coming in handy for various jigs and temporary push blocks. One feature that I’ve found extremely useful is keeping the three bits in thier spots. I use these three bits (common tenon sizes in my experience) to quickly set up the cut width.

Setup Example:
(About time to clean the blade, huh?)

-- Jeff, South Carolina

10 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4793 days

#1 posted 02-20-2008 06:58 PM

This is an ingenious project, Jeff. I really like this. It has features that my commercial jig is lacking. I like the adjustability of it as well. This really adds some flexibility to the jig.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4960 days

#2 posted 02-20-2008 07:09 PM

I’m a strong believer in the KISS principal.

Great job.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View dlgWoodWork's profile


160 posts in 4726 days

#3 posted 02-20-2008 07:17 PM

That’s a nice jig. I plan to build one similar soon. How did you attach the handle?
I am going to put another clamp on the lead edge to be able to use it to do raised panels and bevels for box lids.

-- Check out my projects and videos

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4725 days

#4 posted 02-20-2008 07:36 PM

Very nice, I have been looking a various user built plans and really do like yours the most.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5271 days

#5 posted 02-20-2008 07:39 PM

It looks like a good one. Well done!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5040 days

#6 posted 02-20-2008 08:20 PM

Dgunn: Handles are attached w/ 2 wood screws from beneath. The raised panel idea is cool. I’m debating adding another tall aux fence in place of the short one. I could then use that side for a spline setup or a fixed bevel.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View woodsmith's profile


69 posts in 4764 days

#7 posted 02-21-2008 12:22 AM

Great project. Hope I can get me one built as soon as I get my shop organized (ha)

-- woodsmith

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4846 days

#8 posted 02-21-2008 04:22 AM

Hey, I love it! Looks a lot like mine. This may have been from a “Shopnotes” or something, I don’t remember where I got the idea.

But the drill bit idea for set-up and measuring… I had never thought of that! That is a great tip. I also like your idea of keeping it adjustable. That is smart. One thing that I like doing with jigs like this is using old hand saw handles. They are pre-made, easy to find, cheap, comfortable, and they look cool. Great jig.

-- Happy woodworking!

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5040 days

#9 posted 02-21-2008 05:01 AM

Yeah Blake, the basic design is nothing original. I ‘ve seen it in almost every publication at one time or another it seems. The old bits are great for setups on all machines for the most part. The router is where I use them most. It seems like I get a generic jumbo set of bits every other holiday, so I can leave the older extras by the tools. Beats measuring. Off course, having setup blocks or the machinest metal bars would work too. I can’t talk mself into buying the machinest bars as the twist bits are free and accurate.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4846 days

#10 posted 02-21-2008 01:58 PM

Very nice. The toggle clamp is a winner all by itself!

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