Tenon Jig for Router Table

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 11-01-2013 06:25 PM 8625 views 28 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t make very many tenons and I have a project that needs some cut now and I thought it might be nice to have a jig for my router table. So I planned this one for cutting with a 1 1/4” max router bit.
It is made out of maple plywood and has 3 positions for clamps and I found that one is sufficient. I added some cherry stops to the table so you can move it from the load position to the cut position without fear of hitting the spinning bit. The handle was an after thought and originally was going to be up high and part of the back board but is seemed better to have it low with pressure on the bottom corner to hold it place while cutting.
I thought I’d have to rough the wood out on the band saw, but it cut good full depth. Maybe bigger ones might need pre-trimming.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

33 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3463 days

#1 posted 11-01-2013 06:33 PM

Jim nice and neat wee jig.
Simple enough to be used often.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Diggerjacks's profile


2320 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 11-01-2013 07:13 PM

Hello Jim

Great work

A different solution and approach that we have ever seen here.
Be careful with the piece of steel !!!
Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3767 days

#3 posted 11-01-2013 07:29 PM

You build the most beautiful jigs Jim. First thing that came to mind is I expected to see you mounting your part vertical, not horizontal. I am convinced you would get a much better cut in the vertical position, given the orientation of the grain to the router bit. I’m sure there are aspects of this I have not considered so don’t take this as a criticism. It is merely an education for me.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View luv2learn's profile


3000 posts in 2910 days

#4 posted 11-01-2013 07:53 PM

I like your jig Jim. You can never have too many methods for cutting tenons.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2899 days

#5 posted 11-01-2013 07:55 PM

Looks to be a well made and well thought out jig. I particularly like your idea to make the tenons by running the piece through the bit in a horizontal position as is potentially more stable than running a longer piece throug the bit in a vertical position. Congratulations on a job well done.

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

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3430 days

#6 posted 11-01-2013 08:20 PM

You certainly don’t do things by halves Jim, I’m not a “joinery” man but I bet a lot of the guys will love this one :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View pintodeluxe's profile


6035 posts in 3420 days

#7 posted 11-01-2013 08:21 PM

Do you get much tearout?
I usually cut my tenons with a dado blade. Nice jig, hope it works well.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View doubleDD's profile


8970 posts in 2650 days

#8 posted 11-01-2013 09:09 PM

Pretty cool jig. Why didn’t you come up with this 6 months ago before I went out and bought one. I’m extremely happy with mine, of course building one is more fun. Looks like the angled handle should give ample pressure. Great use of that Maple plywood and good thinking Jim.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#9 posted 11-01-2013 10:03 PM

Well designed and built jig Jim. The steel stop worries me a little, I think I would go with wood for that, however, you might be a lot more careful than me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2795 days

#10 posted 11-01-2013 10:05 PM

Thank you Jim! That looks like something I could build. I don’t think I’d stop at tenons. It look like an all around good sled. I suppose tear out is not much of an issue if you use a sacreficial board against your sled fence. Nice!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 2321 days

#11 posted 11-01-2013 10:19 PM

Nice jig. Favorited!

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2738 posts in 4291 days

#12 posted 11-01-2013 10:34 PM

Another very handy jig Jim, well thought out and made.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Grumpy's profile


25952 posts in 4458 days

#13 posted 11-01-2013 10:40 PM

Jim, there is nothing that compares to a neat jig. Well done!

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Cliff 's profile


1610 posts in 2331 days

#14 posted 11-01-2013 11:53 PM

Jim, thanks for posting this. I haven’t used my Table Mounted Router yet. All a bit daunting til I gradually get it sorted in my mind how to go about it. In fact I have never used a Router at all, that’s why I am treading cautiously….....However this Jig is a Beauty, I can quite clearly see the function it performs. One day I would like to have a go at making one.
Thank you.


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23759 posts in 3712 days

#15 posted 11-02-2013 01:33 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments. Glad you like it. I am extremely pleased with it. Originally I had planned to score a line where each cut would be and then I tried it without it and I did not get any tear out on the sample. So then I cut 4 oak tenons for this next project and did not get any tear out. In fact, I didn’t use any clamps either. I just pushed the part down, into the corner and against the steel stop and slid it by the router pretty as can be. I had them all done and put the fixture up on the wall in a half an hour. I’ll use it again when I put tenons on the legs for the nylon feet.

I cheated on the mortices. I put them all in using the milling machine with a 1/4” router bit. I got the one cut to the correct size and then did the other 3 by just hitting the numbers on the hand wheels. I call that HNC machining ( Human Numerical Control) !! A little round over on the corners with the sander and they tapped right in.

Hi Mike. I’m not worried about the steel gauge. It will not wear and is tightened down with a machine screw in a T nut. That is the first thing I set- I put it half way down the board so it catches the end on all the flips to make a tenon. Then I set the table stops for travel and start adjusting the fence and cutter to hit the dimensions. I wish I had a video camera to show how it works.

Hi Mark. I was thinking this could be used for a lot more stuff that I pass through the router- like single dovetails and slot cutting and rabbet cuts if the boards fit in there. The one thing I really like is that is centers the tenon It takes exactly the same off both sides. I measure the first cut and then take raise the cutter up half of what is need to hit the dimension on the tenon. I built this right on the router table up against the fence with a bunch of clamps!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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