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Thread: Advice about use of tenoning jig

  1. #1
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    Advice about use of tenoning jig

    I am considering adding a benchtop mortiser (Delta or Jet) or a Mortise Pal to the shop this spring, and getting a Grizzly tenoning jig. I haven't decided how to go with the mortiser, and suggestions about that are invited.

    I would like input on something I saw in the Grizzly manual; they say it's important to use a riving knife when doing the cheek cuts, to avoid kickback. My TS3650 doesn't have a riving knife, and I'm wondering whether this is a serious issue. I wouldn't expect to be cutting tenons in stock wider than 4" or thicker than 1", nor would I expect cheek cuts more than 1.5".

    Any thoughts?

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  2. #2
    I don't have a riving knife and have cut thousands of tenons with a Delta tenoning jig, which I assume is very similar. Make the cut so the waste falls to outside of the blade... don't trap it between the jig and blade.

    I'll also suggest looking for a floor mortiser... used if need be. You can jig up the benchtop models to do most everything, but the sliding table, real clamp, and extra height you get with the floor model make it much more versatile if you're going to cut a lot of mortises.

  3. #3
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    i've used my table saw, delta tenoning jig, and jet benchtop mortising machine to make the hundreds of mortise & tenon joints for the furniture at home, for the family, competition, etc., with no problems.
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  4. #4
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    Kirk has it spot-on. Like him, I've cut hundreds of mortises - without a riving knife - and with no mishaps.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    why would you need a riving knife to make a tenon? usually its a really short pass with the jig, or over a stacked dado....
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  6. #6
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    +1 on lots of tenons and no riving knife. I can see the added safety of the "splitter" being closer to the cutoff point but I have never launched a cutoff.

    I went through the hollow chisel mortiser decision and ended up with the Mortise Pal. Very versatile and well made. It also eliminates the need for the tenoning jig for those tenons that won't be for show. I only wish I hadn't missed the boat on the credit for old model owners when upgrading to the current model (3" capacity vs. 2" on mine).
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  7. #7
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    You do not need one. A zero clearnce insert is a good idea.

  8. #8
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    when i used to cut tennons on the saw i didn`t use a store baught jig i made my own that rode on the fence, use a handscrew to clamp the work.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks, guys. I suspected that the riving knife warning was overkill, given the nature of the cuts involved.

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  10. #10
    Tony...

    I have that tenoning jig. My tenons are usually in the range you mentioned. Never used a riving knife. I did use sandpaper adhered to a granite block to smooth/flatten the bottom of the jig when I first got it, but apart from that no issues. The miter bar has a couple of set screws to snug it in the slot, so it slides without slop. I used a shop-built jig for awhile, and find the Grizzly to be more accurate and quicker to set up than the one I built. I think it's a good value.

    My saw is a Grizzly G1023SL. I had a Delta 34-183 tenoning jig that I used with the Delta contractor's saw I used to have, and when I upgraded to the Grizzly saw that jig's range diminished. Can't remember exactly, but it was something to do with the distance of the miter slot from the blade...either that or I didn't know what I was doing. Of course the Grizzly jig works fine with my Grizzly saw. If you want I can give you the blade-to-slot dimensions from my saw so you can check against yours. Don't have the contractor's saw anymore, so can't provide that. The Delta jig didn't have any means of snugging the bar in the slot, and it was sloppy. I noticed back then that that was a common complaint, so maybe Delta has fixed that. They also have a 34-184 for about $35-40 more, and I'm guessing it is fixed on that one. Personally I am no longer a Delta fan.

    As for the mortiser, I had the Jet benchtop for awhile. Sold it and bought a stand-mounted mortiser (G0448). I agree with Kirk about the floor mortisers. Much better clamping, and the sliding table (with stops) is nice. It can sometimes be a bugger to back the chisel out of a mortise, and the benchtops don't seem to have adequate clamping for that. There are more choices now than when I bought the Jet, and a broader price range, so some research would be advised.

    Cheers.

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