How to cut a tenon with a jigsaw table

How to cut tenons with the jigsaw table

There are a lot of different techniques to make mortise and tenon joints (like a tenoning jig, or a router jig). All of them are perfect to make furniture. And we can cut tenons by hand or using the electrics tools we have in or woodworking shops. But we never have all the tools we wish. So I though that, because almost everybody have a jigsaw, and it is quite easy to make a jigsaw table, it is worth the effort to try to cut a tenon with the jigsaw table. My hesitation was about how long would it take to cut the tenon, and whether it will look nice or not.

Mark the tenon dimensions with a marking gauge

Before I begin to cut a tenon, first I must decide the tenon dimensions. In this case the tenon length is equal to the strip width. And the tenon thickness is equal to the diameter of the drill bit I will use to cut the mortise, to make the mortise and tenon joint. The diameter of that drill bit is, more ore less, a third of the strip thickness. Then, I use a marking gauge to mark the dimensions of the tenon I want to cut.

Use a pencil to paint the tenon lines

And I use a pencil to paint the marks so I can see them better.

Cut next to the line but outside the tenon

As I mentioned before, I will use the jigsaw table to cut the tenon. I mean, I will use the jigsaw table with the bearings guide that keeps the blade perfectly vertical.

First I will cut the lines that go from the head of the strip to the shoulder of the tenon. I have to hold the strip steady and follow the lines. Actually I don`t cut on the lines. I cut next to the lines and in the outside of the tenon.

How to cut tenons with the jigsaw table

So, to cut tenons, I think it is better if first I cut the tenon faces. Then I turn the strip and I cut the tenon edges.

How to cut the tenon shoulders

And now, with my jigsaw table sled (it doesn’t work well, so not sure if I will translate the video about how to make that sled), I can cut the tenon shoulders. And that’s all I can do to cut a tenon using the jigsaw table.

Clean the corner between the shoulders and the tenon

Now I can see I don’t get a very nice tenon, and I have to use a chisel to clean the corners between the tenon and the shoulders.

Cut a tenon and adjust it to fit the mortise

I also have to adjust the tenon dimensions so it fits in the mortise I made.

🎯 Read Mortising on the drill press

Use a chisel to clean the tenon faces

Then, I use a chisel to adjust the tenons dimensions until it fits. The good news is that after working with the chisel the tenon will look better. Well, never-mind, because it will be hidden inside the joint.

Round the corners so it fits in the mortise

I also use the chisel to round the corners of the tenon. We’ll see in another post how to make the mortise using the drill press. And that mortise has round corners. I could cut the mortise corners, but I decided to round the tenon corners so it fits to make the wood joint.

The truth is that cutting tenons with a jigsaw table takes more time than expected. But well, it is no easy to rip wood using a jigsaw. Not using an usual jigsaw blade. Maybe there is some special jigsaw blade for that, but I don’t have one. Besides, cutting hardwood is more difficult than cutting softwood. But maybe it is not worth the effort to cut tenons in softwood.

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