Tenon And Crosscutting Jigs For Circular Saws

Bob Wearing, in his book Making Woodwork Aids & Devices, has an excellent jig for cutting the cheeks of tenons. It uses the mitre-guide slots on a table saw, and is quite sophisticated in that it allows angled tenons to be cut. A simpler version could be made for 90° only operation.

The jig is constructed of birch ply with metal or wooden slides, with a clamp that can be made of either material. A slide allows the jig to be adjusted for different cuts and thicker tenons, and the stop can be made adjustable by drilling more than one set of holes in the vertical working face.

Once made the jig can be tested for accuracy by gauging a wide piece of scrap wood, then running it in the jig, adjusting until it is cut parallel with the gauged line.

As the table saw's riving knife and crown guard have to taken off for this jig, a separate guard will have to be made. A simple version is shown in Bob's book.

A cross-cutting box can also be made using the bed slots of a table saw.This is also made from plywood, the size depends on your saw. Start with the runners; these should be made to fit slightly below the level of the table, so that when they are screwed to the base they will ride free of the bottom of the groove. Once cut to size, put the base board against the rip fence - this will make sure it is square to the bed slots -then with the runners in their slots mark out and drill the screw holes. Screw and glue the runners in place, then make the front and rear fences. Attach the front fence only and make your first cut; not all the way through though! Once it is cutting true you can fix the rear main fence.

Making Woodwork Aids & Devices, by Robert Wearing, is available in paperback (revised edition, GMC Publications, 1999), ISBN I 86108 129 4

slide face fence guard

Mike Cowie's version of a cut-off bracket together with hinges allow for angled tenons

Workpiece

Components of the Bob Wearing tenon fig.

from the same stock as the carcass material, and mitred to form an L-section. The rails are then mitred into the legs.

These were all jointed using grooves and splines. To give balance, cut and cove a strip of cherry, and fit it between the plinth and carcass to break up the sycamore.

The carcass is attached to the plinth with glued and screwed blocks across the inside corners - slot the holes to allow for movement.

Finishing

The drawer fronts are finished with Danish oil, rubbing down with 240 grit abrasive between applications over a period of a week with daily coatings.

The rest of the piece is finished with sanding sealer and white polish.

Handles are the bane of my life, possibly because I ignore them at the outset, preferring to leave them until last. However in this case, comments raised when the chest was awaiting them were to the effect that any handles would spoil the front elevation. I was inclined to agree.

Expediency intervened, handle-less drawers only being opened with great difficulty. After playing with some scrap wood, I decided on a simple pull that could be cut with a router.

A jig was constructed and the required number cut from some spare padauk (Pteroccirpus soyawdi). After applying a coat of sanding sealer to retard the darkening tendency of padauk, I rubbed down the handles and attached them with screws. ■

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