Episode #50: Cutting a Tenon

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5 thoughts on “Episode #50: Cutting a Tenon

  1. Bob, thanks for the great video. I have been cutting my tenons 1st, then the mortise, but after watching your video, I see believe it is better technique to reverse these roles, and sneak up on the tenon checks and shoulders for a nice snug fit.

  2. I have to say thanks as well. I’ve been trying to establish a shallow kerf across the end first and often find that the saw skates enough to lose my guage line. Working in from the corners first makes a lot more sense.

  3. I don’t own a mortising marking gauge, I only have a single pin gauge. In your video, you used the mortising marking gauge to mark out the width of your tenon. Can you advise how you do this if you don’t have a mortising marking gauge.

    • Ideally, you want to get yourself a mortising gauge at some point. In fact, I like to think of them more as tenon gauges rather than mortising gauges (I think Adam Cherubini coined this). The width of the chisel defines the mortise width, so a single pin guage is fine for marking out a mortise. Using a single pin gauge for marking out a tenon is a bit trickier, hence, it’s nice to have a double pin gauge where the pins can be set directly off of the mortising chisel.

      Still, with that said, it’s not impossible. Here’s what I’d do. Mark the mortise, leave the gauge set, chop the mortise. Then lay out the first side of the tenon with the same gauge, whos setting has not yet been changed. Mark one cheek of every tenon this way. Then reset the marking gauge to the other side of the chopped mortise, referencing off the mortise. Make sure you only reference the gauge off the reference face. Then scribe the opposite tenon cheek, again, referencing the gauge off of the proper face. While to me this method is not ideal, it will work until you can get or make a proper tenon gauge.

  4. Great video, Bob. I was actually wondering how to go about doing this if I didn’t have a mortising marking gauge but I see Harry already got there before me so thanks to Harry for asking the question and to you for your in-depth response!

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