How to make Large Finger Joints - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-21-2014, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to make Large Finger Joints

Need advice on how to make large finger joints in the end of a 3"x6". I am trying to make a Nyquist Tail Vise and I am having problems trying to figure out how to accurately cut the joints with power tools. I have a table saw but the dado set is only 8" and will not cut three inches deep. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-21-2014, 11:56 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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bandsaw?

I have had pretty good luck/accuracy using a bandsaw to cut tenons. I don't see why you couldn't use it to cut your fingers. You'd have to pare the edges a bit to get them precise. Wasting out the centers would require a jig saw with a 6" blade OR use the bandsaw as far as it will get you. I like a 1/2" 3 TPI blade on my 14" saw and a 3/4" 3 TPI blade on my 18" saw. You may be surprised how accurate you can get with a new sharp blade....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-23-2014, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. I cannot say that I have made allot of finger joints though I have used some inferior (read cheap) jigs that incorporated the use of a router. I have since purchased a Leigh jig and was very excited about it until I realized that a router will not make a 3" finger joint. I do have a Delta band saw and a table saw. I will try the method you suggested in a scrap 3x6 using my band saw. I have also decided to make a sled for my table saw and see if I can get it to cut the fingers using a single blade. I have also purchased a 10 inch dado set for my table saw (Bosch Contractor) but the instructions say not to use anything larger than an 8" dado set. The 10 inch fits just fine, though the table insert plate does not work with a 10" dado set. I am contemplating removing the majority of the material between the fingers with a single pass table saw blade, or band saw, and then using the 10" dado stack for the finished cut without the plate installed. I am a little nervous about trying this, any advice?
Thanks again for your reply
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-23-2014, 01:18 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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don't use the 10" dado

They don't want you to use it, it will have too much spinning inertia and may damage the motor/arbor.

A single blade on the table saw will define the outsides of the cut and you can "waste" away the interior by several means ...jigsaw, handsaw, bandsaw, multiple table saw cuts... etc.
I have a 10" dado for my 12" tablesaw, it's a monster and very intimidating when spinning at 5,000 RPMs.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 11-23-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-24-2014, 10:08 AM
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I'd be using a band saw and chisel for this.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-24-2014, 05:27 PM
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Are we talking about finger joints or dovetails? I would use dovetails for what you're describing. A finger joint is generally used to glue to boards end to end. In the case of large dovetails, a handsaw and chisel should be all you need.

Those who say it cannot be done should stay out of the way of the people doing it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-25-2014, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! This site is a wealth of information. I think "WoodNThings" has confirmed what I suspected, the 10" dado set would put undue stress on my table saw. I am now stuck with a brand new 10" dado stack that needs a new home.
The joints I am looking to fabricate are for a "Nyquist" Tail Vice. When it is done, it will look like three 3"x6" pieces of lumber arranged in a "Horse shoe configuration. I have seen quite a few of these vices in the "Work Bench" book by Lon Schleining. Nowhere does it explain how the joints were cut, but they are finger joints. I think dove tails would be stronger but they would also be more difficult to cut. I plan on making a trial run on some relatively soft 3"6 Doug Fir, and if it goes well, I will make the final project out of some very hard/old Ipe wood.
Thanks again for all your input and advice. I feel like I have already saved my table saw and perhaps a nasty causality.
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