Simple M&T Joints: Beadlock Versus Router Table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
Simple M&T Joints: Beadlock Versus Router Table

Anyone have experience making lese tenon joints with the Beadlock mortise jig:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...8&site=ROCKLER

I was looking to do some M&T joints for some upcoming projects for tables, but this jig seems like a pretty easy way to make lose tenon joints.

I don't have a table saw, nor do I have a mortising machine. but I do have a decent router mounted in a table that has 1/2 inch collet for cutting tenons, as well as a couple of japanese hand saws for cutting tenons. I have a plunge base for my router, too.

I don't have any mortising chisels either. And I don't have a drill press, only a hand drill.

Anyway, the hard part for me is cutting the mortises, so I thought the Beadlock jig would be a good way to do it.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...

Last edited by Grunkle Stan; 05-18-2013 at 11:23 AM.
Grunkle Stan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 12:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Near Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,530
View amckenzie4's Photo Album My Photos
A few thoughts on the jig system...

1) This looks to me like a new take on dowel joinery, which isn't exactly the same as M&T. Maybe more like a Domino jig.

2) It uses custom stock for the dowels (like a bunch of dowels lined up next to each other), which means you're committing to buying fasteners from this company for as long as you want to do the jig.

3) It doesn't look like you can really use the jig for cutting square mortises unless you want to use it to guide your drill, then square all four sides of the mortises with a chisel.


Given all of that, I'd hesitate to buy the system. Here's what I'd recommend:

Option 1) Buy a mortise chisel. There are some Narex chisels at Lee Valley that are dirt cheap (by chisel standards) that I've seen a few good reviews of.

Option 2) Make your mortises with a bench chisel. I've done this in small stock (3/4" thickness) and it worked fine. One of the writers I trust says to always use a bench chisel. Another writer I trust says he's tried it and his bench chisels kept breaking. Your mileage may vary, but if you're cautious it should work until you can buy a dedicated mortise chisel.

Option 3) Use your router. I've seen dozens of jigs for cutting mortises with a plunge router. For a while it seemed like every issue of Shop Notes had one, and every second issue of Fine Woodworking. You'll still need to square the corners (or round the corners of the tenons), but that's not that hard with a bench chisel.


If it was me, and I had the money or didn't hate routers, I'd probably go with option 1 or 3. At the moment I don't have the money and I hate routers, so I'm going with option 2.
amckenzie4 is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 01:31 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,874
View trc65's Photo Album My Photos
Andy just gave you an excellent summary of options, but I will throw in my $0.02 for what it's worth.

I've got a couple of the Narex mortise chisels and they are a great value for the money. You don't need to buy a set of them, just buy the one that fits your needs right now and buy more as the need arises.

If you don't want to invest in mortise chisels, use forstner bits to drill out the mortise and then use your bench chisels. I do this with a hand held drill as I don't have a drill press and it works just fine. If you are uncertain of drilling a perpendicular hole, use a smaller bit and do a little more chiseling.

Actually, use forstner bits to drill out the majority of waste even if you are going to use mortise chisels - it is much faster!

I don't have a setup to use a router for mortises, but if you are still going to have to chisel out corners, why not just use a forstner bit - it is quicker and you don't have to make/setup a jig.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
trc65 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 01:36 PM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,839
View rrbrown's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by amckenzie4 View Post
A few thoughts on the jig system...

1) This looks to me like a new take on dowel joinery, which isn't exactly the same as M&T. Maybe more like a Domino jig.

2) It uses custom stock for the dowels (like a bunch of dowels lined up next to each other), which means you're committing to buying fasteners from this company for as long as you want to do the jig.

3) It doesn't look like you can really use the jig for cutting square mortises unless you want to use it to guide your drill, then square all four sides of the mortises with a chisel.


Given all of that, I'd hesitate to buy the system. Here's what I'd recommend:

Option 1) Buy a mortise chisel. There are some Narex chisels at Lee Valley that are dirt cheap (by chisel standards) that I've seen a few good reviews of.

Option 2) Make your mortises with a bench chisel. I've done this in small stock (3/4" thickness) and it worked fine. One of the writers I trust says to always use a bench chisel. Another writer I trust says he's tried it and his bench chisels kept breaking. Your mileage may vary, but if you're cautious it should work until you can buy a dedicated mortise chisel.

Option 3) Use your router. I've seen dozens of jigs for cutting mortises with a plunge router. For a while it seemed like every issue of Shop Notes had one, and every second issue of Fine Woodworking. You'll still need to square the corners (or round the corners of the tenons), but that's not that hard with a bench chisel.


If it was me, and I had the money or didn't hate routers, I'd probably go with option 1 or 3. At the moment I don't have the money and I hate routers, so I'm going with option 2.
Evidently you didn't watch or pay at tension to the video.

I agree about it looking more like a domino jig and that system is expensive. However you missed a few points that were important.

1) They offer a guide block and wide flat chisel to make it a regular square mortise if wanted.

2) Wile you can buy the tenon stock it's not all that expensive especially compared to the domino stock. However hey also offer router bits to cut your own stock.

Over all I don't think it's that bad of a system from what I can see.

Another option is to build a pantorouter which is probably what I would choose.
rrbrown is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
Thank you very much, Tim, Andy and Richard:

I think for now it might be better to do a combination of getting a decent mortise chisel, drilling or routing out the mortises then chiseling down to the line to square off.

I guess then the difficulty will be shaping the tenons with a router?

The pantorouter looks awesome, but it would require 1) me being capable to make it in the first place, and 2) me being capable to make the templates. I don't think I am up to either challenge.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 03:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,874
View trc65's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunkle Stan View Post
I guess then the difficulty will be shaping the tenons with a router?
If it were me, I'd just cut the tenons with your Japanese saws and trim to fit with a chisel. It's a lot quicker than you might think cutting/trimming them by hand.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
trc65 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to trc65 For This Useful Post:
Grunkle Stan (05-18-2013)
post #7 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
If it were me, I'd just cut the tenons with your Japanese saws and trim to fit with a chisel. It's a lot quicker than you might think cutting/trimming them by hand.
Yeah, I might end up doing that, although I might need to get a dozuki (Japanese Tenon Saw). While I am pretty capable at cutting shoulders though, my Ryoba is nice but it is probably not optimum for cutting cheeks in tenons.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 09:01 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Near Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,530
View amckenzie4's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
Evidently you didn't watch or pay at tension to the video.

I agree about it looking more like a domino jig and that system is expensive. However you missed a few points that were important.

1) They offer a guide block and wide flat chisel to make it a regular square mortise if wanted.

2) Wile you can buy the tenon stock it's not all that expensive especially compared to the domino stock. However hey also offer router bits to cut your own stock.

Over all I don't think it's that bad of a system from what I can see.

Another option is to build a pantorouter which is probably what I would choose.

You're right... I didn't even notice there WAS a video. Looked at the photos, read the description, and that was about it.

I do note now that the Pro version is the only one with the chisel guide, though if you mark well you really shouldn't need it after a little practice.

The availability of the guide and the router bit for making stock take away my biggest complaints about the system, but I'm still not convinced. But then, I'm not convinced about dowel or domino joinery either, so it may just be me.
amckenzie4 is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
Well, I think I am going to try and give using homemade jigs a shot first, just because I would like to have the sense of accomplishment that I hear other woodworkers feel when they accomplish something themselves (a sense that I am still hunting for).

> > > >

One more question:

I read in a Gary Rogowski book that using multiple smaller tenons could have more strength than using a single large tenon. If that is so, then would using several tight-fitting dowels be comparable (or better) than using a single (a little sloppy) tenon?

When I look at the Beadlock tenon jig, it basically "looks" like several dowel holes adjacent to one another. Will that actually be better than having the same amount of fluted dowels spaced slightly apart from one another?

And since that beadlock jig doesn't allow the use of a stop collar (instead you put duct tape on the bit and drill down to the tape), maybe it is better just to use dowels and a stop collar on your bit and drill them free hand???

A dowel kit (with a lock collar) from harbor freight is less than $4.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...

Last edited by Grunkle Stan; 05-19-2013 at 12:06 PM.
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 11:00 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,274
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
I was in the same predicament

I made my own version of a self-centering router base. Here's a totally simple one: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/...for-the-router

You just need to make stops on either end of your workpiece OR rout to a marked line. Also, you might want to add side piece the same height as the workpiece to increase stability, but leave gaps for the pins to travel fore and aft.



You either have to round off the ends of your tenons OR square up the ends of the mortises with this method OR use loose tenons already rounded over on the router table. Me, I just squared up the mortises.

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; 05-19-2013 at 11:03 AM.
woodnthings is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
Grunkle Stan (05-19-2013), trc65 (05-19-2013)
post #11 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
>>>>

Also, the router bit for the Beadlock (in case you want to make your own tenons) is $52. While I wouldn't normally have a problem spending $52 on a router bit if I could get a LOT of use out of it, I am not so sure that I would get $52 worth of value from it...

After spending $30 on the basic jig, $18 on the 1/4" adapter kit, $27 on the 1/2 inch adapter kit, you are in the hole roughly $75.

Getting three different dowel kits from Harbor Freight would set you back $12.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...

Last edited by Grunkle Stan; 05-19-2013 at 12:06 PM.
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #12 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
Thank you, woodnthings:

The article you linked to explains how it works well.

Thanks in advance.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...

Last edited by Grunkle Stan; 05-19-2013 at 02:53 PM.
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #13 of 16 Old 05-22-2013, 06:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 576
View Midlandbob's Photo Album My Photos
If only a few then the chisels and table saw works well with a bit of practice.
Midlandbob is offline  
post #14 of 16 Old 05-23-2013, 09:40 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 83
View panhandler's Photo Album My Photos
I have the beadlock basic and just used it to attach the apron the The legs of a table and it works beautifully. Easy to set up and make. However, if I had it to do again, I think I would have bought the pro model because of the versatility. The basic is very limited, even with the shims. I think down The road if I see the pro on a really good sale I'll upgrade then. The good news is that the 1/4 and 1/2 I think will work with it. I'll have to double check! Also, if I remember correctly, the pro has a chisel guide for making traditional motrises.
panhandler is offline  
post #15 of 16 Old 05-24-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 190
View Grunkle Stan's Photo Album My Photos
I think I am going to look into using dowels for thinner stock (up to one inch actual thickness) and router with jig moetises foe thicker stock.

From what i have researched, dowels have less chance of the wood itself cracking in thinner pieces than do M&T joints, and for thickee oiwces of wood the router might be moee viable than thw beadlock jig option.

Studies have shown that having a ladder in the home is more dangerous than having a firearm. That's why I own 10 guns... in case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder into my house...
Grunkle Stan is offline  
post #16 of 16 Old 06-08-2013, 08:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 100
View skyking's Photo Album My Photos
I just cut my first practice MT through joint. I used a speedbit in the drill press (no forstners yet), bench chisels, and cleaned it up with a small wood file.
I cut the tenon using the miter guide on my table saw, used the dial caliper to measure the depth of cut and cleaned it up with the wood file. It is reasonably tight. I had to file it to fit.

Last edited by skyking; 06-08-2013 at 09:31 PM.
skyking is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Homemade SIMPLE PORTABLE Bench Top Router Table Evil Scotsman General Woodworking Discussion 19 04-05-2014 10:57 PM
Jointing questions/issues (machine versus technique versus stock) ROBZ71LM7 Power Tools & Machinery 2 01-08-2013 05:16 PM
dado blades versus router bit? Duncancruiser General Woodworking Discussion 16 09-04-2012 08:04 AM
Which (Simple) Joints Should I Learn To Make First? Wood4Brains Joinery 19 08-01-2012 04:27 PM
project #2- a simple router table joetab24 General Woodworking Discussion 9 01-27-2011 09:16 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome