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I'm kind of confused, and hope you all can clear that up....Most of what I see, suggests cutting tenons with a tenoning jig....to me, they look cumbersome to use......it would seem to me that cutting tenons with a dado blade is much easier, and just as accurate.....hope you all can help me think this through.....
 

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There are pros and cons to both. If you are making long tenons, where you have to pass the board over the dado several times to clear the wood, you will get some amount of variation in thickness due to pressure applied and dado stack variation. You also have to be dead on with your miter gauge setting or the shoulders won't match from side to side.

With the tenon jig/sled, you might get variation in thickness and shoulder angle if the saw is not at true 90 degrees or the sled is tilted even slightly. Also, if the board holder on the jig does not hold the board perfectly at 90 degrees, the shoulders will be off from side to side. Precision in set up is key to either method.

Both will tear out a chunk of show wood if you don't use a back up board. If you are putting tenons on long boards, both methods can be tricky. In that case, it would be worth using a router and making a jig for that.
 

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You can easily make tenons on the table saw without a tenon jig just using the mitre gauge.

See this earlier thread.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f30/bump-cut-tenons-53375/#post498367

Some folks use a bandsaw.

A dado set is useful for more than tenon's so worth getting for e.g., rabbits, grooves if you do not want to use the router table, or location does not allow using the router table.
 

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Like many things this comes down to personal preference, the tools you have to work with and what else you may use those tools for. You could under the right circumstances use both to cut your tenons so it is a matter of doing what you are comfortable with and can afford.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
You can easily make tenons on the table saw without a tenon jig just using the mitre gauge.

.....

A dado set is useful for more than tenon's so worth getting for e.g., rabbits, grooves if you do not want to use the router table, or location does not allow using the router table.
I have the Dewalt Dado set, and really like it....I used to do dado's on my router table, but I got the Dewalt set for my last cabinet project, and really prefer it to the router......

I had never seen the bump method...thanks for the link.....interesting.....
 

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I prefer the tenon jig, the cheeks are usually much smoother, and it actually seems to me to be a bit quicker. Not a big deal for a hobbyist. But I do them both ways, and don't really know what I use for criteria when I'm deciding. Like said above, it's a personal preference....and there's pros/cons to both.
 
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I seem to reach for the dado set and the tenoning jig just sits there collecting dust.
 
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where's my table saw?
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the basics

I'm kind of confused, and hope you all can clear that up....Most of what I see, suggests cutting tenons with a tenoning jig....to me, they look cumbersome to use......it would seem to me that cutting tenons with a dado blade is much easier, and just as accurate.....hope you all can help me think this through.....
Yes,there are both commercial and shop built tenoning jigs for the table saw. I have both and they are easy to use, but with limitations.
For example,
To tenon the end of a 4 ft long quilt rack stretcher using either of the 2 jigs, requires that you stand the piece up vertically on end, an awkward process and not easy to get perfectly vertical. You have to set the jig over from the blade to get the thickness of the tenon you desire, another tricky procedure to get it spot on and may require some practice cuts on scrap. Then you must move the entire assembly over the blade, flip the board over and make the second pass. Then you must flip the board end for end and make the same passes on the opposite ends. However, you are limited to the maximum height your blade can be raised to make the tenon length......
Unlike using the table saw and a dado head you can make the tenon any length you want. Just make repeated passes over the blade at the height to get the thickness you want and then flip the board over and repeat the process on the other face. You then flip the board end for end and repeat the whole thing again. Each time you change the height of the dado set it reduces the tenon by 2X that amount, so you must take small precise incremental cuts to get it spot on.

Having used both the jigs I now use the bandsaw. :eek:
I set stop blocks for the shoulders and for the depth and move the fence over for the thickness. I will probably not use my jigs again.
I also use the bandsaw for making half laps on the ends of boards to be joined at right angles. The bandsaw is a greatly under rated machine in my opinion and more people should get acquainted with their capabilities for making accurate straight cuts and not limit them to curves as one would expect. I know that doesn't answer your question. :blink: But I pointed out some of the reasons to use each method.
 
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I started using a dado blade, but have used a tenoning jig on the last few projects and prefer that now. I cut my shoulders first using a miter gauge, which eliminates the splitting out of the finished product and then cut the tenons. I find I get a cleaner face, which is easier to assemble and I feel gets a better glue joint. My goal is to get slip fit tenons that have zero slop....and I was never able to get as accurate with the dado as I was with the tenoning jig.
 

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I've never cut long tenons, the kitchen cabinet doors I am doing right now only needed 3/8" long tenons to fit into the stiles on the panel doors. So I just used a router table with a 3/4" straight bit set to the 3/8". I also go over the same cut twice in case the board had walked away from the fence on the first pass. It seemed to work very well but I like some of the ideas I see in this thread and know the next time I will do even better.




I cut the tenons just very slightly large and did the finish fitting with a shoulder plane which gave me the perfect fit for each one. A little time consuming but I'm not trying to make money doing this so time is of little concern.




I didn't have to clean up any of the shoulders, they cut pretty good on the router because the cross cut was accurate.

Good topic, thanks.
 
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