Saturday, December 27, 2008


To make the tenons on the ends of the apron parts, I used the table saw. The fence acts as a stop so all the shoulder cuts are (hopefully) in the same plane. The height of the blade determines how much will get removed from each side - do one side, flip it over, do the other. I nibbled away the material between the initial shoulder cut and the end of the tenon by making several passes over the blade, moving a little farther from the fence with each pass.

Another batch job: there's no set-up change, so the parts crank thru pretty quickly. Here are the half-formed tenons on the apron stock.

To make the edge shoulder cuts, the blade is raised, the stock is fed on edge, and the process repeated.

The roughed-out tenons on the apron stock.

I usually use a "combo" blade on my table saw. The "combo" refers to it being used for both rips (with the grain) and cross-cuts (across the grain). One compromise of a combo blade is that the grind on the teeth is not flat - it has points on the outboard sides of alternate teeth which prevent tear-out on cross-cuts, but which leave ridges on non-thru cuts. That's what makes the tenon look so rough after table-sawing.

One of my woodworking epiphanies was that hand tools more than earn a place in a modern shop: they're essential tools. A few swipes of this shoulder plane...

Cleans up the tenon surfaces really, really efficiently.

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