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on the band saw
Simple to set up, easy to use, and dead-on accurate.
square to the blade and the miter gauge is square to the miter slot. For this operation, I get the best results with a 6 TPIV2" blade. And I keep the blade guide low to prevent the blade from drifting.
Mortises First. I like to cut my mortises first, because I find it easier to fit a tenon to a mortise than vice-versa. Then, I can lay out
a tenon on a piece of scrap cut to the same size as the workpieces. Using this piece allows me to accurately set up the fence and stop block for the rest of the cuts.
Shoulders. The shoulder cuts determine the length of the tenon and are visible when the pieces are joined. By cutting them first, you ensure a square and tight fit. If you
The mortise and tenon joint is great for building a rock-solid assembly. So, there are a lot of furniture projects that call for mortise and tenon joinery. I've tried several different ways to cut tenons. But I've found that with a simple fence and stop block, the band saw is one of the quickest, easiest, and most reliable methods. And, with the exception of cutting them by hand, I think it's also the safest. That's why you may want to give this method a try. You can build the fence and stop block shown at the bottom of the next page in no time. They make this an easy operation by keeping the cuts accurate while holding the stock flat on the table.
Start With a Well-Tuned Saw. A tight-fitting joint depends on accurate cuts. So, it's a good idea to
A Side Shoulders. Using the miter gauge, cut to the layout line and set the stop block.
A Top/Bottom Shoulders. Use the
same technique to make the remaining shoulder cuts.
ShoDNotes No. 87