Mortise and tenon
joinery is very common in furniture construction. The shape
the joint provides a lot of surface area for the glue to
adhere to which makes for a strong joint. The tenon can be
milled several different ways. A stacked dado can be used
with a radial arm saw, or use a router with a straight cutting
Both of these methods work well but don't work as well as
a tenon jig used on the table saw.
For a number of years now I have used a shop made tenon jig
to cut tenons. It worked great at the start but as time went
on it started to "loosen up" and just got to the
point where it was sloppy. Last spring I made the jump and
bought a Delta tenon jig and retired the old
I have used a Delta planer before and found that it worked
well so I went with the Delta tenon jig. Initially it was quite
sloppy in the miter slot of my old Rockwell
Beaver table saw
but by using a hammer and punch to dimple the guide on the
jig, now fits and slides smoothly.
The feel of the tenon jig is that of a good tool. It is sturdy
and easy to set precisely. Nothing is more frustrating then
a guide that moves out of position as you tighten the knob.
Immediately after the first tenon was cut I threw out the
shop made one. I wanted to hang on to it in case I didn't like
the Delta tenon jig and had to return it. Since it has passed
the initial test it gets to hang around for a while. The shop
jig worked well but lets face it, the precision just wasn't
there and that is what counts when cutting tenons.
If I was to change anything I would get rid of the spring
loaded knobs and replace then with a simple threaded knob.
This is a minor detail and doesn't really take away from the
usability of the Delta tenon jig.
Overall the Delta tenon jig works real good. The adjustments
are smooth and precise making fine tuning simple. I wouldn't
go as far as to say it is the best tenon jig out there but
I would say that it will work great for 95% of the wood workers
that use one. I can't imagine what more could be added to this
jig to improve it.
Buy your Delta Tenon Jig at Hartville Tools