Technical Index
Customer services
View Your Order
Express Order Page
Branch locator
Whats new
Special offers

Pro's Page
Author: John English


Making a Tenoning Platform

The tenoning platform is simple to make, and you will be able to screw one together in just a few minutes.

It is so easy to make, in fact, that you may just toss it after a job is completed. Next tenoning job, you’ll just make a new one. You can easily tailor the jig to a special job. Make it wide enough to accommodate two workpieces, for example.

1. Cut the parts. Five parts is all you need, and you will probably find the stock for them in your scrap collection. The parts aren’t big, and they don’t need to look good.

The two platforms must be flat, and it is a whole lot easier to assemble the jig if they also are square. I favour MDF for these jigs because it has a good edge. It is crisp, free of voids, and won’t develop washboard ripples after a few passes.

The fences must be straight. They should be slightly thinner than the stock you are going to cut tenons on. By making the fences thinner than the working stock, you ensure that the platform rests on the work, not the fences.

The work stop should be no thicker than the fences. Its end must be square.

2. Screw the platforms to the fence. Getting the main platform joined to the fence at a perfect right angle is the most critical part of the entire procedure. Align the platform edge flush with the edge of a fence piece. Drill a countersunk pilot hole, and drive a screw, setting its head below the platform surface. Then use a square to set the guiding edge of the platform at right angles to the fence, pivoting the pieces on that first screw as necessary. Clamp the parts together when they are perfectly square. Drive two more screws.

Mount the platform to the second fence in the same way.

Position and attach the support platform next. An easy way to set it is to butt a 3-in.-wide scrap against the main platform and set the support platform against the scrap’s parallel edge. Flush up the ends, and screw the platform in place.

Sand the edges around the screwheads, to ensure the entire surface is flat. Dust it, and apply paste wax to the platforms.

3. Mount the stop. This is usually job-specific. You lay out one shoulder of the tenon you want to cut, then clamp the marked piece in the jig, with the main platform’s edge dead on the layout line. Putt the stop against the end of the work and drill pilot holes and drive two screw through the support platform into the stop.

Now the tenoning platform is ready for use.

Cutting List
  Part Qty Dimensions Material
Fence 2 5/8 in. x 3/4 in. x 18 in. hardwood
Main platform 1 1/2 in. x 6 in. x 8 in. MDF
Support platform 1 1/2 in. x 6 in. x 3 in. MDF
Work stop 1 5/8 in. x 2 in. x 6 in. hardwood
  Part Qty Dimensions
Drywall screws 12 1 in.  


Return to Top