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Controlling cutting depth on tenon saw

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Tetsuaiga

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I'm thinking how I can control the cut of depth accurately, as I dont really trust myself yet.

What i've done is just make a small stopper, robably 1cm wide, the length of the blade which I can slot the blade into. Then it can be moved up or down the blade to control the cut depth.

I remember saw something similar a while ago, which had a small hole going across the blade, so a stopper could be raised or lowered and then tightened. I'm thinking about trying to do this with my saw. I'd just like to check though, will cutting out very slim (i guess no more than wide 5mm) section across the blade have any effect on the cut the blade produces. I don't want to ruin it.

Thanks.
 
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I would say with the thickness of a tenon saw plate it could easily function with the two slots required for the depth stop.

The problem that could arise is warping to the plate while cutting out the slots.

If you could cut them out without affecting the straightness of the plate and be sure to de-burr the slots well then I wouldn't see why it wouldn't work.

Why not try on a cheap bootsale Tenon Saw?
 

Argus

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You are thinking of a stair saw, which has a rise and fall depth stop built into the blade with slots and an estended handle arrangement that goes down the blade instead of a metal back.

They are quite rare and expensive on the second hand market and don't usually come with a fine set of cross-cut teeth because they are used as a carcase saw.
You could jury rig up a stop with some small clamps and blocks or drill a old saw blade, but what's wrong with cutting by eye?

Always stop your cut above the line and ensure that your saw is sharp, very sharp.

Good luck.
 

xy mosian

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As a quick, variable, temporary solution why not use masking tape. Not quite as solid as a fence, but it will not block your line of sight and will distort once depth has been reached.
xy
 

GazPal

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A simple pencil mark on the blade often suffices as a means of checking depth of cut. Refresh the line as and when necessary, but another option involves clamping or sticking a slip of timber/metal to one side of the blade and using it as a depth stop.
 

dunbarhamlin

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I savage a hard point tenon saw once every couple of years to add a fixed depth stop for cutting kerfed linings in a mitre box. But for joinery, you really are better off practicing - you'll soon get there if you do, otherwise you'll be forever hobbled.
 

jimi43

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I may have missed the point of what you are trying to do but I bought one of these ages ago:

JAPANESE DEPTH ADJUSTABLE SAW

...and it works very well. Here it is being used to repair an infill plane handle which has had the corner knocked off...



...stopping accurately before the line.

As others have said....if you have just a standard Western tenon saw...it will not be long before you just get used to doing it accurately....

Practice on some scrap if you want to get used to it and give you confidence.

Jim
 

Corneel

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To be honest, it sounds like a contrived way to avoid learning a skill that you need to learn anyway, one day or another.
 

Tetsuaiga

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Perhaps its a good point to just practise. I wouldnt have thought such an accessory would hinder you in any way however.

The Japanese model in jimis post is just what im thinking of.

The purpose for the idea was to help with making tenon cuts, but could be for other things too. I suppose you can always tidy them up afterwards if you are slightly restrained with the cut.
 

jimi43

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Corneel":nvz19b8d said:
To be honest, it sounds like a contrived way to avoid learning a skill that you need to learn anyway, one day or another.
I agree if you want to drill holes in a vintage or valuable tenon saw..absolutely...and for tenons themselves..a bit of an overkill anyway as you say...everyone should learn how to use a saw properly BUT....if you want consistency and you want accuracy...and a good example is a fretboard...then the Japanese saw above is almost perfect.

I say "almost" because..although the blade is a dream...the locking mechanism on the stop is appalling! When I first got it, it kept working loose...and of course...you don't notice it happening if it is a small amount to begin with.

I fixed this simply by putting quality retaining nuts and screws on...now it's fine.

Would you remove the stop from a router? No...and these things are there to achieve a constant cut depth over and over again.....you still have to keep it straight and upright! :mrgreen:

Jim
 

Benchwayze

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I have an old tenon saw with two holes drilled through the blade. (It's a good saw otherwise.)
It did have a guide fitted when I inherited it, and the slotted holes were machined in the slips of brass, and not in the blade. These guides are all very well, but they distort the blade over time. I used the brass on another project!

If you can't saw straight, then just practice. Although if your saw is sharpened and set unevenly, this will make things difficult.

As for depth of cut, just keep your eye on shoulder lines, and make sure the rear of the saw is not lifting up, away from you on the forward stroke. If you are cutting beyond shoulder lines, because of angling the saw downwards on the forward stroke; (as is usually the case) I don't think a depth stop will have any effect.

:)
 

GazPal

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Corneel":att4cpkw said:
To be honest, it sounds like a contrived way to avoid learning a skill that you need to learn anyway, one day or another.

Much depends upon the purpose of the cut (Such as cutting fret slots in a guitar fingerboard, or kerfing linings) but I agree if it relates to typical cutting exercises.
 

custard

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There's at least three hurdles in sawing dovetails or tenons,

1. Starting the cut in precisely the right location (correct angle and absolutely alongside the gauge line)
2. Keeping the saw vertical throughout the cut.
3. Stopping on the line

I'd argue the order of difficulty, from hardest to easiest, is 2 then 1 then 3.

If that's right then saw depth stops fix the easiest problem, but do nothing or even impair the trickier bits of the job.
 

AndyT

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I admit that when sawing tenon cheeks I generally aim to saw nearly into the corner, but leave a little bit of wood behind. I pop the waste off by hand and then tidy up the corner with a chisel. It's better than weakening the tenon by sawing too far.
 
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