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How to pare tenons plumb and square

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Mark Karacsonyi

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Hey Tibi, I see your in Slovakia, how far are you from Budapest or Balassagyarmat. Likely, I could likely help you out?
 

xy mosian

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I find that using the paring chisel either across the grain, of the tenon, or more usually up the grain gives best reuslts. A definite no no is trying to pare down the grain. That way lies getting splits and having the cut run away from you. A slicing cut often works better than a push cut, and references more of the surface.
geoff
 

pe2dave

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Use a hand router if you care about fit and finish. I'm happy taking off a thou shaving, makes me smile.
Just make sure your router rests firmly on the stock, or butt another piece up at the end of the tenon.
 

tibi

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the router plane is ONLY for the final pass on the tenon, it creates a level of precision not usually achieved with just a chisel, it's not needed but good to use if you have one that is all, I do most of the work with a tenon saw, then pairing chisel then router plane, if you can get it straight from the saw then great but I like sneaking up on the line because I like a good fit not too tight and not too loose, the final fit is what I spend the most time on usually.
I have tried Veritas router today, but it cannot reach 50 mm deep to clean the top side of the tenon on my stretcher. However after some trying, I have managed to get it decently square with just a chisel.
1638786716792.png
 

tibi

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Use a bandsaw.
Cut the tenons roughly 1mm too thick, then cut the shoulders.
Clamp a piece of square ended timber to the bandsaw table so it’s touching the blade, just behind the teeth and square to the blade.
Now your bandsaw will take a half kerf skim cut as the blade won’t have anywhere to go sideways.
Doing tenons this way gives you vernier calliper repeatable accurate tenons.

I am sorry, but I do not have a band saw, so I need to rely on the tenon saw instead.
 

thetyreman

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I have tried Veritas router today, but it cannot reach 50 mm deep to clean the top side of the tenon on my stretcher. However after some trying, I have managed to get it decently square with just a chisel.
View attachment 123528
yes I understand, that's quite an unusual tenon as well, on a normal size tenon it'd work fine.
 

tibi

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yes I understand, that's quite an unusual tenon as well, on a normal size tenon it'd work fine.
Yes, for normal tenons, I would definitely use the router. I have used it for dados in the past, so I have a little experience.
 

Jacob

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Yes, for normal tenons, I would definitely use the router. I have used it for dados in the past, so I have a little experience.
Forgot to say - if you are paring tenons or using a router or anything, you are remedying mistakes.
If you are doing it properly from the start there would be no mistakes, except as rare exceptions.
Some things can have 8, 16 or more M&Ts. You'd be at it for hours if every one you have to whittle with a router. It could be impossible to finish.
So you need to look at your technique. Tenons should come perfect, from the saw, every time, no chisels, no routers, just a saw.

Router planes are popular at the moment - sudden fashion in the air, but in reality nobody really needs them.
I just sold mine for 6 times what I paid for it 15 years ago. I've never used it. I've got a woody "old woman's tooth" in reserve but I've never used that either.
 
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Kicked Back

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I have tried Veritas router today, but it cannot reach 50 mm deep to clean the top side of the tenon on my stretcher.
Can't remember what the max depth is, but if you remove the depth stop from the shaft, you gain an extra ~10mm.
 

tibi

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Forgot to say - if you are paring tenons or using a router or anything, you are remedying mistakes.
If you are doing it properly from the start there would be no mistakes, except as rare exceptions.
Some things can have 8, 16 or more M&Ts. You'd be at it for hours if every one you have to whittle with a router. It could be impossible to finish.
So you need to look at your technique. Tenons should come perfect, from the saw, every time, no chisels, no routers, just a saw.

Router planes are popular at the moment - sudden fashion in the air, but in reality nobody really needs them.
I just sold mine for 6 times what I paid for it 15 years ago. I've never used it. I've got a woody "old woman's tooth" in reserve but I've never used that either.
Jacob,

That is right, ideally it would be the best to cut straight from the saw. But I am afraid to cut past the line, so I cut 1 - 1.5 mm away from the line. I need to correctly estimate the kerf width. But my goal is to be able cut tenons straight from the saw.
 

Cabinetman

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And the other good thing about a saw finish is, that it makes for a really strong glued joint, and the rough surface allows for a tiny bit of squeeze when the joint goes together, never read anything on this, it’s just intuitive and makes sense to me. Ian
 

Jacob

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Jacob,

That is right, ideally it would be the best to cut straight from the saw. But I am afraid to cut past the line, so I cut 1 - 1.5 mm away from the line. I need to correctly estimate the kerf width. But my goal is to be able cut tenons straight from the saw.
I'd spend some time practicing your sawing technique.
Essential to have a consistent marking system - ideally you use the same gauge for both mortice and tenon (if the design allows it) and leave the gauge set from start to finish of the job, incase you need to go back.
Key thing is to cut all the mortice, and the tenon cheeks only whilst the pieces are still square and marked up everywhere and on all 4 sides. Saw to the lines. Then do all mouldings, rebates, other detail if any. Then cut the tenon shoulders last of all.
Do a few trial runs on some scrap?
 

tibi

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I'd spend some time practicing your sawing technique.
Essential to have a consistent marking system - ideally you use the same gauge for both mortice and tenon (if the design allows it) and leave the gauge set from start to finish of the job, incase you need to go back.
Key thing is to cut all the mortice, and the tenon cheeks only whilst the pieces are still square and marked up everywhere and on all 4 sides. Saw to the lines. Then do all mouldings, rebates, other detail if any. Then cut the tenon shoulders last of all.
Do a few trial runs on some scrap?
Thank you Jacob, I will practise my sawing technique. I have a lot of scrap wood laying around. Once I am confident, I will continue cutting tenons straight of the saw.
 

pe2dave

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I would rarely use a hand router for the first cut of a tenon, that's not it's job.
For straight grain, try a chisel 5mm from the finished line.
For other wood, use a saw and cut away from the line (depending on your skill).
This is when the router plane comes into its own.
Can ensure the surface of the tenon is parallel to the body of the piece.
Can adjust the thickness of the tenon in incredibly fine margins.
Can clean out the corners for a flush fit.

A tool well suited to *some* jobs, but cutting away 3" of timber? No.
 

Jacob

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.....
Can ensure the surface of the tenon is parallel to the body of the piece.
Can adjust the thickness of the tenon in incredibly fine margins.
No need for either if saw cut accurate to start with
Can clean out the corners for a flush fit.
Chisel.
 
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