Making loose tenons

I recently outfitted my Colt plunge router base with a Micro Fence and I plan on using it a lot so I need a way to make a lot of loose tenons quickly.

When making the tenons, I grab some scrap maple I have lying around, rip it down to 3/8″ on the band saw and plane it to size on the planer.

The router bit I use is 1/4″ spiral up cut bit so the tenon stock needs to be 1/4″ in thickness to match the mortise.

Once I have the tenon stock sized, I run a veneering plane over both sides of the work piece to plane grooves into it. The grooves will give the glue a place to spread so that the tenon will fit in the mortise snuggly.

The router bit I use creates rounded ends in the mortise so I run the beading part of a 1/4″ beading plane over the tenon stock to round its sides.

Making the tenon stock is done, but now I need to cut them to length so I decided to quickly build a table saw sled with some more scrap wood.

I took a piece of 1/2″ plywood about 15″ long and laid it over my table saw with wooden runners in the dados of my table saw. I made sure the plywood was square to the saw and quickly glued and pinned the plywood to the runners.

I then cut up a 2 x 4 to create the front and back of the sled making sure that everything was square. The sled is not pretty but I don’t work for Woodsmith Magazine so I’ll skip the hard maple and cabinet grade plywood when building jigs. As long as it works, it’s fine by me.

I marked 3/4″, 1″, and 1 1/2″ lengths on the bottom of the sled to act as quick reference marks for certain sizes of tenons.

In no time at all, I can cut a multitude of precisely fitted tenons and store them in sandwich bags for easy storage.

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