Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,

I'm pretty new to woodworking in general, and I love the idea that I can do so much with a router that it became the second power tool I aquired, after a miter chop saw.

I have a few projects I want to build that I found in a book, the first being a bed. The book presumes that you know a few techniques already, one of which is making mortises and tenons. The mortises they show are easily made with a router and a spiral cutting bit (giving the mortise rounded corners).

The part I'm not sure about is how they made the tenons. Obviously, the long sides can be made with a straight bit and multiple passes, that's not the problem. What I'm not certain about is how they get the rounded ends on the tenon, and how to make them match the radias of the mortise.

I thought that one could make a jig and a guide bushing to achieve what I needed. The problem though is that one a long piece of material, one would have to make it while the piece was horizonal, meaning routing on the side which I question how safe that would be.

I looked at one setup and found it was prohibitively expensive for a hobbyist, so I'm looking to see how others have tackled this technique.

There seems to be a easy way out, but I'm not sure how well it will work on something I want to last at least 25+ years.

Thanks for any ideas!

Christopher.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,934 Posts
Christopher, There is no need to round the end of the tenon unless it is a through tenon that will show. For most construction you can make a cut on the ends to leave a small shoulder. This way the mortise will be covered, nice clean looking joint. If you are concerned over the strength of the joint you can either round the tenon or square the joint with a small chisel. Some people like to pin the tenon by running a small dowel through the middle. This adds a nice decorative touch if you use a contrasting wood color. Another solution is to use free floating tenons. To do this you first make your tenon and round the edges with a bullnose or roundover bit. Then you cut mortises in both pieces. Glue and clamp and you are done. There is also a bit you can buy at Rockler and other sites called Beadlock. This cuts tenons that look like a stack of dowels. To make your mortises you simply drill holes. Click this link to view:
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/produc...9961&objectgroup_id=397&catid=78&filter=tenon
Many solutions, let us know which you choose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Hi: The tenons can easily be rounded with a chisel, it does not have to be exact
as it will not add or subtract from the strength of the joint. I sometimes make the tenons on my table saw and use the chisel to fit them into a the router mortise.
One one of the shows with Bob and Rick, they made a jig to do both the mortise and tenon with a router. Woonut65
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It sounds to me that I should be looking at one of two possibilities, rounding the tenon myself with a chisel, or using a floating tenon.

I still have a preference toward a rounded tenon made from the piece I'm putting into the mortise, rather than a floating one. I haven't done any chiselling in the past, so I don't know my abilities in rounding them off myself, or making an entire mess of it. *laughs*

The two rockler bits shown don't appear to make all that big of a floating tenon, and because the lee valley ones are so cheap, I'll probably go that route.

All the advise given thus far is muchly appreciated!

Christopher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
I'm new to woodworking and still practicing. I don't use a jig for my mortise. I lay out the lines of the mortise and use a Forstner bit to drill several overlaping holes until I can move the bit back and forth easily then a little clean up with a chislel. I cut tenons on the table saw and round the ends off just a little by sanding until they fit the tenon. A router and adjustable jig would be faster but sanding or filing the tenons only takes a couple of minutes. Long time woodworkers feel that a chisel is the only to cut a mortise. To me it dosen't mater how I get there if it works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Interesting variety of techniques..

I don't know if I'll ever end up getting a table saw, I just don't have the room for it in the garage. Obviously there's some things you just can't do without a table saw, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. *laughs* My next toy is a bench grinder (comes in later this week) followed by a drill press. Don't know what I'll get after that.. everything is limited by wallet thickness and space. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
When I cut the mortices with a router then decide not to square them up, I make the tenons to finish size then saw each corner at 45° then chisel to these saw cuts.
The sides and top of the tenons match the mortices and the gaps between the tenon radiuses and the chamfered corners allows the trapped glue to escape.
I've never had any problem with weak joints doing it this way.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,934 Posts
One other way to consider is to use pocket hole joinery. Using glue and pocket hole screws is actually stronger than a mortise and tenon joint. Take a look at the Kreg jig and give it some thought. I like using mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I contemplated using pocket hole joinery in conjunction with dowels but didn't think it would stand up as well as a pinned tennon and mortise joint.

I first saw a pocket hole joint at a woodworking show a couple years ago and thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw, but never explored it further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
jerrymayfield said:
Simply use a round over bit. use a bit that matches the radius of the mortises.
That was my first thought too, until I thought about it more and realised that it wouldn't work because you can't get all the way up to the shoulder of the tenon.. there'd still be a chunk of squared off tenon. I suppose one could chisel the last little bit off.

It just amazes me to see all the tenons in a book I just bought have perfectly rounded edges, but they don't explain how they got them.

I have two books coming from Amazon.ca, "Router Magic" and "Woodworking With The Router", and I'm hoping that either or both have good joinery sections.. specifically on mortises and tenons.

Christopher.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,934 Posts
Christopher, you can make rounded tenons of limited length with your router. This requires buying or building a tenoning adapter. To be honest, neither is really cost effective in my opinion. Unless you are going into full time production of furniture you are far better off investing your money in other tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Cubbie said:
It sounds to me that I should be looking at one of two possibilities, rounding the tenon myself with a chisel, or using a floating tenon.

I still have a preference toward a rounded tenon made from the piece I'm putting into the mortise, rather than a floating one. I haven't done any chiselling in the past, so I don't know my abilities in rounding them off myself, or making an entire mess of it. *laughs*

The two rockler bits shown don't appear to make all that big of a floating tenon, and because the lee valley ones are so cheap, I'll probably go that route.

All the advise given thus far is muchly appreciated!

Christopher.

Depending on the thickness of the stock of the tenon you can use a half round bit. Some mfgs. have other names for this bit. But they all do the same thing..............that;s put a half round on the edge of the stock. But like the comments in the other postings, you don't have to riund them off because they don't show.
ADDED: If you don't have it I recommend "The New Router Handbook" by Patrick Spielman. It was written in 1993 so some of the routers won't look the same as they do now but it's the best book on routers and how they can be used I've found yet. It's worthwhile checking into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I received my two books from amazon.ca this morning, the first being "Woodworking With The Router" and "Router Magic". I quickly dove into the tenoning sections of each book and found one method I think I really like, use a rasp or coarse file to round off the corners. My fears with the chisel is if you made a bad cut, you could end up taking too much off leaving the tenon too loose in the mortise. By using a rasp or file, you remove the squared off corners gradually and have more control over the rounding process.

I think that's the method I'm going to employ. :)
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top