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Build a Table Saw Tenoning Jig

A Table Saw Tapering Jig You can Build

Cutting tenons on work pieces with a table saw can be difficult and even quite dangerous.

A common uses for tenoning jigs is making tenons for furniture joints. But a tenoning jig is handy any time you need to secure the workpiece in a vertical position for a special cut.

You can purchase a professional grade tenoning jig for prices starting around $100.00. These jigs enable you to position the workpieces in pretty much any way you want it. Plus, the jigs usually tilt for angle cuts.

If you don't have a need for something that elaborate, you can build your own tenoning jig that provides both the accuracy and versatility you need.

This jig mounts on your table saw sled and can be set to the exact distance from the blade you need.

  • It uses T-Track and hold down clamps to place your work piece in any position you need.
  • Use a triangle square to ensure the jig is square to the sled.
  • Use a triangle square or protractor to set the work piece to the angle you need.
  • To make angled cuts - just tilt your saw blade to the angle you need.

Table Saw Jig

Table Saw Tenoning Jid
Tenoning Jig

Special Hardware You'll Need

Special Hardware You'll Need
Note: If you have a bench grinder, you can create your own T-Track bolts from carriage bolts by grinding the sides and top of the carriage bolt-head so the head of the bolt slides smoothly thru the T-Track.

Tenoning Jig Parts List

  • Bottom - 12" by 8" (1/2" MDF board)
  • Front Backer Board - 12" by 7 1/2" (1/2" MDF board)
  • Top Front Panel - 12" by 2" (1/2" MDF board)
  • Middle Front Panel - 12" by 2 3/4" (1/2" MDF board)
  • Bottom Front Panel - 12" by 1 1/4" (1/2" MDF board)
  • T-Track - 12" Long, 1/2" Thick, 3/4" Wide
  • Handle - 8 3/4" by 5 1/2" (3/4" wood)
  • Top Stiffener - 12" by 1" (3/4" wood)
  • Vertical Stiffener (2 Req.) - 4 1/4" by 2" (3/4" wood)
  • Handle Brace - 3" by 2 1/2" (3/4" wood)
  • End Stiffener (2 Req.) - 3 1/4" by 1 1/2" (3/4" wood)
  • Middle Stiffener - 4" by 1 1/2" (3/4" wood)
  • Knob Risers - (2 Req.) - 3 1/4" by 2 1/2" (3/4" wood)
  • Vertical Brace - 5 3/4" by 3 1/4" (3/4" wood)

Parts Drawings

Tenoning Jig Parts Drawing
Free full size cut-out patterns for the Vertical Brace and Handle in PDF file format are available. Download links at bottom of this page.

Assemble the Braces

Assemble the Braces

Attach the End Stiffeners, Middle Stiffener, and Vertical Braces with 1 1/2" #8 flat head screws through the bottom as shown above.

Be sure the edges of the stiffeners and braces are flush with the edges of the base.

Attach T-Track Knob Risers

Attach Knob Risers

Insert two 1" #8 flat head screws, (1 1/2" will be too long) up through the bottom to attach each Knob Risers.

Be sure the 1/4" bolt holes, (indicated by red arrows), line up with the holes in the base. The Knob Risers keep the bolts straight so the Tenoning Jig slides smoothly.

Assemble the Front

Assemble the Front

Apply glue to the back surface of each of the front panel pieces.

Position the Front Panels, and T-Track on the Front Backer Board as shown above. Make sure all pieces are flush on the edges and clamp in place. Verify position of screw holes!

When the glue is dry, drill all the screw holes through the Front using the same drill bits you used when drilling the Front Panel. The reason for this is that the screw threads must grip the backer board, they must grip the braces in the back side of the backer board.

Attach the Front to the Braces and Stiffeners

Attach the Front

Place the assembled parts on a flat surface as shown above.

Attach the Front to the Braces and Stiffeners using 1 1/2" #8 flathead screws for the panels and 1 1/2" #6 flathead screws for the T-Track.

Make sure no screw heads are above the surface of the MDF. The surfaces must be flat for your Tenoning Jig to provide accurate cuts.

Attach the Top Stiffener

Attach the Top Stiffener

Position the Top Stiffener as shown above. Hold it down firmly against the Vertical Braces and and secure it to the front with three 1 1/2" #8 flat head screws.

Next, secure the Top Stiffener to the top of the Vertical Braces with the same size screws. This will ensure a flat work surface for your tenoning jig.

Attach the Handle to Brace

Assemble the Handle and Handle Brace

Apply glue to mating surfaces of the Handle and Handle Brace.

Position the Handle and Handle Brace on a flat surface with the Handle Brace centered in the back of the Handle. Secure them with two 1 1/2" #8 screws as shown in the drawing. (Flathead screws are not necessary here.)

Attach the Handle to the Tenoning Jig

Attach the Handle to the Jig

Position the Handle as shown above so it is centered side to side.

Hold it firmly against the Knob Risers and secure it to the Knob Risers with two 1 1/2" #8 screws.

Insert the Bottom Screws

Insert the Bottom Screws

Insert five 1 1/2" #8 flat head screws through the bottom to secure the Handle and Handle Brace.

Check all the bottom screws and be sure none of the screw heads sit above the bottom surface. This is necessary so your Tenoning sits flat when in use.

Insert the T-Track Bolts and Knobs

Insert the T-Track Bolts

(This step assumes you're using T-Track that uses 1/4" bolts. If not, use bolts and knobs that fit your T-Track.)

Insert a 1/4" by 2 1/2" bolt from the bottom up through each of the Knob Risers. Next, screw a 1/4" threaded knob with a 1/4" flat washer under it.

Attach the Sandpaper

Attach the Sandpaper

Using contact cement, glue 100 or 120 grit sandpaper to the Front Panels as shown above.

The sandpaper is not absolutely necessary but it helps hold the work piece securely in place.

Congratulations! Your Table Saw Tapering Jig is Complete!

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TenoningJig.htm (12-31-2023)