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For maximum strength, try the double mortise-and-tenon joint

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Tenons times two
Running jig thru saw
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Prevent shoulder-cut chip-out and
steady the workpiece by using an
extension attached to your miter gauge.
Illustration of saddle jig
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Tall jig thru saw
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Raise the blade to cut just into the
shoulder cut; then position the rip
fence to cut a cheek on the outside
face of the test piece.
Inserting jig in test mortise
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Check the tablesaw setup for the
wide cheeks by testing the fit of the
test tenon into the test mortise cut
earlier. Work for a snug, not tight, fit.
Using pencil on jig
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Carefully align the outside tenon
cheeks with the mortise walls; then
mark the inside cheek locations on
the test tenon.
Jig over fence, going thru saw
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Make the first cuts for the inside
cheeks inside the marks; then
adjust the fence to gradually widen
the gap until the tenons fit in a double
?chisel away?
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Because the blade doesn't cut the
full height of the cheek, chisel away
the ridges left between and around
the tenons.

Tenons times two

Set the tablesaw blade height to match the depth of the tenon cheek. Measure from the far face of the blade and position the rip fence to match the length of the tenon as shown in top photo. Make shoulder cuts on all four faces of the workpieces and test piece.

Build the saddle jig shown at left. Set the jig over the rip fence and position the fence to cut the wide cheek on the outside face of the test workpiece [Photo C]. Cut the two wide cheeks, flipping the test piece face-for-face between cuts, and check the fit of the tenon into the wide test mortise cut earlier [Photo D]. Make any adjustments needed to the fence position or blade height. When you achieve a satisfactory fit, cut the wide cheeks on the project parts.

Reset the rip fence and follow the same procedure to cut the narrow cheeks on the test tenon. Then cut them on the workpieces.

Transfer the locations of the inside cheeks from a mortised workpiece onto the test tenon [Photo E]. Set the rip fence to cut between these marks, and make cuts with each face against the saddle jig [Photo F], leaving the tenons a little too thick. Test the fit in a double mortise. Adjust the rip fence as needed to achieve a snug fit; then cut the inside cheeks on the project parts. Use a chisel to clean up the small ridge left between the tenons [Photo G].


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