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Author Topic: Tenon Cutter  (Read 4210 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Tenon Cutter
« on: April 07, 2016, 09:38:50 PM »
   I ordered a tenon cutter today and plan to try making and selling a few log benches. I have made a few benches for use here at home using just a spade bit and whittling down the legs with an ax or hatchet. I figure the tenon cutter should yield a much more precise and stronger fit.

   I first sawed the logs in half with a chain saw but now I saw them on my mill. I used buckeye logs since they are basically fast growing scrap logs for me plus they are light weight especially when they dry. I might use other logs like oak or cherry for special orders if customers wanted to pay more and deal with heavier benches. I used dry locust for the legs because they are rot resistant. Drove them into the hole with no glue or fasteners but will glue the next ones. I then sawed them off with a chain saw to the approximate height. Since they are intended for use on rough ground they will pretty much self-level. The biggest problem I have had is improper leg angle sticking out past the logs/benches making a trip hazard. They are very rough construction but they work.

   My understanding is the tenon cutter cuts a perfectly round peg 1.5" in diameter. I think the specs said 2.5" long with a 60 degree shoulder. The cutter mounts on a 1/2" drill and works like a big pencil sharpener to round down the legs. I plan to use dry wood for legs and green wood for the bench so shrinkage should tighten the hold on the leg. I need to fabricate a jig to get the leg angle and spacing correct.

   If anybody has experience building such or using these tenon cutter and know of any "gottchas" I need to look out for I'd appreciate your input.

   In the picture below you can see one of the benches in the background. My fish and game cleaning area is near my picnic area where the benches reside.
 

 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline yukon cornelius

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 10:46:48 PM »
What brand did you get? We use lumberjack brand. I have a 1 and 2" with a radius shoulder and I have a 1.5" with the 45 degree. Both have their own merits. Both need some fiddling with to get the size right. The 45 degree cuts easier but leaves a rough tenon. The 2" radius has eaten a few drills due to the heavy strain on it. We cut a few hundred tenons a week on average. I use a big vise to clamp the logs in. It doesn't leave scars on the logs like other things I have tried. I would be happy to help you with anything I can.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 04:16:47 AM »
I use them. But I dont use a drill. I put the cutter in my wood lathe.

 

 

 

 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 08:19:58 AM »
Yukon,

   I ordered the Lumberjack commercial series. Looks like the one on Kbeitz lathe shown on his text. I started to get the red one as a starter but it looked like the angle was less than on the commercial. I figured the shaper angle will fit in the logs better. Thanks for the offer for the help - I am generally beyond such according to my wife.

Kbeiz,

   I would not be surprised if I have to replace the drill if this works out. I will be cutting locust so I figure I will have to clamp the wood and go really slow.

General comment - I doubt this becomes a big project. My construction is real rough with no standard sizes or stringers used. I figure these will just be local sales. Would not have to sell but a few to pay for the investment. The buckeye wood basically has no real value to me for wildlife, lumber or firewood.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline LittleJohn

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 08:35:24 AM »
I would agree about Chamfer style tenon cutters being easier to start, but what ever you decide on always remember sharp tool cut better.  If you have to force it too much you are asking for trouble. 

I would also recommend a self-feeding style of bit for creating the hole.  I mainly use white cedar (aka swamp cedar) and i will notice the cuts starting to tear out if my tool becomes dull, along with a whine generated when cutting.

Offline LaneC

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 11:11:12 AM »
  A little off subject here, but I cannot help it. Did you shoot that deer with a .300 magnum or muzzleloader? :D Whatever it was, I bet you did not have to track it far :D
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 09:05:45 PM »
  A little off subject here, but I cannot help it. Did you shoot that deer with a .300 magnum or muzzleloader? :D Whatever it was, I bet you did not have to track it far :D
Lane,

   I shot her with my bow last season and was longest tracking job of the season. Took me 30-40 minutes to find the blood trail then I lost it so went home and got Sampson (Rat Terrier in the picture) and left my bow at home. Came back and while he smelled of every chipmunk and squirrel in the area. I finally found a tiny speck of blood then more then a gusher and was back on track then. Sampson finally picked up on the object of this exercise and took off straining on his leash. We trailed her about 200 yards down a logging road then down a deep draw where I expected to find her piled up at the bottom. Trailed her another 100-150 yards to a brush pile and she jumped up with the arrow still in her side. Had quartered in behind ribs to her lungs. I don't know how she ran that far hit that hard. She piled right up away and Sampson had her bayed like a he had a bear up a tree. (Actually more like when he barks at catfish in my boat as he is my fishing buddy and loves to bark at big catfish.) I was real proud of him even though I'd likely have found her alone.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline LaneC

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 11:30:51 PM »
   Good deal. The bottom line is that you got it. You did not give up and your little buddy got some input. I am glad you got it, some folks give up. I remember a time similar to yours where I tracked one for a long time. Anywho, I am glad it worked out. I thought about trying those tenon cutters to make chairs with. Please keep us informed and let us know how it goes.
Man makes plans and God smiles

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 07:51:46 PM »
I also have and use the antique  tenon cutters. They work good.

 

 

 

 
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Offline landscraper

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 08:53:28 PM »
I use a 1-1/2" Lumberjack Tools Pro mounted in a Milwaukee Hole Hawg and it works great.  A good forstner bit and you are in business.  I "eyeball" the splay angle, although I've contemplated cutting a angled jig to be able to consistently start my bores with.  I glue the tenons.  Sometimes I will saw a kerf into the end grain of the tenon and then wedge it with a contrasting wood for a little accent than can be seen from the bench seat.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 09:36:10 PM »
I use a 1-1/2" Lumberjack Tools Pro mounted in a Milwaukee Hole Hawg and it works great.  A good forstner bit and you are in business.  I "eyeball" the splay angle, although I've contemplated cutting a angled jig to be able to consistently start my bores with.  I glue the tenons.  Sometimes I will saw a kerf into the end grain of the tenon and then wedge it with a contrasting wood for a little accent than can be seen from the bench seat.
Landscaper,

   From your description I gather your male tenon extends all the way through the top of the hole in the bench or the kerf and contrasting would never show. In the rough benches I have made so far my tenons have not extended all the way through the top of the bench. It is not my plan to do so. I have seen the split tenons with wooden wedges (like in a hammer or ax handle) but think my benches will be too thick for that. I plan to use green wood for benches and dry locust for the legs with plenty of wood glue in hopes the drying bench wood will tighten the hold on the legs which should already be done shrinking.

   Thanks for the input.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 09:03:52 PM »
   Its here. UPS left it on the porch while I was out at the sawmill. Now I know why Sampson came to se me and let me know we'd had a visitor.

   It was easy to assemble - just fastened the two blades on each side with 2 screws each. Easy to see how to remove and sharpen the blades so that is reassuring. I will take it out for a spin tomorrow. I can see where I am likely going to need a pipe vise or such to hold the tenon wood.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 08:21:48 PM »
   Okay, I took it out for a spin (literally) today and learned several things.

   My drill is a variable speed and manufacturer (Lumberjack) recommends a low speed, constant speed drill. Kbeitz's wood lathe likely works much better. I tended to want to cut too fast and took a beating in the process. Got better as I went along. Needed to trim my logs more before starting. I cut a green locust post into quarter rounds and used them for bench legs. I don't have a draw knife (on my list for next trip to the tool guy at the flea market) so used a hatchet. Found its much easier to rough it down close then finish it with the tenon cutter.

   My tenons were pretty rough looking but they seem to work. I knew I needed a vise of some sort but had an epiphany. I put my quarter rounds across my front  ATV basket, pulled the winch cable across them one at a time, hooked to the basket bar and tightened. I had cut 8' quarter rounds so would cut a tenon on one or both ends then cut them to 24" and repeated till I had 4 legs out of each quarter round. That really worked quite well. Several of my tenons also were not as straight as they should be. Had the drill canted a bit. I got better at lining everything up and latter ones were much straighter.

    Bottom line is need to pre cut more, cut slower and be more careful on my alignment.

    I did make 2 benches. The legs are long and different heights and angles but I am certain I can put the benches face down on the rails of my mill and lake one pass 17" from the deck and they will be perfect.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline ozarkgem

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2016, 07:16:01 AM »
Lumber Jack are the best. You tenon diameter will be determined by how far you set the blades  to a degree. Make a test hole and adjust the blades to fit. I had to switch to a 3/4 Milwaukee drill. I would stall out the 1/2" Hole Hawg when I hit a Cedar knot. Really good tools to work with
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2016, 05:08:00 AM »
I got a 1" hand drill that can handle the tenon, but I can't handle the drill. It handles ne.

 

 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2016, 10:15:34 AM »
That thing will break your arm or send you to somewhere that you did not intend to go.   :o   :-\   whiteflag_smiley
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Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2016, 06:32:42 PM »
I got a 1" hand drill that can handle the tenon, but I can't handle the drill. It handles ne.

 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Reminds me of some of the drills they used in Newport News shipyard to drill holes in the HY80 steel back in the early 70's.  Some BIG OLD BOYS operated them.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2016, 09:33:17 PM »
What I really dislike about it is that you squeeze the trigger to turn it on...
Then you need to squeeze it again to turn it off. So if it gets away from you
the only thing you can do is run to the cord and rip it out of the wall.

 

 
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Offline elk42

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2016, 09:52:21 PM »
Kbeitz
     That thing will kill you  smiley_hanged smiley_hanged and I got one just like it but it needs brushes.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tenon Cutter
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2016, 10:05:53 PM »
   I was taking a beating just using my 1/2" drill. I can see where that thing would really hurt you. How many RPMs does it run at?
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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