Safety notes

Although cutting tenons with a jig is safer than cutting them freehand, careless use of a tenon jig can still lead to injury. It is the reader's responsibility to ensure that the tenon jig is solidly constructed, that stock is always well secured to the jig, and that hands are kept clear of the saw blade.

It is assumed that the builder is skilled in woodworking. This should not be your first woodworking project. It is also assumed that the builder is already familiar with the safe operation of table saws. cannot be held liable for injuries that you may incur with your tenon jig.

Some safety tips

  • The greatest risk that I can think of when using the tenon jig is that a cheap bar clamp would unexpectedly let go and fall onto the blade. This would have devastating consequences, resulting in many flying objects.
  • Do not use any clamps that you have ever experienced that they might loosen on their own. I have had good success with "quick grip" type bar clamps myself.
  • A hook is part of the jig to catch the clamp if it should come loose. Always ensure that the clamp is in or directly above this hook, so that the hook may catch it before it hits the blade if it should ever fall.
  • Another risk is that one is too focused on looking at the work piece to notice one's hands getting close to the saw blade. Always keep your eyes on the front edge of the saw blade. If the lever comes too far to the left, use different holes in the link block at the back to adjust it so that the lever is less close to the blade when making the cut.
  • Never cut on the return stroke. That is, never move the lever when the stock is past the blade.
  • When cleaning out the bottom of the bridle joint or half-lap joint, first make several passes to remove the material, and only then apply lateral motions while over the blade to flatten the bottom of the cut.