In Tricks of the Trade

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This simple jig enables you to cut accurate tenons and slice very thin pieces. I use a flush-cut saw because it has no set to its teeth and, therefore, won’t damage the jig. Plus it leaves a smooth surface.

The only requirements for building the jig are a flat baseboard, such as Baltic birch plywood, and guide blocks of equal thickness that are screwed to the baseboard at a 90º angle. I use playing cards to adjust the height of the workpiece.

Slide your workpiece against the 90º guide blocks, lay a separate guide block on top of the workpiece, align it with the shoulder mark, then clamp it to the jig. Saw the cheek and shoulder, flip the piece over, and cut the other side. This produces a perfectly centered and parallel tenon.

The jig and card shims give you precise control over the thickness of the offcut. So, you can cut very thin pieces for: bookmatching pieces for a small lid; shimming a loose joint; cutting key slots in mitered corners; making Dutchman patches; and creating small projects such as bookmarks, wooden cards and Christmas ornaments.

You can cut longer slices if you add a guide block on the opposite side of the workpiece. Then, you have your own custom micro veneer mill! Steve Branam

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