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 In Tricks of the Trade

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When making tenons for breadboard ends and other wide workpieces, the router is my tool of choice. Ensuring perfectly aligned rabbet shoulders on both sides of the board was a problem until I started using this shopmade collar jig. I just slip it over the end of the board and clamp it in place to serve as a double-sided router fence.

I make this jig from two strips of 1⁄4″-thick plywood about 5″ wide and a few inches longer than the width of my workpiece. I nail or screw a couple spacers between the ends of the strips, using scrap that’s just a bit thicker than my workpiece. The exact distance between the spacers is unimportant, but I keep them within an inch or so of the workpiece on each end for easy positioning. I don’t worry about perfectly aligning the plywood pieces because I run the assembly through my table saw afterward to ensure perfect alignment of the fence edges.

When setting up the jig, I locate it for the desired tenon length, then clamp the plywood to the workpiece at the end. To rout a centered tenon, I simply flip the jigged workpiece after each pass, and keep at it until the tenon reaches my desired thickness. — Steve Gross


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