What is a Tenon Saw – And How to Use It?

how to use a tenon saw

A tenon saw is a tool that is used to cut interlocking joints into wood called ‘tenons’. This tool is a sort of back saw that is built of metal with a rip or cross-filed teeth that work wonders to do the job assigned to the tool. You can acquire a tenon saw of different sizes and of different styles. There is also a difference in the cost, some may be cheap and not work just as well as the more expensive ones that may be carefully handcrafted. The pricier options guarantee to last you for several long years.

Related: Best tenon saws

Despite the gradual changes in the style and size of the tool, it remained in the crafting business for as long as it dates back. It is considered an important part of all handcrafting, woodcutting and furniture production.

What Does a Tenon Saw Look Like?

Generally, tenon saws have a rectangular metal blade that sits atop a wooden or some other stylish handle. The size of the blade is anywhere between 10 to 16 inches long and is usually 6 to 8 inches wide. There are small teeth, usually 10 to 13 teeth per inch, on the bottom part of the blade. Most of these saws have a closed handle however, some come with specialised grips that allow the user to have a different sort of support whenever needed.

Different Types of Saws

Some of these saws are specially built to cut along with the grain. When so, these saws are rip-filed. However, when you are looking to cut against the grain, the saw will have cross-filed teeth.

These saws are chosen by the handler depending upon what they need. The type of wood and the intended result of their project are the relative factors on which the choice of the saw depends.

Smooth and circular joints generally need differently designed saws than harsh and angled corners do. Having the perfect tool for your project makes it much easier and much more efficient. It reduces your work by a lot and allows you to finish quicker than you could without them.

What is a Tenon Saw Used For?

As mentioned before, the primary use of a tenon saw is to cut and fit tenons into the wood. A tenon is a small section of wood that sits perfectly inside the appropriate mortise slot, which is the proper tab A and slot B manner of construction. This practice has been around for centuries, since ancient times. The joints used at the time were open joints, tusk joints and different popular tenon styles.

Despite the fact that the rudimentary style of the joint is the same, there are some varieties in the types that exist. The joints can either be simple or complex. Simple joints come with a small piece of shaped wood that fits on top of a larger piece that fits inside the mortise slot. Complex joints come with mortise slot joints carved into either side of the joint. The cut can be of different types; circular, square or a groove. In complex joints, the tenon uses the lock and key method; filling the whole and locking both sides together.

The reason for the vogue of a tenon saw is that they are well-built and do not need any hardware in support. To be careful, many users occupy the use of screws or glue to hold down the joint, however, that is not always needed to be done. This sort of work, with some careful artistry, allows you to build solid structures and supported furniture with little effort and time.

This type of fixture is as favoured as it was when it was first discovered in ancient times, despite the changes in the method of use. In the craftsmanship of today, this practice is mostly used in handcrafted boards, mirrors and frames. In the olden times, these joints were primarily utilised in the construction of buildings and shelters. the same methods used then have evolved to provide better structure and design to the construction methods. This practice also allows projects to be more efficient and cost-effective in very little time.

Benefits of Tenon Saws

Tenon saws are perfect if you are looking for straight and precise cuts in small sections of wood. The backside of the saw bounds the depth at which the saw makes the depth. The back of the blade is made of brass and steel, strengthening the blade and offers enough weight to cut the wood. This allows the user to work with proper accuracy.

Tenon saws also have teeth on the blade, small teeth that are placed at a weight of 8 to 10 teeth per inch. This allows the cut to be neater, with no rough ridges.

Additionally, the tenon saw allows you to have more control over the direction at which you cut. The user can determine their preferred direction and work according to it with ease.

How to Use a Tenon Saw?

A tenon saw can make two types of cuts, crosscuts and longitudinal cuts. The directions of each are listed below.

Cross Cuts

  1. Make markings on the piece of wood where you want to cut. To ensure a steady cut, make sure to clamp the wood to your fence so that you may hold the tenon saw with both hands.
  2. Hold the saw with only your index finger sticking out. The index finger is pointed so in order to make the saw stable when making the cut.
  3. Keep the blade in line with the marking you made before and move the blade forward to make a singular cut. Ensuring your initial cut is accurate is vital, as that decides the accuracy of the whole cut.
  4. Go over the cut, with the blade perpendicular to the surface of the wood. With a sturdy blade, you are able to make an inch deep cut in just 7 to 8 strokes. You can also use your body weight to push down for extra cutting strength.

Longitudinal Cuts

  1. Mark the cut you want to make with a square and a pencil. Drawing perpendicular lines helps make sure that the cut you make will be straight.
  2. Set the saw over the line you marked and move forward to make an initial score into the wood.
  3. With one hand on the saw, use your second hand to keep the blade cutting on the right path. The initial few strokes are the most vital, any mistake will ruin the entirety of your cut. Where the depth of the cut is concerned, once the cut first has a depth of ½ inch, the kerf will do its job of keeping the cut straight.

Leave a Comment