Customer Review

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good tenoning jig, November 6, 2005
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This review is from: DELTA 34-183 Tenoning Jig (Tools & Home Improvement)
I recently purchased the Delta 34-183 Tenoning Jig as an accessory to my Delta Unisaw. I want to say immediately that I am extremely happy with my new jig. It turned out to be exactly what I had hoped it would be. I made the right decision in purchasing this device. I wasn't too happy however with the packing and shipping or with Delta's assembly instructions. With that said I want to make this review as useful as possible to those who may read it so I have divided it into four paragraphs, 1: My motivation for buying the tenoning jig, 2: My thoughts on the packing and shipping, 3: My thoughts on the assembly of the jig, and 4: My experience in using the tenoning jig.
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Motivation for Buying the Tenoning Jig

In the past year I have done close to two hundred mortise and tenon joints. My procedure is always the same. I hog out most of the mortise stock with a Forstner bit, and then square up the corners with a mortise machine. I then use a table saw to cut the shoulder cuts on the tenons, and a hand held back saw to do the cheek cuts. Although the finished joint was always tight, and it was always functionally correct, the hand made back saw cuts were never the best, they were time consuming, and there was little uniformity from one tenon to the next. In a sense each tenon was custom made for each mortise. I was looking for a method that would allow me to streamline more of the tenon making effort. In short, I wanted a jig that would both eliminate the tedium of using the back saw, and would also allow me to use my table saw to make identical cheek cuts on successive tenons. I have had my eye on the Delta Tenoning Jig for quite a while. After reading and then re-reading all the Amazon.com reviews, most of which were favorable, I finally decided to make the purchase.

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Packing and Shipping

Shipping was extremely quick, just a couple of days, which is saying a lot when you consider Delta's history of very slow response when it comes to deliveries.

[...]

Assembly

The assembly of the jig took about an hour and a half. A good portion of that time was spent trying to make sense out of Deltas assembly instructions and trying to decode the unfocused and blurry assembly photos. The assembly instructions were poorly written and not what a company or its customers should expect from professional technical writers.

During assembly, I ended up having to dismantle the entire jig to clean off all the packing grease. I recommend that you have on hand a large can of mineral spirits and several red rags if you decide to purchase this jig, believe me you will need it.

I had to spend some time filing down the burs on the jig base plate that rides along on the surface of the table saw. The burrs were pronounced enough to slice your fingers if you were to rub them along the edges of the jig base.

I give this task a grade of "D", due to the lack of quality in the assembly instruction manual and due to the lack of quality assurance that Delta apparently uses in its manufacturing process. The end user should never have to machine down any parts on a piece of purchased equipment just to make it useable.

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Using the Tenoning Jig

After all is said and done, and after assembly is complete, I have to say that this jig is all that I wanted in terms of making identical "production line tenons" quickly and easily.
I am glad that I purchased it and I would definitely purchase it again if it is ever necessary to do so.

After assembly I inserted the tenoning jig in my table saw T- miter slot. Fortunately my de-burring of the jig base prevented it from scratching my saw table when I pushed it back and forth in the miter slot. The jig fits in the slot snugly in the miter slot. I tried to move it from side to side and could not detect any sideways or lateral movement. The jig is also very heavy. The tightness in the miter slot and the weight of the jig makes it a very stable cutting platform.

In my first use of the jig, I spent about 2 to 3 minutes setting it up, and then I used it to make the cheek cuts for 9 tenons for a project I am currently working on. All the cuts on every tenon were identical. After I had completed all the cuts, I lined all nine pieces of stock with tenoned ends up against the table saw fence for inspection. All tenons looked identical. You couldn't tell one tenon from any of the others. This really made my day.
See the "share your own image" link under the jig picture for a photo of these tenons.

The real beauty of this jig is that it makes doing repetitive cuts easy. I cut all 9 tenons in a few minutes. All the cuts on all the tenons were clean, accurate and above all they were all identical. The jig is easy to use. Adjustments are quick and easy. I am very happy with the operation of this jig.

One thing that does bother me though is the adjustment of the clamp arm. The clamp arm holds the Clamp screw that is used to hold the working stock against the vertical table during a cut. The clamp arm can be adjusted either forward or backwards so as to accommodate different sizes of stock. The clamp arm is held tight by a hex head Allen bolt. This means whenever you use this jig you have to have an Allen wrench nearby to make the clamp arm adjustments. This is a major inconviendnce. All the other adjustments on the jig are made and locked into place with hand tightened levers. I wonder why this one adjustment which is probably made at least twice for a particular setup is different. Even with this problem I am very happy with the jig and it will get a great deal of use in my shop in the years to come.

I give an overall grade of "A" for this jig. I would have given it a grade of "A+" if it were not for the clumsiness of the clamp arm adjustment. Now I can only hope and pray that I receive my replacement jig handle some time soon so I can grip the jig a bit better when making cuts.
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