You can cut your own tenons and make log furniture at a fraction of the cost!
Use for joinery, chair spindles, toy making - anywhere you need to create a quick, accurate tenon.
These sizes are the most frequently used, and will cover all of your tenoning needs!
Want to build any project from big to small?. High abrasion resistance, high-precision. Its hard to say exactly the span of this bit.
These sizes are commonly used and will get you started building furniture!
I also remove the bark from outdoor pieces to avoid insect infestation.
I avoid collecting wood from dead trees, which are more likely to be infested with insects. This glue soaks into the hairline space between the mortise and tenon.
I don't use any special preservative on the wood that goes outdoors. The best way to prevent decay is to keep the wood off the damp soil.
I often use milk paint for painted outdoor pieces.
I like it because it is a non-toxic finish (it is also good for birdhouses).
You can use acrylic paints for brighter and more permanent colors. Just keep the wood from having direct contact with the soil. Tenons are affected by seasonal movement and, over time, tenons that are glued together will loosen.
I reinforce my tenons with pins or wedges. For a chair, the tenon diameter should be slightly less than half the diameter of the post it goes into. Barring decay, a chair with these dimensions should be able to support an average-size adult for generations. Another method is to use a router with a round over bit and ball-bearing pilot to round over the inside of the mortise.
You can make your furniture with a variety of joinery and fasteners. The bevel of the blade is then pressed against the sandpaper-wrapped dowel and drawn backward along the length of the dowel.
I set my tenon lengths in a slightly different manner than is explained in the tenon cutter directions.
I cut a dowel corresponding to the size of the tenon cutter.
I drill out the center of the dowel with a 15/64" drill bit and thread in a 1/4" flat-head machine screw with a lock nut.
I make my tenons 5/8" diameter and 1-1/16" deep.
You can always use more tools, but the ability to make furniture with just a few hand tools is one of rustic furniture's main attractions. The mini tenon cutters are great for sculpture, small furniture and bracing for larger pieces. The 1-1/2" and 2" tenon cutters are great for garden arbors, fences and large outdoor pieces. The directions that come with the power tenon cutter have good descriptions on setting the tenon length and sharpening the blades. Another way to sharpen the blade, if it only needs a touch-up and has no nicks, is to wrap a sheet of fine silicon carbide sandpaper (400 or 600 grit) around a 1-1/2" dowel. Rustic furniture can be anything you want. Axe handles, crutches, baseball bats and hockey sticks have also been incorporated into rustic furniture. Whenever you put a round tenon into a round mortise you are going to have to deal with the inherent weakness of end-grain to side-grain glue joints. One reason that books on rustic furniture making don't show/use mortise and tenon joinery is that until recently there wasn't an easy and efficient method to cut mortise and tenon joints.
Tenon Cutting Tools and Information
Some rustic furniture makers used antique tenon cutters or long-length plug cutters to cut their tenons, but often these were solutions cobbled together by individual craftsmen. The top is also blue stone and acts as a roof to keep the frame of the bench relatively dry. For steam bending, it is best to bend the wood while it is still green, but if you use dry wood, soak it before steaming. Other woods that steam well are ash, oak and walnut. A barn, tool shed and garage are all good options. Branches are great additions to a piece of rustic furniture.
You can make them more flexible by steaming them.
I recently made a garden bench and the legs rest on blue stone pads. Tenons fit into pipes, which can be held in place with screws. The heartwood of certain species such as walnut or locust has a natural resistance to decay. Since you will most likely be using smaller-diameter sticks with little heartwood, your choice of wood species is less of an issue. My favorite technique to prevent decay is to cut 1" dia. The tenons fit into the pipes, which can be held in place with screws. If they need to be removed, just take out the screws and remove the tenons from the pipes. Another way to prevent decay is to rest your piece on a stone pad. The only tools you need to harvest wood are a bow saw, a folding garden saw and hand pruner.
I dry my wood by storing it in an area that is relatively dry with good air circulation. The rafters of a garage or tool shed would be fine for this.
I try to dry for at least a season before using the wood.
You can speed up drying by storing the wood in a warmer area with good air circulation, but the likelihood of checking increases as the temperature increases. There are a number of furniture makers who are making furniture from branches and sticks that look anything but rustic. Rustic furniture made with sticks that have the bark removed can have a very contemporary look. When you make a chair out of these peeled saplings, the sticks can be as smooth and white as polished bone.
I tend to work mostly with peeled sticks. The bark of most hardwoods peels easily in late spring. Bark from sticks harvested later in the season can be removed using scrapers, drawknives, files and sandpaper. A better term might be "direct furniture making", in that the furniture is made directly from the tree, without using the intermediary lumberyard or kiln-dried hardwood source. What types of wood best resist natural decay?
I have stock, but don't plan on making anything for some time. Most of the books on rustic furniture making don't show/use mortise and tenon joinery.
I received a magnet with my tenon cutter. Sometimes it isn't practical for me to use mortise and tenon joinery throughout a project. How much weight can this type of furniture handle?
Is there a countersink large enough to handle the job?
I make pieces of this style fit in without it looking like something that belongs in a log cabin?
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I thought you might be interested in seeing it for yourself. It looks like it is a wing nut but diameter/length and other necessary hardware is important. Logman says they don't use the wingnuts any longer as they feel that the locknut method is superior for long term use. The locknut would be tightened from the inside. He'll be providing us with updated diagrams shortly. The plastic forms are easy to change and makes quick work of a log into table leg or a chair slat.
We welcome any feedback or requests on how to improve this site’s assessibilty for all users. We're sorry, this product is no longer available. The red guide allows you to produce 1' and 1-1/2' tenons, and the yellow guide allows you to produce 5/8" and 2" tenons. An optional black guide will even produce 2-3/4' tenons. This machine is also great for producing tenons for rustic stair and deck railing along with professional pole fencing. Simply bolt it down to a work bench, insert the guide and feed the pole. The red guide allows you to produce 1' and 1-1/2' tenons, and the yellow guide allows you to produce 5/8" and 2" tenons.
Here's a photo of my son using it with a drawknife.
I have a few for use with brace and have a few a drill. The work well but are very aggressive and can on occasion the screw can cause the log to split.
I drill in with a 14 inch to help relieve some tension.
I remove material to get it to a size it will handle. Make certain it is fully and well grounded.
I have been zapped before but that was heart breaking.
I built a shaving horse that works well to hold the sizes we are using but it could work with a 2" also. It required padding to keep from biting big marks in the wood.
I now use a big metal vise bolted on a heavy metal table.
I will be happy to help you with any questions.
I considered going to the commercial series solely but the rough tenon is the killer for me. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.