Hand Tools Archive

Router plane for tenons, nothing new

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
I was reading the Popular Mechanics' "Shopnotes" from 1920, and a little article describes rough-cutting tenons (to within about 1/16", they recommend), then gang-clamping identical pieces of stock (for instance, the stretchers and/or aprons for a table) to the bench end-to-end, with the tenons butting. The illustration shows four pieces of stock - two side by side, with the two pairs butting at the tenons. Then, says the article, you can use a router plane to smooth all four tenons to final dimension.

Nice plan: no need to find a block of wood to support the outboard side of the router plane, and you can work all the matching pieces at once.

I haven't followed the various conversations about using a router plane on tenons, so this may already have been suggested here or elsewhere; but, if so, it's following on a nearly century-old idea.
Digressing: several pages later, there's an article with an excited discussion of a portable machinist's toolbox. The illustration shows a mechanic's rollaway and top box, although the rollaway is enough wider than the top box to accommodate a metalworking vise on one end. Brilliant idea, a portable toolbox like that...I wonder if I could find somebody that makes such a thing?

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