What Does A Tenon Saw Do? Complete Guide

A tenon saw is a type of hand-saw that typically has a long blade with straight teeth and a handle. The blade can be made from steel, aluminum, or wood. A tenon saw is used for cutting the tenons on the end of wooden pieces to join them together into one piece of furniture or timber frame. This article will give you an introduction on what does a tenon saw do so that you know how it works and what its purpose is!

Types Of Tenon Saws:

There are three main types of tenon saws: the dovetail saw, the carcass saw, and the sash saw.

  1. The dovetail saw: This saw is typically the smallest of three and has a blade that is around 8 to 10 inches long. The blade is also relatively thin and has a curved shape which makes it perfect for cutting dovetails.
  2. The carcass saw: The carcass saw is the most common type of tenon saw, and has a blade that is usually 12 inches long. The blade has a straight edge with curved teeth which are fine, making them perfect for cutting joints in carcass work.
  3. The sash saw: The sash saw is the largest of the three types of tenons saws, with a blade that can be up to approximately 18 inches long. This type of saw is used mainly for crosscutting in larger pieces of wood.

How To Use A Tenon Saw:

The way that you use a tenon saw will vary depending on the type of saw that you have. However, there are some general steps that you can follow for all types of tenon saws.

1. Grip the saw handle with your dominate hand, and place your thumb on the back of the blade.

2. Rest the front of the blade on the wood that you are cutting, and use your other hand to guide it along the line that you want to cut.

3. Apply pressure to the blade with your thumb as you cut, in a smooth and even motion.

4. Repeat steps 2-3 until you have cut all the way through the material that you are cutting.

5. When finished, use a hand saw to trim off the rough edges left by your tenon saw blade!

Tips:

1. Make sure your work area is well lit so that you can see what you are doing.

2. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.

3. Keep your fingers clear of the blade at all times.

4. Always use a sharp blade in your tenon saw, so that you can make clean and accurate cuts.

5. If the blade starts to bind in the material that you are cutting, try to free it by tapping the back of the blade with a mallet.

6. Keep your tenon saw blades clean and oiled so that they don’t get damaged or quickly dull.

7. Always cut on top of a piece of scrap wood so that the teeth do not damage your work piece.

8. If you are cutting dovetails, cut on the waste side of the line that you want to cut. This will ensure that your saw blade doesn’t drift when trying to make your cut!

9. Make sure to file down any teeth that get bent during use, so they don’t become dull or drag in your work piece.

Uses For A Tenon Saw:

As mentioned before, a tenon saw is used mainly for cutting the tenons on the end of wooden pieces. However, there are other uses for this handy tool as well!

1. Crosscutting: A tenon saw can be used for crosscutting in larger pieces of wood. This is done by making short strokes with the saw, while keeping the blade at a 90-degree angle to the work piece.

2. Ripping: Ripping is when you cut a piece of wood parallel with its grain. This can be done with a tenon saw by making long strokes with the saw, while keeping the blade at a 90-degree angle to the work piece.

3. Mortise and tenon joinery: A mortise and tenon joint is a traditional woodworking joint that is used to join two pieces of wood together. The mortise is the hole in one piece of wood, and the tenon is the projection on the other piece of wood. A tenon saw can be used to cut both the mortise and the tenon, making it the perfect tool for this type of joinery.

4. Dovetails: Dovetails are a type of joint that is used to join two pieces of wood together. The dovetail joint is often used in cabinet making, as it is a very strong joint. A tenon saw can be used to cut half-blind dovetails, which are dovetail joints that don’t go all the way through the wood.

5. Curves: A tenon saw can be used to make curved cuts in larger pieces of material, as long as your blade is long enough! This is a very useful feature for this type of saw, as it allows you to make curved cuts without having to use a special saw blade.

6. Chamfering: Chamfering is when you cut the edges of a piece of wood at a 45-degree angle. This can be done with a tenon saw by making short strokes at a 45-degree angle to the work piece.

Safety Tips When Using A Tenon Saw:

1. Always use a sharp blade in your tenon saw, so that you can make clean and accurate cuts.

2. If the blade starts to bind in the material that you are cutting, try to free it by tapping the back of the blade with a mallet.

3. Keep your fingers clear of the blade at all times.

4. Always use a tenon saw with the appropriate work piece. For example, don’t try to cut small pieces of material with a very long tenon saw blade!

5. Make sure your work area is well lit so that you can see what you are doing.

6. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris.

7. Keep your tenon saw blades clean and oiled so that they don’t get damaged or quickly dull.

8. Always cut on top of a piece of scrap wood so that the teeth do not damage your work piece.

9. If you are cutting dovetails, cut on the waste side of the line that you want to cut. This will ensure that your saw blade doesn’t drift when trying to make your cut!

10. Make sure to file down any teeth that get bent during use, so they don’t become dull or drag in your work piece.

I hope that this article has been informative and helpful! As you can see, a tenon saw is a very versatile tool that can be used for a variety of different tasks. So the next time you are looking for a saw to use on a woodworking project, don’t forget about the tenon saw!


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Emma Avery
By Emma Avery

I'm Emma Avery, founder of Tttools.uk. I founded this site with the goal in mind to provide a place where beginners could learn about saw tools, and have access to resources that would be useful for them (and me!) as they develop their skills. Funnily enough, my favorite thing about running the site is getting feedback from you guys! I love hearing how it's helped you get more confident or achieve your goals; it really means a lot that you're taking the time to send me an email or leave a comment on one of our articles. It's been so educational already learning all about saws and timber framing. Thanks for following along with us!


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