Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

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Mitch Lees
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Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by Mitch Lees » Wed May 08, 2019 5:41 pm

I am making a 12 Fret Falcate Steel String as per the plans. I would like to use my table saw rather than the band saw to cut the neck tenon as it mentions in Book 2 that this is the more accurate method, and hopefully it also means I will have less fitting to do on the shoulders to achieve the correct neck pitch angle (I find it difficult to maintain 'squareness' on small surfaces with either the shoulder plane or a sanding block).

I have made a fairly accurate cross-cut sledge for my table saw. Where I would like some advice please is how to set-up for the shoulder cuts which must be angled to achieve both the 5 degree undercut in one plane and the 1 degree pitch angle in the other plane. Does this involve constructing some form of work piece holding fixture? The procedure seems to be further complicate by the fact that the cuts are 'handed'. If anyone has used the table saw method I would be most grateful to learn how you did it!

Thanks

Mitch

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kiwigeo
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Re: Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by kiwigeo » Wed May 08, 2019 6:23 pm

Mitch I cut my neck tenons on the table saw. I cut the straight tenon side first by running the neck end through the blade with neck end sitting on the saw table and pressed hard against the fence. I then cut the angled cheeks by adjusting blade angle appropriately and then running the neck end over the blade again making sure the end of the neck is pressed hard against the fence.
Martin

Mitch Lees
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Location: Findhorn, Scotland

Re: Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by Mitch Lees » Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 pm

Martin,

Thanks for the reply. Presumably you set the blade angle to plus and then minus 5 degrees - I see this OK, but how do you get the 1 degree back angle - do you use the table saw?

Mitch

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kiwigeo
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Re: Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by kiwigeo » Thu May 09, 2019 7:52 am

Mitch,

Cut the tenon cheeks square and then fine tune tenon width to get a good fit in the mortise first. Once you're happy with the fit you can work on the neck pitch angle by shaving meat off the cheeks. I use a chisel mortising plane (Veritas), block plane and finish off with a sanding block cut with a bevel that matches the 5degree angle. Final fine tuning is done by flossing with strips of sand paper under the cheeks with the neck pushed firm into the mortise.
Mitch Lees wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 pm
Martin,

Thanks for the reply. Presumably you set the blade angle to plus and then minus 5 degrees - I see this OK, but how do you get the 1 degree back angle - do you use the table saw?

Mitch
Martin

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colburge
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Re: Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by colburge » Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 pm

Mitch Lees wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 pm
Martin,

Thanks for the reply. Presumably you set the blade angle to plus and then minus 5 degrees - I see this OK, but how do you get the 1 degree back angle - do you use the table saw?

Mitch
Mitch

Most saws will only tilt in one direction, so you cant go minus 5 degrees, you need to flip the work piece. I do use a mitre gauge to do both angles at once though, not very easy on a sled. My saw blade tilts to the right so I have to cut on the right side of the blade, I tilt the blade 5 degrees and set the height.

Set your mitre gauge to cut 89 degrees, and clamp the underside of the neck to the mitre gauge fence lined up with the 5 degree undercut line and make the cut. Then set your mitre gauge to 91 degrees and flip the neck so the fret board side is against the mitre gauge fence, I then push the mitre gauge past the blade and line up the 5 degree undercut line on the neck with the back of the blade and clamp it to the fence. Lower the blade, pull the mitre gauge back, raise the blade to the correct height and make the cut.

Col

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kiwigeo
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Re: Cutting The Neck Tenon With a Table Saw

Post by kiwigeo » Mon May 13, 2019 1:21 pm

Yes blade will usually only tilt in one direction. I just flip the blank and run it through....you just have to make sure distance from side of neck block to cut is same.
colburge wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 pm
Mitch Lees wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 pm
Martin,

Thanks for the reply. Presumably you set the blade angle to plus and then minus 5 degrees - I see this OK, but how do you get the 1 degree back angle - do you use the table saw?

Mitch
Mitch

Most saws will only tilt in one direction, so you cant go minus 5 degrees, you need to flip the work piece. I do use a mitre gauge to do both angles at once though, not very easy on a sled. My saw blade tilts to the right so I have to cut on the right side of the blade, I tilt the blade 5 degrees and set the height.

Set your mitre gauge to cut 89 degrees, and clamp the underside of the neck to the mitre gauge fence lined up with the 5 degree undercut line and make the cut. Then set your mitre gauge to 91 degrees and flip the neck so the fret board side is against the mitre gauge fence, I then push the mitre gauge past the blade and line up the 5 degree undercut line on the neck with the back of the blade and clamp it to the fence. Lower the blade, pull the mitre gauge back, raise the blade to the correct height and make the cut.

Col
Martin

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