Over a decade ago, a customer told me he used a dowel plate to cut the tenons on his spindles. “That won’t work,” I replied, having never tried it myself.
Last fall, I switched to using dowel plates to cut the upper tenon on the spindles.
Why did I switch? Primarily, I find that the cut is often cleaner than a tenon cutter’s cut. And they have some other advantages: the dowel plates never need re-adjusting, and almost never need sharpening. They are also self limiting: if the tenon is too big, you simply can’t drive it through the hole.
Dowel plates are easy to make. Drill an oversized hole most of the way through a piece of 1/4″ thick steel plate. Then drill all the way through the plate with a bit matching the tenon you want to cut, creating a stepped hole. It’ll work great. Or you can buy a dowel plate from me.
Here’s my first self-filmed YouTube video, showing how they work:
Most of my classes have filled up, so I added a Continuous Arm class here in my shop the week of June 12th that still has a couple spots open. There’s also a class here in December that has room. And the one I’m excited about, a three week class at Anderson Ranch in Colorado building Velda’s Chair.