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Everything you need to Know About Used Tenoners

Tenoners—also known as tenoning machines—are used to form tenons, projections that fit perfectly into mortises. Traditionally forming a 90 degree angle, mortise and tenon joints have been popular for centuries due to their strength. In the past, the joints were laboriously cut by hand. But today, both large companies and individual woodworkers use electric mortisers and tenoners to produce the joints, which can be either visible or invisible, depending on a joint’s style and the thickness of the wood.

Types of Tenoning Equipment

While tenons can be made by hand, their utilitarian nature makes it unreasonable not to use a tenoning machine, of which there are two basic types: single ended machines, and double ended ones. But special attention should be paid to what types of tenons a machine cuts: frame, box, or both.

1. Single-End Machines

Using a single-end machine, woodworkers can only cut on one end of a wood piece at a time. Once a tenon is formed on one end, the wood piece is reversed and a tenon is formed on the other end. Single-end models allow the wood piece to be secured to their table, and slowly return the piece to the operator after the cuts are made.

2. Double-End Machines

Using a double-end machine, woodworkers can cut on both sides of a wood piece in production line style, with the wood passing through the machine and on to the next station, where applicable, instead of being returned to the machine’s operator. As one would suspect, double-end machines are more popular in woodworking operations that have high production rates.

Are Tenoners used in Smaller Woodshops?

Most woodshops that have a set production rate for products that require tenoning can benefit from using a tenoning machine. However, smaller production rates and a smaller workspace usually justify the purchase of a single-end model instead of a double-end one. More often than not, the latter are more useful to operations that have an official production line, not one comprised of various posts to which wood pieces must be transported by hand.

Is Buying Used Tenoners a Sensible Option?

Due to their long lifespan and rigid construction, industrial grade tenoners are sensible to purchase used. But only if you follow the necessary steps for ensuring their dependability: (1) only buy from a professional seller of used woodworking equipment, avoiding amateur sellers on Craigslist, eBay, and at company auctions; (2) inspect a seller’s record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), avoiding sellers that have unresolved customer complaints; (3) request a copy of a machine’s official maintenance record, avoiding equipment that has spotty maintenance; and (4) inspect equipment first hand to assess its state of wear, or have a trusted third party perform the inspection for you.

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This post was written by who has written 35 posts on Industrial Woodworking Machinery Blog.

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