Hello, I am looking at setting up to cut some tenons on the shaper. Unsure if there is a actual differnce between groovers and tenon discs in performance. The tenon discs seems safer as the groovers are more of a saw blade type design.
Yes, there is a difference. The groovers will require more pressure to make the cut compared to a dedicated grooving head. This gets a little hairy if parts in a tenon jig start to move because of how hard you have to feed.
Also, the better grooving/rabbeting heads will have scoring chips to prevent tear out at the exit point on the wood. They run with replaceable carbide chips, so are always on hand. They do not need to be sent out. I find that once on the shaper, one may be there for a week or more, and we will use it at will for all sorts of things.
The Amana heads I have are some of my favorite shaper tooling. The 160mm is about 6-1/4" in diameter. They can run up to 8,000 rpm, are perfectly balanced, come with shims to get to hair splitting accuracy, and really hum when running.
Hi Dave, thanks for that.
I was looking at those as well.
Then was not sure that the adjustable groovers would be a good suit for tenoning. But would take your recommendation on that. I am looking for a smaller tenon size set-up for tenons up to 2.5" long.
I just picked up the amana shear rebate head 4+4 knives. Really nice for the price.
Another tenoning option is the Innovator heads from C G G Schmidt. The heads run small corrugated knives in HSS or carbide, and Schmidt or others can grind to your specs. Of course, Schmidt also can make tenoning discs for you to your specs. The Innovators are nice since they are excellent panel raisers, among other things.
I usually make large - passage door - tenons by roughing them out oversize on a Powermatic 2-A, then doing the final size and cope on the shaper with dedicated custom tooling - 3 wing brazed tooling or Innovator type tooling that I can grind myself.
With 2-1/2" tenons, 1-1/4" spindle and 1/2" x 2 spacer walls, the tenon disc needs to be 7-1/4" or larger. Wider spacers should give more accuracy in the spacing between discs/tenon thickness.
I like/need versatility, but 85% of what we do falls into the same tooling. The rest can all be done easily with the right pieces and parts, and it allows some wide flexibility in almost all dimensions.
It depends on what you are making - lots of the same, or many and varied.
Adjustable groovers with scribing spurs work fine for small tenons. Tenons 2 ½” long probably will require a 180mm diameter head if using a 1.25 shaft. The adjustable groover – multiuse 160mm diameter head in the picture will cut about 50mm deep using a 40mm spindle. These are usually Z2 with straight knives. This is one of the most used tools in our shop. The larger sizes can be used as rebate heads and small knives for radiuses and gasket grooves can be inserted. You can also stack different diameters to do simple rabbited glass frames.
Tenon disks like the other picture are usually Z3 with the knives raked. They cut a little easier and nicer but the groovers certainly work fine for small work. This one is 250mm diameter that will fit inside the hood of most HD Euro shapers. It is 50mm bore sleeve mounted. They can be ordered as disks to just mount on the shaft with spacers also. You will get more depth of cut this way and quicker to change to different tenon thickness. Sleeve mounted is better for dedicated work and sleeves are a must for the big exterior door and window 320mm diameter disks.
The tenon head is Z3 (three knives) The pockets you see are for adjustable insert radius knives to do joint rounding. I found some old pics of the same head with a mid disk to produce double tenons. One shows the joint rounding and the other square edge with no rounding.
This head with its slotting mate was originally set up to do double square edge tenons on a shaper using a 30mm sleeve. We just had a job calling for a single square edge tenons so we remounted the top and bottom head on a 50mm sleeve so it could run on the tenoner.
As I said the sleeves are better suited for dedicated cuts. It takes 15 - 20 minutes to open a sleeve up with the chance to not get things back the way they were. We have now found a way to do single tenons of various thickness on the tenoner using a single disk.
On center sleeves, Do you order the sleeve and the the appropriate sized bore on the discs or are they factory set-up?
Dave made a good point about wider spacers with the larger diameter tenoning discs. From what both you guys are saying I would guess that there is some run-out with the larger heads?
I found some adjustable groovers in the EU that were not to poorly priced. Would I get them sleeved top and bottom?
Joe, your sleeved groover set-up I see you have down and up shears . Do you think they do a better job over a straight knife like in the adj. groovers?
I guess what my current wonder would be is if it is practical to have one large set-up that will do smaller work or is it more appropriate to have two set-ups large and small. Seems like it would be better to have less head exposed if I were making small doors for a spell. Safer for sure. Ideally I would like to do tenons upto the 4" length range ( or even 4.5" for thru tenon on traditional style entry doors).
I will try to explain the sleeved cutters a little better. This can get involved and I will just hit the high points.
You asked - "On center sleeves, Do you order the sleeve and the the appropriate sized bore on the discs or are they factory set-up?"
The disks on sleeve are usually set up at the factory. You can put your own together from parts from the same mfg. though. Each maker will have their own system and the size of sleeve and bore of cutters seem to vary between the different mfgs. For example the Garniga tenon disks we have been looking at has outside shaft diameter of 60mm. so all the cutters that fit this are 60mm bore. The inside bore of the sleeve can be anything between 30mm to 50mm. My Zuani sleeves are 63mm shaft and bore on the cutters with pins running through.
"Dave made a good point about wider spacers with the larger diameter tenoning discs. From what both you guys are saying I would guess that there is some run-out with the larger heads?"
No noticeable run out on these. They are well balanced and we are running on sturdy shapers and tenoners with 40 and 50mm shafts. You can run up to a 300mm diameter with a 1 ¼” shaft on a heavy duty shaper.
"I found some adjustable groovers in the EU that were not to poorly priced. Would I get them sleeved top and bottom?"
Adjustable groovers I would not put on a sleeve. As I said before sleeves are more for dedicated setups. You want to think of a sleeve as extra spindle for your shaper that you just put on with the cutters stacked and the correct spacers between. I think for cutting single tenons of different thickness you would not want sleeves. If the tenon thickness is always the same then a sleeve would be fine.
"Joe, your sleeved groover set-up I see you have down and up shears . Do you think they do a better job over a straight knife like in the adj. groovers?"
Yes those tenon disks have shear and they cut a little better and easier. The straight ones work fine for smaller tenons though.
"I guess what my current wonder would be is if it is practical to have one large set-up that will do smaller work or is it more appropriate to have two set-ups large and small. Seems like it would be better to have less head exposed if I were making small doors for a spell. Safer for sure. Ideally I would like to do tenons upto the 4" length range ( or even 4.5" for thru tenon on traditional style entry doors)."
The big one will work fine for both small and large but is more cumbersome to set up. We end up using the small adjustable groovers more for cabinet work and stub tenons on interior doors. Any of these over 200mm diameter I would not run with a sled. The bigger cutters need a sliding table for shaper use. Also, any cutter over the capacity of your shaper hood (250mm diameter on my Martins and most HD Euro shapers) will require a tenoning hood. 4 to 4 ½” tenons will require some serious disks.
Attached is a picture of some different type sleeves we use. On the right is an open sleeve. The cutters are held with pressure on the top cap. There is usually a pin running through all the cutters. These are good if you have to get into the cutters to re shim for different thickness. This cutter is used to do the inside profile on shaker type doors from ¾” to 2 ¼” thick.
In the middle is a threaded sleeve of the type used on the tenon disks from Garniga. These are a little old school and you can see the wrenches behind that are used to open them up.
To the left is a split sleeve. These are used when you want to be able to produce different thickness of doors or windows from the same cutterset. They can stack with different thickness spacers between the sleeves. They are cleverly engineered and can also be used to do curved rails without making a template.
The other picture is split sleeve tenon disks 320mm diameter. To cut 4 ½” inch tenons this is what you would need.
Hope this is not too confusing. I think you first need to look at your shaper to see what it can handle. We did a lot early on just using the larger adjustable groovers and the 250mm diameter tenon disks.
Hey Joe thanks again.
I have a 10hp SCM T130nps that I am slowly getting together tooling and parts for the sliding table set-up. It did not come ( 1998 used) with the extruded fence and stops, missing some t-nuts, etc... the small stuff. The table will accpt heads over 300mm so hoping I can use this for larger entry door work. I've been cutting tenons on the bandsaw and shoulders with a sled on the TS but it's a bit of a slow go. I hope to speed things up and get a bit more accuracy.
Also looking at aigner add-ons for it. The fence seems nice, as do some extension tables. Hoping I can build a tenon hood from ply.
Whats the feel of pushing the rail thru a big disc like what we've been discussing?
Are you using cam locking levers or pneumatic? One or two?
Hi Correy The T 130 should work fine for this with a sliding table. An inexpensive way to get into this is to stack 2 saw blades with a spacer between and cut the cheeks like you have been. Way faster and more accurate than a bandsaw.
These cut easy. Just keep the feed slow. I am used to the big disks but they are intimidating at first.
We use Mac Campshure's air tight clamps. They work way better than the cam type clamps. With the cam clamps you have to be careful. Too little pressure and the piece will suck into the head and too much pressure will distort the table.
Here is a link to my U Tube channel that shows tenoning on various machines.
We came up with a slick method for tenons and very accurate grooving a couple of decades ago. We had our sharpening shop bore out a regular high quality dado set. It gives you the smoothest finish on the tenons.
We originally ordered one from Forrest and it came prebored to 1 1/4". Years later I had CT Saw and Tool bore out an Amana set for my shop. It was cheap and works great.
One advantage of the insert tooling over reworked dado sets is that the insert tooling holds the OD of the tool thru sharpenings/replacements. This is important if jigs are used or close tolerances need to be held.
This also means that the tools don't ever leave your shop, so are always on hand and able to be sharpened at will.
A third advantage is that the tooling is engineered for the cutting forces found in shapers, and the RPMs and such will not cause problems. If the dado set option was a good, viable solution, I would think the tooling manufacturers would be designing and selling such tools.
Yeah I guess I am with Dave on this one. One of my first thoughts were if the sharpening house could get all the cutting circles for two sets of dado heads exact. It's probably possible but I really like the insert tooling. And for the cost of a large diamter quality dado set you can get a decent insert groover that will be more versatile in the end.
One of the details I am considering is if it is practical to expect that a tooling manufacturer can reproduce to within .001 additional heads, to say, create twin tenons and variations after they custom make the initial top and bottom heads. If I add a middle disc next year will it match the cutting circle? One Co. said it would be better to have them made all at once, dunno if that was the sales pitch.
Also with the dado heads I still would not be able to make larger tenons than 3.5". But I bet they work great for medium to small tenons.
Just for kicks I had some old style groovers laying around and tried those. I think this was part of your original question. I would stay away from these. They were very difficult to push through even taking small bites. The 10" single saw blade was not bad but still a lot harder to push than the 250 and 310 diameter tenon heads.
With the 10" saw blade I could get 3 3/4" depth of cut with a 1 1/4" shaft. 2 passes for this worked better. I would think that a full dado would be harder to push yet. On my machine a 8" dado would only make a 3" tenon with 1 1/4" shaft.
I would think a good tool maker can hold .001 inch. We use constant diameter tooling and have never had issues with adding tooling later. Like anything though mistakes can happen
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