How To Cut Tenons for Deck Rails with a Tablesaw
If you need to put tenons on some deck-rail balusters, you could put dowels in the end of them, or try to find a lathe, but there’s a better way.
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This tip is from Peter Blackmore from Courtney, British Columbia. He’s discovered a way to use a dado head and a scrap-wood jig to cut accurate tenons.
Build a jig with a few 2x4s and clamps
The dado head should be sandwiched between the guide rail and the fence on the other side. Two guide rails with a hole bored that is the same as the diagonal dimension of the baluster allows the baluster to be rotated through perpendicular to the blade. The fence is used as a depth stop and the distance from the fence to the dado head adjusts the length of the tenon. The height of the dado head adjusts the diameter of the tenon.
Note, the baluster should be turned the same direction as the rotation of the blade. Go slowly. And to stop tear out, wrap the end in masking tape.