Vertical Divider – Part 2


Length of the tenon is set by the remaining thickness of the sub top (or bottom)

With the simple dado complete, attention turns to the vertical divider.  I don’t recall reading how to do this part anywhere, although I have read a lot and may have just forgotten the source.  I say this as a disclaimer – I may not be doing this “right”, but it worked.  The length needed for the tenon is marked with a gauge, just like dovetail joint thickness are marked.  Set the gauge using the remaining thickness of the sub-top (or bottom).  FYI this dado is about 1/8 inch deep.


Transfer that depth to the end of the vertical divider.  Careful to mark the correct side.  With hand prepped boards the sub top and bottom will not be exactly the same thickness.

VD-09 VD-09a

Fix the vertical divider so you can work on the end.  I highly recommend a Moxon style vise.  Use a marking knife, pencil, and a square to mark out the tenons.  No need to measure – do whatever looks right.  I picked the width of my ruler as the width of my tenons.  I use a knife to mark the end grain surface because the knife line helps guide the saw to get a straight square cut.  Seriously, it helps – give it a try.  Use a pencil to mark the vertical line on the long grain, it is just a visual guide to follow.


Critical step before sawing – use an “X” to mark the waste areas!!!!!

VD-11 VD-12

I used a backsaw for the vertical cuts and a bowsaw for the horizontal cuts to remove most of the waste between the tenons.  Get as close to the baseline as possible so there will be less chisel work in the next step.


You may notice that I am blowing on the saw.  When starting a new kerf I find it helpful to blow off the sawdust as it comes so I can keep my eye on the line.

The outside tenons are about 1 inch back from the edge.  Those pieces are the easiest ones to remove as they only require turning the board on its side and making one saw cut.  No chisel work required if you are handy with a saw.


If my positioning with the chisel looks awkward, it kinda is.  I keep the chisel vertical during chopping by visually aligning the backside of the chisel with the line scribed to define the depth of the tenons.  It is the easiest way I have found to consistently keep the chisel vertical without an extra guide.

After sawing between tenons, remove the rest of the waste with a sharp chisel and good mallet.  This is just like chopping out dovetails, but easier with straight cuts.  The tenons are now complete in the vertical divider.  Time to make the mortices, but that will be the topic of Phase III.

Bob Jones

5 thoughts on “Vertical Divider – Part 2

  1. jadam318

    Hey Bob. I just started following your blog, so you may have covered this somewhere else, but did you build that Moxon vice? If so, have you posted about it?

    1. Bob Jones Post author

      Thanks for reading! I have mentioned the vise, but I have not given details. Thanks for the suggestion for a future post! Until then, you will find everything you need to know by searching the Lost Art Press blog, the Popular Woodworking Magazine Blog, and just about any woodworking forum. They are very popular, because they are simple and work great! If I didn’t already have one, I would buy the Benchcrafted Kit.

      1. jadam318

        Yeah, I’ve seen several of them, and I have seen plans all over for them. I was really curious about the screws on yours. Did you cut them yourself, or did you buy them? I’m building a bench now (on the cheap) and am exploring options for vice screws. I’d like to cut my own screws, but it doesn’t seem easy to find tap a die sets bigger than about an inch and a half.

  2. Bob Jones Post author

    Vise screws – for the Moxon I sought help from a local turner to make the blanks. I then used a threadbox to make the screws and a tap for the threaded hole. It is a 1 1/2 inch thread. That size works great for the vise. The thread box came from Woodcraft. The first one they shipped did not work so I returned it and the second one worked ok. Great customer service, marginal product. With the 1.5in woodscrews you need to be able to drill 1 3/8in and 1 1/2 in holes. That really adds to the expense. All things considered, the Benchcrafted option is great.

    For my bench I have a wagon vise and a leg vise. Both are homemade with Tail Vise Screws from Lee Valley. The leg vise is super simple and highly recommended. The wagon vise is hard to do, but easier if you have access to a machine shop. I’ll try to post a bench/vise update soon. There is just so much out there on these topics I didn’t see the need before now. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Vertical Divider – Part 3 | The Christian Tool Cabinet

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