But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Let's have a quick look at some of the tooling involved for making these connections.
There are many ways to make round tenons without using a lathe, here are some of the ones I used. Some makes a square shoulder, some a tapered or round one.
The first one is called an hollow auger, it goes around the square piece which was previously tapered by using a spoke pointer bit.
That first step, the tapering at the end, is crucial for the proper operation of the hollow auger. If you ever tried to used one of these without first using the spoke pointer you probably experiences dismal results... It would had been frustrating at best.
Such hollow augers were very popular at one time mid 1800s to early 1900 since they were crucial for the wheel wright in order to make quickly a bunch of same size parts.
Here is a video of making a wheel, notice the square, often tapered, tenon for the hub and the round tenon on the end of the spokes connecting to the felloes.
The outer part of the wheel, the Felloes, are connected by at least two spokes, terminated by a round tenon with a square shoulder, for maximum strength.
Being popular there were at least 85 different variations patented between the appearance of the first one in 1829 to the last American patent in dec 1911.
The advent of the metal wheels after WWI spelled the end for these hollow augers, after 1940 they all but disappears from tools catalogs
They were also used by chairmakers, ladder maker and yes some cabinet makers.
The spoke pointer on the left is the first tool to use before
the hollow auger on the right. Note the often missing depth stop on the hollow auger, the red clip part
The one I used is a patented design from 1870 (then re-issued in 1877), called the C.S. Bonney pattern. As you can see, it is very close to the original patent.
It featured a rotating turret with 8 sizes holes, cutting a round tenon of the following sizes:
3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8 and 1 inch.
Original patent of 1870 No 105,896
Re-issued as RE7,689 in 1877
It is hard to read but mine has raised casting marks that read
EC Stearns 260 (?) Syracuse NY
Red part is the depth stop, often MIA
The cutter is adjustable in and out (one screw on top), up and down (two screws at the bottom) and sideways by one screw bearing on one side (the long one in the last pic)
2-1/2 in, 2 in and 1-1/2 in spoke pointers
So why must we use the spoke pointer before the hollow auger?
Well, the hole's sizes on the auger goes from 3/8 to 1 inch. These are the final sizes of the round tenon, but in all cases, the actual work piece, be it a wheel spoke or a chair part would be bigger than the actual tenon, in order to cut a square shoulder around it. How are we going to feed a 2 in piece into a 1 inch hole?? Simple, shave the end of the workpiece in a taper fashion (much like a regular pencil sharpener works) until the top diameter has been reduced to the required size to sit inside the guide hole on the tenoner.
That is why there is a depth stop provision (sometimes missing) on the Spoke pointers. It ensure quick correctly sized parts.
On this model, the stem of the tool is loose and can be adjusted in or out of the tool body. There is a set screw to hold the setting and a handy scale to help you guesstimate the setting
That is the stem poking out in the middle of the tool
This model has a fixed stem but the wing nut set a small metal dowel rod in or out. Essentially same operation as above but no scale and being a separate piece, often missing. Look for it in the center inside.
In addition, if you were careful when using the spoke pointer, the reduced size part should be smack in the middle of the workpiece. This will then help centering the round tenon to be cut on the workpiece.
Sound good in theory, it is so easy to introduce small variations by tilting the tools in use. Remember we are using a hand brace to turn these tools.
I don't have much experiences with them, but I found it very easy to get the tenon started with a small offset.... As usual your actual results may vary... :-)
Next up to bat are these Veritas Dowel and Tenon makers and Tapered Tenon cutters .
From what I understand, they are basically the same castings, the difference being simply the blade that come with them.
I got the set of three Tapered tenon cutter which uses a straight across blade (think pencil sharpener on Viagra :-) and the dowel makers used a curved blade which can be interchanged in both to transformed the tool into one form or the other. So I bought a spare curved blade to try it out.
They work the same as the previous spoke pointers except that the cutting geometry is changed, they either produce a flat continuous dowel or make a shallow taper on the tenon. Such tapered tenons being used mostly in chairmaking.
And our last tool in this line up is a Stanley No 22, 3/4 in dowel pointer
The blade (cutting edge) is not removable, being cut into body of the tool. You have to be very careful when attempting to sharpen it. You can easily ended up with a very shiny cutting edge (Ralph Tm :-) which would not engage the workpiece. Essentially ruining the tool... just saying...
The good news is that it does not have to be super sharp to work...
Such a tool would have come handy in the days prior to the availability of properly shaped dowels available at your local hardware stores. If you make your own dowels, using such a tool would quickly put a small taper on the ends.
Bob, turning around and around and...