Woodworking Tips, Tricks and Techniques


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Table Saw Taper Jig


Table Saw Taper Jig

 These simple jigs make cutting tapers, safe and easy. Whether you choose to make one yourself, or spend about twenty bucks, on a commercially made unit, either will serve you well. The on shown below is made from aluminium, and will last two life times.


These can be found at your local Woodcraft store, (photo from Woodcraft' s catalog), or in your scrap bin. Personally, I think making one is not cost effective, but some of us just like to "play".

Woodcraft's Taper Jig


If you decide to make one yourself, you may end up spending close to twenty bucks on the hardware required to produce it. I would suggest, if you go this route, finish the wood with polyurethane, or any finish that will seal the wood. It will be less likely to warp that way.

These tools are a quick way to cut tapers for table legs, or almost anything you want to taper. As always, keep track of where you place your hands. It can be a little misleading when starting a cut, as to where the blade shows up at the end of the cut. (looking at the picture, there's plenty of room for your hand, but notice at the end of the cut, this area is considerable narrower). I know, that seems pretty obvious, but it's worth pointing out.

The other thing that's worth pointing out in this picture, is the lack of a splitter, or anti kickback device. This is a big no no. Especially in a cut of this nature, where there could be a tendency to push the workpiece a little out of alignment with the blade. If it does kick back, and you survive it, you probably won't do that again! (See below for a source of a good one from Biesmeyer.


Geoffrey Carson of Carson Woodworks has a You Tube Vdeo on the taper jig he uses in his shop. It's very well made and quite easy to use- To see his Leg Tapering Jig video, click the play button.

Another method for cutting tapers is to mark the piece to be tapered, and using double sided carpet tape, or screws, where possible, Fasten it to a piece of plywood. Lay your taper marks on the straight edge of the plywood, set the fence to the width of the plywood, and make the cut. If using only tape. make sure it's well stuck. Using a push block or push stick, that places downward pressure on the piece, is also a good idea.

Our Taper Jig.

 Taper Jig


That's the method we use in the shop. As a matter of fact, a taper jig is one tool we don't own, as the previous method works just as well, and the setup time is quicker.

Always use a splitter or anti kickback device on your table saw.

Anti kick back devive / splitter

This small device could SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Biesemeyer makes a very good one. It's appears a little pricey, but it's well worth every penny!

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