Tapering Jig

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For years I've been using one of those $19.95 aluminum tapering jigs and felt like I've cheated death each and every time I use it to cut tapered legs. I literally breathe a sigh of relief when that part of a tapered leg table project is over and done with ... until the next time.
Faced with cutting 12 walnut tapered legs for some commissioned tables yesterday, I quickly fabricated the simple tapering jig mentioned in FWW's recent "Power Tools" edition.
Big difference, and a pleasure, and much safer, to use:
http://e-woodshop.net/files/Taperjig1.jpg
http://e-woodshop.net/files/Taperjig2.jpg
http://e-woodshop.net/files/12Legs.JPG
For anyone else who has been procrastinating, this particular tapering jig is highly recommended, can be fabricated in well under an hour, is infinitely adjustable, and beats hell out of my old aluminum wonder, or any one-off tapering jig I've used.
(Tip: it is not necessary to spend a great deal of time cutting out a perfectly circular cam ... I simply used a paint can to draw a circle, freehanded it on the bandsaw in a couple of minutes, then used the stationary belt sander to touch it up.)
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Swingman wrote:

and
tapered
tapered leg

tables
FWW's
tapering jig

or any

circle,
Thanks for sharing and for the pics. I too hate using the traditional jigs - mine is a simple homemade version with two boards and a hinge that roused similar fears each time I used it.
I think I'll build one like your's now - definitely looks safer and probably easier to set up as well.
Thanks again, and nice legs! :)
Eric
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Watch yourself, fella!? ;)
Actually, I forgot to mention how just _much_ easier it is to setup a taper cut since you have a blade reference edge, just like you do with any table saw sled.
No more trying to line up the beginning, and end, of the taper with the saw blade itself, IME a frustrating and imprecise task in any event.
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Swingman wrote:

and
tapered
tapered leg

tables
FWW's
tapering jig

or any

circle,
I always thought those aluminum things looked dangerous, not much controlling the wood. I made one similar to yours but I installed 3 pieces of T tracks in the sled that run perpendicular to the miter. Use the same clamps. Works great lots of flexibility Joey
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"Joe" wrote in message

I agree ... I was planning on doing that to mine the next time I got to Rockler or Woodcraft and could pick up a short T track. I use those clamps with T tracks on my drill press table and it would definitely be better to be able to 'square' the clamp to the workpiece.
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Swingman wrote:

Very similar to the version I've been using for years.
Too simple to make not to use.
<
http://www.bburke.com/wood/images/Skinnysledtaper2.jpg
Barry
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Barry & Swingman,
A question for ya: why have the jig run in the miter slot, instead of just running/referencing it along the fence?
I would think there would be less fussing with getting the workpiece perfectly setup on the sled: i.e., with the mitre track version, you have to set the workpiece angle AND distance perfectly before clamping; if the whole sled/jig was instead referenced from the TS fence, then you only have to get the angle right, and finetune the distance w/ the fence setting.
Or am I missing something.
Thanks, Chris
B a r r y wrote:

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With the jig running in the miter slot, you want to make the jig just a bit too wide so that the first time it's used, a bit of it gets trimmed off. That turns the jig into a zero-clearance support for the workpiece, and reduces the possibility of tearout.
There may be other reasons, I don't know, but that's the one that occurs to me.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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TheNewGuy wrote:

Answering only for myself...
The edge of the miter track sled ends up exactly where the blade kerf starts, as you've used the blade to trim the sled to width. It's extremely obvious where the taper will start and end when you can use the edge of the sled as a reference.
I make my sleds by gluing an oversize piece of plywood to a runner. After the glue dries, I add some countersunk screws or brads to reinforce the runner to sheet connection. One trip down the slot trims the plywood to final width.
You don't really set the distance. The stops kind of automagically do that on the track version. The end and side stops aren't glued, but are attached in the proper place for each need.
Using the fence creates two problems:
KICKBACK! You are trapping both the device and the work between a fence and a blade. One wiggle and... FIRE!
The fence can cause problems if the leg is curved or long enough to overhang the far side of the device. It's much easier to only have to worry about one edge of the tool. Stops, clamp handles, etc... can overhang the other three as needed with no worries.
Barry
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"B a r r y" wrote in message

You covered the bases ... although I do have a couple of jigs that ride the fence safely, like the one I use for cutting splines in miter joints, the reference edge, on a taper jig like this one that rides in the miter slot, makes for _much_ easier setup.
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B a r r y wrote:

Alright, that makes good sense.

do
are
On the pics from Swingman, that circular side stop looks like it's just nailed in place! ... putting it on a t-track perp. to the blade would be a good upgrade, I think. The tail stop was already nicely adjustable.

fence
Mmmmm, well I didn't see this as a big concern, for various reasons, the main one being that I wouldn't be riding the sled right-up against the blade - could comfortably leave a 1/8-1/4" gap, though as you two pointed out, the mitre slot version gives full 0-clearance support. ... though, not on the cutoff side of the blade. .... if you cut the taper from thickest to thinnest, it seems there would be an issue of the cutoff falling/tearing before the cut is complete?

to
I can see that.
Thanks for your thoughts.
-Chris
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"TheNewGuy" wrote in message

That is actually a "cam" ... a circle of plywood, with the wood screw (not nail) off center, which allows for a good deal of very solid adjustment. I am sure there are many ways to effect the same thing, but the plywood cam is quick, cheap (scraps), and it works very well.
Besides, if it's good enough for FWW, I can probably live with it. :)
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Ooops! My bad :) Didn't look closely enough at the photos - and haven't seen the FWW article/plan. ... well, that certainly makes alot more sense.
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Nice!
Yes, I've come to learn that any operation thet gets my heart pumping is a sign to find a better method.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Safe woodworking is like good defense in most sports, boring!
Exciting defense often means someone blew their fundamental duties.
Exciting wooddorking usually means DANGER!
Barry
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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote in message

Ya know, it's funny ... I see these aluminum jigs for sale all over the place and have never heard of anyone having any trouble with them (nor actually, have I), so it might just be me. There was nothing wrong with whatever it is that passed for courage when the bullets were flying, but whatever it is escapes me when it comes to putting body parts unnecessarily/foolishly at risk, and I've tried every way in the world to use an aluminum taper jig in what felt to me like a safe manner - have even been known to do a couple of legs one day, before screwing up enough courage to finish the last two the next - but it _always_ felt like I was taking a chance with that damn thing.
... and at that usual work rate I figured it might take me a week to do those 12 legs. :)
This is _much_ better.
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Very nice Sir... I think I'll have to make one for myself also.
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"Leon" wrote in message

LOL ... You probably recognized what's left of that funky "A grade" plywood Clark's was so proud of? After seeing your past work, yours will probably be done with hardwood, dovetail joinery, waxed and finished to perfection, and ready for the museum of fine arts. ;)
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I am going to Stallman's to get the plywood for the rest of my kitchen job. They have at least as good of plywood for $10 a sheet less. Plus they are only 3 or 4 miles away from me. My customer just brought a knob by that I am going to put on all the cabinets. He had to special order the knobs. He paid over $500 for just the knobs and drawer pulls... Whew...
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Fantastic. I made a wood version of the aluminum taper jib but I'm really not happy with it.
Does it have to be natural plywood or will it work if JOAT paints it yellow?
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