In the woodworking class that I am taking, the project I want to
make calls for tapering leds on a table. The instructor showed
us how to make one, by making a cradle with a piece of plywood,
then holding the leg stock in the cradle and passing through a
table saw, all the while commenting on how he hated tapering
legs, and how dangerous the method he was using was.
Any pointers here on some easy adjustable jigs for tapering legs
on table saws that can be built myself? He considered the
aluminum tapering jigs as even more dangerous, considering what
would happen if any of the metal got stuck in the blade etc.
DAGS, but could not find any plans to such jigs, just references
to using them...
I believe last months Wood magazine had designs for a tapering jig.
: Hi All,
: In the woodworking class that I am taking, the project I want to
: make calls for tapering leds on a table. The instructor showed
: us how to make one, by making a cradle with a piece of plywood,
: then holding the leg stock in the cradle and passing through a
: table saw, all the while commenting on how he hated tapering
: legs, and how dangerous the method he was using was.
: Any pointers here on some easy adjustable jigs for tapering legs
: on table saws that can be built myself? He considered the
: aluminum tapering jigs as even more dangerous, considering what
: would happen if any of the metal got stuck in the blade etc.
: DAGS, but could not find any plans to such jigs, just references
: to using them...
I have tapered a boatload of legs using a $20 aluminum tapering jig without
mishap ... but it is a nerve wracking job and I keep thinking I'll build a
good jig one of these days. Went so far as to purchase/download the plans
for one recently:
This one appears versatile since you could cut panels on it also. I have the
plans, perused them, but haven't built it yet ... give it a look.
He's right. I'd hate tapering legs, too, if that was the only way I knew how.
The July '03 issue of Wood Magazine has a plan for a bandsaw taper jig, that's
easily adaptable to use on a table saw. There's a picture of it at
The October '03 issue has a plan for a taper jig specifically designed for the
table saw. I can't locate my copy right now, but IIRC it's pretty similar.
The book Table Saw Magic, by Jim Tolpin, also shows how to build one.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
I've accidentally hit aluminum jigs with carbide blades, and aside
from a change in the saw noise, nothing irregular happens.
I didn't even know I'd hit one jig, until I took it off the table.
I've been known to stick some carpet tape on tapering jigs to help me
hold the stock in place.
The instructor did demonstrate that, and also mentioned that
getting all 4 legs exactly the same would require a lot of skill.
The table saw seemed the right way to go, if a suitable jig was
Thanks for all the responses!
Lazarus Long wrote:
I first saw the jointer method describe in FWW for a pencil post bed
designed by Christian Becksvoort. The method is very straighforward.
I tapered both ends of the four posts, and then further applied
tapering to the edges to make an octagonal crossection.
All four posts are equal.
I think Woodsmith has described this as well.
A Google search on "taper jig" yielded:
I avoid adjustables. It's easier to make jigs up as you need them,
they only take a few minutes. I was making a regular job today
(Stickley wastepaper baskets) and the stock wasn't my usual size, so I
just made up a new jig for this one-off size. A plank of MDF, and a
few narrow strips screwed down as stops.
Assuming you're making a symmetrical taper, then make the jig double
sided, so that one side does the first taper (opposite side still
square) and the other side does the final taper (opposite side was
For safety, just buy a couple of toggle clamps and screw them to the
jig. Use them to hold the workpiece in place, not your fingers.
Then fasten a handle to the jig. Many of my tablesaw jigs use an
interchangeable handle, just to save effort making them. I only need
to drill a couple of holes and put in a couple of M6 threaded inserts,
then the long plywood handle bolts down with roofing bolts. It also
means that a double sided jig can have a reversible handle.
It's not the best thing to do to a sawblade, but hitting aluminium
isn't huge problem. Steel would be bad, but aluminium is nearly always
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Here's the one I use:
I've used it on _very_ small pieces and consider it very safe.
You might need a longer sled, depending the the length of the
legs you need.
Tapering legs on the table saw is sort of dangerous
I once had to do some bed posts almost 4" Square about 76" long
the taper ran about 48"
I put a 12" Blade on a 10" Unisaw after modifying the unisaw and made a sled
type Jig to run them thru.
Not for the timid to try.
If I had to do it again I would make a jig and do it with a router
And this would be the safest, more accurate and easiest way to do them
Chris You didn't read my post thoroughly,
Your sled is really no big deal been doing that stuff for years.
Don't need a sled to do it, a little block of wood and a elongated fence.
try doing one 76" Long almost 4" square a 12" blade in a 10" saw, no blade
Saw needs to be modified to get the 12" blade to fit.
Trust me you need to be optimum concentration.
A unisaw will give you 3" with a full 10" blade, the 12" blade gives you a
therefore you do not have the luxury of a sled board even at 1/4"
If my memory serves me right I was only getting 3-7/8" from the blade, so I
took my stock down to 3-3/4"
I read it twice, actually. You started with a blanket statement:
"Tapering legs on the table saw is sort of dangerous"
and then gave an example that might very well be dangerous - since you
were clearly exceeding the intended limits of the tools (e.g. working with
no blade insert!!!)
I just wanted to make sure that future readers don't take your blanket
statement as truth...since tapering (in general) is NOT dangerous.
Your method certainly sounds like it is.
Traves W. Coppock <newsgroups-AT-farmvalleywoodworks-DOT-com> wrote in message
It's easier ad faster to make tapered legs on the jointer.
1. Establish the length of the taper on the leg
2. Draw a line where the cut would be.
3. Divide the line in half.
4. Measure the distance from the side of the leg to the line
5. Set the jointer depth of cut to this measurement.
6. Run the leg in to the half way line from the bottom.
7. Turn the leg around and hold the bottom of the leg do a
a kick up and run it thru the jointer.
8. Legs are tapered and jointer in 1/4 the time.
Personally, I use my jointer instead of the table saw, does a nice job
and feels a lot safer to me. Never tried one of those fancy store
bought jigs, but I have made simple sleds for small pieces. Bottom of
1/4 hardboard fence of some pine. Added two clamps to hold the board
worked fine. When I was done I just disposed of it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.