I'm building a bookcase from a "measured drawing" from a
old FWW book. It is just a line drawing and a picture or
two, but enough measurements to make the case.
The guy tapered the lower legs on the case with a double
He starts at 6" from the bottom and tapers the corner post
down from 1" 5/8 to 1 1/8".
(each corner post is 1 5/8" square)
I have never done any real tapers and I have never tried
one on a piece of stock that is 59" long.
The picture shows a very graceful look on the bookcase,
so how does everybody does this sort of thing on a piece
that long ???
I assume a sled of some sort....
I can think of a few options:
First, a planer sled. Use 1/16 stock stacked up to get 1/16, 1/8,
3/16, 1/4 (assuming 1/4 off on each face, if it's two adjacent faces,
use 1/8 stock). Position the stacks evenly along the sled. Use
double-sided tape to tape the leg to the sled (use stop blocks on each
end too) and run it through your planer a few times, untapered end
first. This only really works for long gradual tapers.
Second, a jointer. Put a stop block on the infeed side so that the
cut starts where the taper starts (or an inch towards the tapered end)
and drop the leg onto the knives and joint it. Keep doing this until
the taper is almost sufficient, then do one pass of the whole leg
(i.e. no stop block) to clean up the transition. Again, long tapers
Third, a router. Get a straight edge and clamp it on the leg in the
right place, and use a pattern bit (if you can find one big enough) to
follow it. Alternate: use a long 1/2 straight bit and either ride the
shank along the straight edge, or use a template guide.
Fourth, a table saw sled. Rip a long enough board and tape the leg to
the board so that the edge matches the cut line (i.e. a zero clearance
sled, so don't move your fence) and re-rip. If you do this often,
build a rip sled with a guide for your miter slot, and put some toggle
clamps on it.
Fifth, a hand plane.
Sixth, a band saw (followed by the jointer or a hand plane to clean it
up). If your taper is only six inches long, this might be the easiest
You can also combine the band saw and router - band saw about 1/16"
from the line, use the router to clean it up. This is a common
pattern following technique.
Just finished a couple of end tables that had exactly the same leg.
Used a home built taper jig (15 degree max) patterned after and old
S&R metal one.
"Swing" had a very neat one, check out his web site, I'm sure he has
it on there.
I was going to mention it, but hesitated from perhaps doing too much of that
The one on the jigs and fixtures page would easily do what Pat wants, and it
would be easy to do a down and dirty, non-adjustable, 'one-off' sled using
the same idea, but utilizing the fence instead of a runner in the miter
Having done many tapered legs using many different jigs, I believe that a TS
taper sled is definitely the way to go for 'quick, ease of use, and safety'.
Everybody had several decent ideas and the sled seems to
be the most voted on. That was also my method of choice
and I'll probably do a "one shot deal" with my old friend
I'll run a trial version on Sunday and see how it goes.
Maybe a picture or two of the trial and more advice as
the project moves ahead.
I wouldn't worry about offering too much advice Swing...
Your advice is well respected.
When I built my tables, used some filled PVC to make 1" dia x 1/2"
thick buttons /w/ a counterbore for a #8 pan head screw clearance.
Used these as floor glides on the bottom of the legs.
Simplest powered method is probably a sled that rides on a runner slot.
With the long leg, a sled that rides against the fence would have to
be fairly wide.
Adam Cherubini would probably use a hatchet and a hand plane.
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