Tapering Jig

23,914

247

16

Introduction: Tapering Jig

About: DIY Montreal is a do-it-yourself projects website focusing on home decor, furniture, lighting, as well as simple tips & tricks for common household problems. At DIY Montreal, we aim to share creative DIY...

The tapering jig is one of the easier to build but often overlooked.

What is a tapering jig exactly? To put is simply, it's a sled that works with your table saw to make rip cuts on an angle.

It can be used to add a taper to furniture legs, cut plywood on an angle, straighten a live edge, or even cut an awkwardly shaped board and reestablish a straight edge.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Gather your tools and materials for this build.

Materials

Tools

Step 2: Cut the Parts

I started by grabbing a scrap piece of ¾ Baltic birch plywood from my lumber cart. The measurements of the jig will really depend on the size of your table saw and what you plan to do with it, whether it’s taper furniture legs, cut plywood on and angle or straighten a live edge.

I personally cut an 8 inch strip for the base and a 2 inch strip for the fence. You’ll also need a small strip of any hardwood that you’ll need to cut down to an exact fit in your miter slot. I used a leftover strip of maple I had from some reclaimed floorboards, but almost any hardwood will do.

Step 3: Router Grooves

I used my router to first make a wide shallow groove just deep enough so that the head of my bolt would lay below the surface. I made one on each end of the board careful to leave a gap on each side and not go all the way to the edge.

You’ll also need a smaller straight bit or spiral bit that’s at least the size of whatever bolt you’re using. Without adjusting my router’s fence, I made a groove inside the other shallow one, this time going all the way through, and I did this on both sides.

When you’re done, your bolt should fit perfectly and slide within the newly created tracks.

Step 4: More Grooves

Next, I roughly marked where the fence would intersect with the tracks on the base, and marked a rough line. I then use the same spiral bit to make a slot all the way through.

Step 5: Hardware

I had some left over hardware from my drill press table build, so I’m again using simple toggle clamps, toilet bolts and star knobs for this jig.

With the slots all cut out, the table can now be assembled. I slid the toilet bolts up through the tracks from underneath, through the base and up through the fence. I added a washer over the toilet bolts before screwing down the star knobs.

I then marked out where I would install my toggle clamps, then made some pilot holes before screwing them down. I know this will seem obvious, but make sure your screws are short enough so they don’t break though to the bottom piece. I used #12 3/4" pan head screws.

Step 6: Attach the Miter Bar

The last step is to attach the jig to the miter bar.

I put down a few dimes in the miter slot first just to raise up the hardwood slightly to make the glue up easier. I then applied just a few dabs of Gorilla glue to the hardwood strip.

Tip:You just need the wood to stick here so don’t overdo it and get glue all over your table saw and the bottom of the jig.

I added some weights on top on let it set for about 30 minutes.

I then drilled some pilot holes and countersunk them to hide all the screw heads. I then mounted the screws with a screwdriver by hand to avoid splitting the wood.

Step 7: Trim the Edge

All that was left was to run the sled through the blade with the runner in the miter slot to trim off the edge and create the zero clearance.

Step 8: Back Stop

The last small detail I added was a metal stop at the end of the fence. Note that this is more to make consistent cuts when you’re tapering legs; the toggle clamps are actually what’s holding down the wood securely.

Step 9: How to Use

To use the jig, mark the line you want to cut and transfer those lines onto the board’s edges. Then just line those marks up with the edge of the jig, lock it down against the fence, and make your cut.

Be sure to check out the video tutorial if you haven't already done so. If you like what you see, subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notified when I post new builds.

You'll also find more projects on my website at diymontreal.com projects like:

Share

Recommendations

  • Tiny Home Contest

    Tiny Home Contest
  • Metalworking Contest

    Metalworking Contest
  • Fix It! Contest

    Fix It! Contest

16 Discussions

Thanks for a very clear set of instructions; I'll be making one right away. As I'd be paranoid about one day stupidly cutting into the metal backstop I might try adding a slot to the metal piece so that it can stay slid safely out of the way most of the time.

Very nice tutorial! Will probably make this! Thanks

With a little squaring up it should function as a jointer to boot!

toilet bolts are fine, I suppose. However, they do sell T-bolts for this application - search for "POWERTEC QTB1002 Tee Bolt" (or T-bolt) on Amazon and elsewhere. They don't come with the break-away feature found on the brass Toilet bolts. They also come in 1/4" and 516" inch diameters and are rather 'standard' bits for jig building.

As to Gorilla Glue to fasten the runner, any yellow wood glue will do better. The yellow glues do not EXPAND. For the application in question, the dimes are a good trick; then set the TS fence to form a stop and apply the glue to the top of the runner (in the slot) and lay the jig on it using the TS fence as a lateral guide. Then, lift the jig (the runner MAY come up with it) and move the runner back and forth (lengthwise) along the jig to even out the glue and get it 'tacky.' Then, put the runner back in the mire slot and position the jig on top as before and apply weight.

In this manner, the glue will set a bit quicker and more evenly - if there is any squeeze-out, wipe it off while you've the opportunity!

Nice jig. Good job and good instructions and resource detail.

Thanks for sharing ! May I ask what table saw model is this and if you are happy with it. I'm looking to buy something about that size and taking all advices.

Cheers !

1 reply

Sure thing, I have the older version of the Ryobi 10" contractor saw. Craftsman makes the same one: http://amzn.to/2DDdmtU

That being said, I'm not happy with it and plan to update real soon. It was a great starter saw for a few years, but I now see all the problems... very small table, the fence isn't always parallel, the table isn't flat, the miter slots are weird, it's loud, vibrates a lots, etc. Like I said, it was good to start, but will be looking into getting something better (but that also means more expensive). Hope this helps!

Great post, I dont have a table saw but just got a band saw and planning to make a few jigs. Couldn't think of the name of toggle clamp! :)

Nice job.
I'll be making one of these.

0
None
DodgeD

5 months ago

While this jig attachment has been around for years.you certainly did a good job in the fabrication, it’s a good share with the viewers and for those that want to construct one.

Someone just gave me two toggle clamps yesterday while I was sanding some unique bookshelves I'm working in my driveway. My table saw is home made, so I'm not sure I have the blade clearance to make this design work, but I like it anyway.

Thanks for this informative post! I just bought a new table saw and I have to add this project to the list of jigs I need to build!