Metal stud makes easy long taper

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Blog entry by Don Butler posted 08-29-2012 07:56 PM 2247 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Making a taped rip cut can be hard to do just right and especially when the workpiece is longish.
I had the occasion to make a thin taper about 38” long with only about 3/8” of taper. My favorite way to get an accurate taper is to spot glue a small bit of scrap on one edge of the piece and just slide it along the fence.

The method, however, requires that both ends of the piece be in contact with the rip fence all the way through the cut.
With most tablesaws and fences this won’t work. I needed an extra long fence. Of course, a good straight 2×4 would do, but what I had on hand wasn’t perfectly straight. What I did have, though, was a steel stud (2×4), the kind used in framing buildings.

I clamped the stud to the ripfence and, voila’, I now had an adequate length to do my taper method.
By the way, the steel stud can be clamped to the ripfence from it’s side lip, so there’s no problem with the clamp getting in the way.

I also use the metal framing stud as a long straight edge when breaking down sheet goods.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

5 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3164 posts in 3198 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 08:30 PM

Great idea, thanks for showing. There’s no bow taking place over the length of the metal stud? from the weight hanging over the table saw? I guess these studs are more ridgid than I thought. Thanks.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4403 days

#2 posted 08-29-2012 10:27 PM

There is little weight to the studs and their shape keeps them straight.
They can easily twist, but that doesn’t occur in this situation.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View psh's profile


79 posts in 4003 days

#3 posted 08-29-2012 10:49 PM

Great idea! Should work for sheets of plywood, too!

-- Peter, Central VA

View tinnman65's profile


1413 posts in 4421 days

#4 posted 08-30-2012 12:21 AM

Great Idea Don, and one of the best things about this is the studs are cheap….. well free if you have one on hand.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Sylvain's profile


1199 posts in 3507 days

#5 posted 08-30-2012 08:20 AM

Look also at

If you buy a stud for this purpose buy the largest one.
For a same flange, rigidity augment with the web depth. (for a load perpendicular to the flanges, parallell to the web)

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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