Taper jig/sled

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Project by Jim Finn posted 01-09-2012 09:20 PM 10551 views 39 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In order to make these round and tapered objects I made a Jig/Sled. I got the idea from an old video I saw years ago. First picture shows the completed sled and the second the same sled with a piece of poplar ready to be cut. Also pictured are details of the hold down and of the end stop. The underside of the fence is shown with the “T bolts” protruding through the bottom. Included is a photo of the underside of the sled showing how I made the slide fit the “T” shaped guide in my table saw. I did this so that the sled will not tip out of the slot at either end of the travel of this sled. The washer works as a keeper to achieve this. I used a “T” track kit from Rockler and 3/4” MDF to make this .The sled measures 18” x 24” and the movable fence measures 5” x 30” I recessed the “T”track a bit and added some Masonite to the underside of the sled to get it recessed enough. I make tapered pieces to form vases and waste baskets as shown. I decide how many sections I want to make the object withand what width using a little geometry exercise. Circumference distance divided by the number of sections gives me their width. The cut angle is determined by the number of sections. 10 sections …360 (degrees) divided by 10 sections = 36 degrees. Divide this number by 2 because each miter is made up of two cuts , in this case 18 degrees each cut. (1/2 of 36 degrees).I set my table saw blade tilt to this number (18) using an digital angle gage. Set the sled to the taper desired and cut the sections using the hold down and end stop to position the workpiece. I make about 2-3 extra sections when making a project for two reasons. One is that I use cedar a lot and it sometimes splits or fails in cutting and the other is that when I assemble the item I add or remove a section to get the angles to fit best. The angle may not be perfect at 18 degrees depending on how much taper you have on the object.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118047 posts in 4318 days

#1 posted 01-09-2012 09:51 PM

Looks like that jig does a great job ,they are all well done.


View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3434 days

#2 posted 01-09-2012 09:58 PM

I like it! I especially like that you don’t have to rely on the fence.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3070 days

#3 posted 01-10-2012 01:18 AM

Very cool use of the T-track, but what I really like is your miter track washer trick. What’s holding the washer into the t-track?

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2831 posts in 3662 days

#4 posted 01-10-2012 01:22 AM

......”Very cool use of the T-track, but what I really like is your miter track washer trick. What’s holding the washer into the t-track?......”

A bolt and nut holds the washer to the “T” track.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View LesB's profile


2518 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 01-10-2012 02:34 AM

Great idea. I think I will copy it. I can see several uses for it.
Straightening a wavy edge on a board is one.
It appears you have a left tilting saw. When cutting a bevel do you think it would be safer to work from the right side of the blade (blade tilted away from the jig) so the board won’t pinch between the jig and the blade? I see a real kick back potential in that situation.
I have a right tilting table saw which causes me to put my fence on the other side of the blade when I’m cutting beveled cuts. This jig could save me that change.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2831 posts in 3662 days

#6 posted 01-10-2012 04:42 AM

I have not had a problem with it tilting this way but you do have a point.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4485 days

#7 posted 01-10-2012 04:41 PM

I have basically the same jig, but not as nice as this one. I used T track on the bottom of mine, to keep it from tilting. I used toggle clamps, which are a pain sometimes. I’ll have to upgrade my sled to the refinements you have. Thanks for the post.

View mcgriffith's profile


87 posts in 3138 days

#8 posted 01-10-2012 07:35 PM

This is one project that I need to build for myself. It is really a cool sled, I think I will need to build one soon, as I have a use for ir now.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 3073 days

#9 posted 01-11-2012 11:27 AM

I haven’t made mine yet, but I just invested in a t-slot bit. Now I need to infringe on your copyright, and get to work.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View helluvawreck's profile


32119 posts in 3607 days

#10 posted 01-11-2012 12:37 PM

It’s a fine jig and looks like it will serve you well. Nice work, Jim.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3046 days

#11 posted 02-26-2012 06:07 AM

Very nice, looks really good. I am making a cyclone DC with similar shape, ( I have a blog here about it). Kind of cheated and had sketch up and a calculator I made in MS Excel. I like your method it seems so much simpler

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

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