dual purpose tapering jig

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Project by MichaelT77 posted 02-04-2014 12:11 AM 2995 views 18 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought a tapering jig a couple years ago. I soon found it unsatisfactory, though, because it seemed flimsy. If there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s flimsy. Anyway, I built this one a few weeks ago. It’s 1/2” MDF glued and screwed to 3/4” birch plywood. Length and width are fairly arbitrary. T-track with hold-down brackets. The runner is as shown. Of course, the T-track was added after the sled was run past the blade. The clamps do an adequate job of holding down the stock.

Although I’ve used it to taper legs, I’ve used it more often just to give a straight edge to a piece of rough-cut lumber (which then can butt up against the table saw fence). Having the edge of a board ride smoothly along the table saw fence helps avoid kickbacks.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

10 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


7052 posts in 3992 days

#1 posted 02-04-2014 01:10 AM

Nice taper jig! I gotta build one of these myself…....!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Brianb1's profile


82 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 02-04-2014 01:14 AM

Well Done !!

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1403 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 02-04-2014 03:19 AM

I don’t understand why the 1/2 MDF was not good enough.
I have a taper jig out of 1/2” mdf, so that I can get wide legs tapered or thick wood trued up on one edge.

3/4 + 1/2 is limiting your choices.

-- Jeff NJ

View MichaelT77's profile


126 posts in 2957 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 03:39 AM

No need for understanding, Chuck. If you like what you have, then be happy.

What I built meets my requirements. I haven’t been confronted by any limitations, yet. If I am, someday, I’ll figure out what to do at that time. Maybe I won’t throw away that store-bought jig made of 1/2” MDF.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 2796 days

#5 posted 02-04-2014 05:17 AM

Nice! I need to build one as well.just to get a straight cut on rough materials.

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 02-04-2014 03:42 PM

That certainly isn’t flimsy! I love the simplicity. I’ve been disappointed with my Norm-style tapering jig. Thought about reinforcing the 3/4 ply with aluminum angle, but now I think I’ll just scrap it in favor of your design. Mark the two ends for your taper, line up, clamp, cut! Love it! What’s the capacity in terms of thickness for legs that you taper using those clamps?

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View MichaelT77's profile


126 posts in 2957 days

#7 posted 02-04-2014 04:13 PM

For tapering table legs, this sled is somewhat limiting as written in one of the comments. If you raise your blade to its maximum height, and subtract the thickness of the sled, you have your maximum leg thickness. I have used this primarily for trueing the edge or a rough-cut board.

With this sled, I’m comfortable tapering a leg that is 1-1/2” square. If I wanted to taper something thicker, I’d make a thinner sled. I just didn’t like the feel of the sled that I bought. It’s 1/2” MDF, and I didn’t feel that it is rigid enough. That may be as much a problem of design as of material thickness. It has a long cut in it to accommodate the clamps, and that long cut increases the flimsiness. Plus, I wanted to build a sled that could hold the T-track. It’s about 3/8” deep. A 3/8” deep dado in 1/2” MDF wouldn’t leave enough material (in my opinion). If I were going to build a thinner sled, I’d probably use 3/4” MDF.

If I wanted to taper something even thicker (and I can’t see why I would), maybe I’d try a band saw, and then use a hand plane to clean it up.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View PASs's profile


601 posts in 3944 days

#8 posted 02-04-2014 04:29 PM

LIKE…hmm, where’s the LIKE button?

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Philip "Pip" Storm's profile

Philip "Pip" Storm

130 posts in 3181 days

#9 posted 02-04-2014 10:56 PM

Nice. Added to my jig wants list.

-- Well, I'll be screwed, glued, and tattooed!

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3878 days

#10 posted 02-05-2014 10:58 PM

Very Nice Project Indeed! Beautiful Work! Thanks For Posting!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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