2X6X8' Board tapered both edges on a table saw?

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Forum topic by juanabee posted 08-13-2019 11:43 PM 496 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View juanabee's profile


111 posts in 3463 days

08-13-2019 11:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question pine tablesaw

Dear fellow lumberjocks,
I am making a trebuchet throw arm from an 8’ 2X6. I need to taper about 6’ of it on both edges, leaving the stronger width at the other end for the axle and counterweight. Need about 2” wide on the narrow end of my taper. I have looked at the table saw taper jigs that follow the material all the way through the cut, but on an 8’ board that isn’t practical.

What if I just attach a jig firmly the full length of the fence at the proper angle, and slide the board through? after one cut, take the jig off and flip the board over and use the first cut against the fence as a guide to taper the other side?

will that work, or am I maybe looking at a trip to the emergency room?

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

12 replies so far

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

248 posts in 1230 days

#1 posted 08-13-2019 11:50 PM

If I were doing it, Id use a skilsaw and a straight edge or just follow a pencil line.
Jigsaw and some sanding would also be fine.

View waho6o9's profile


8714 posts in 3032 days

#2 posted 08-14-2019 12:00 AM

+1 for Richard Lee.

A track saw would work.

Staying out of the ER is a great idea.

View bilyo's profile


780 posts in 1557 days

#3 posted 08-14-2019 12:03 AM

Sorry. A fixed jig on the rip fence won’t work. If you did that, your work piece would be going through the blade at an angle. Won’t work.
Use Richard’s suggestion or a bandsaw and then joint the cuts to smooth them if needed.

View Sawdust35's profile


65 posts in 1317 days

#4 posted 08-14-2019 12:24 AM

This is what I’ve done in the past. (See utube video). I’ve attached the reference board to the piece to be cut with screws or heavy duty double sided tape. At 8’ I would suggest using roller stand or something like that to make feeding the piece through the saw safer.

View juanabee's profile


111 posts in 3463 days

#5 posted 08-14-2019 02:37 AM

Thanks all for your posts.

I think Sawdust35’s jig might work for me. If not, I’ll try the circular saw and straight line. I saw a guy do that just recently and it looked semi do-able for me. Bilyo, I just may have avoided the ER with your comment.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

View therealSteveN's profile


3390 posts in 1029 days

#6 posted 08-14-2019 03:38 AM

Not enough people know how to use a circular saw anymore, which is a sad thing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View HokieKen's profile


10437 posts in 1593 days

#7 posted 08-14-2019 12:09 PM

I agree with the circular saw approach. Unless your taper has to be really precise or your making production runs of these things, it will take more time to set up the table saw than it will to complete the job with a circular or jig saw.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View jdh122's profile


1089 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 08-14-2019 12:50 PM

For only one I’d use a circular saw too. For a few of them I’d set up a L-fence, screw or tape a straight piece of wood to the stock right on the line that needs cutting and then rip away.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View bondogaposis's profile


5496 posts in 2806 days

#9 posted 08-14-2019 02:10 PM

I’d do it on the band saw then smooth it up with a hand plane.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6348 posts in 1167 days

#10 posted 08-14-2019 02:26 PM

I d do it on the band saw then smooth it up with a hand plane.

- bondogaposis

+1 for band saw :<)))))))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

248 posts in 1230 days

#11 posted 08-14-2019 06:54 PM

I d do it on the band saw then smooth it up with a hand plane.

- bondogaposis

+1 for band saw :<)))))))))))


Yes providing he has one.

View clin's profile


1051 posts in 1451 days

#12 posted 08-14-2019 10:52 PM

I can’t see why you can’t create a temporary tapering jig to use on a table saw. I’d start with boards longer than 8 ft. Then screw a reference board at the appropriate angle to the board being cut. The extra length gives you a place to drive screws that will be cut off later. Also, maybe additional screws in other locations that won’t matter. For example, where axle goes through.

The width of the reference board depends on the cut, which I couldn’t fully understand from your description. If the taper is the full length, shallowest possible angle, then the reference board only needs to be a bit wider than the 6 inch wide board being cut. If the taper doesn’t go from end to end, then the reference board needs to be wider.

Point is it needs to be wide enough that the wood being cut fits completely on it so that the whole assembly can fit between the fence and blade. With the wood clearing the fence while the reference edge rides against it. That may or may not be too big.

Particle board shelves make good temporary reference edges. I think some may even be available longer than 8 ft.

I also like the idea of rough cutting, anyway you can, and smoothing it out with a hand plane.

-- Clin

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