How long can a TS jointer sled (taper jig, straight cut jig) etc be?

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Forum topic by Winny94 posted 12-07-2021 04:27 AM 554 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 1774 days

12-07-2021 04:27 AM

My local mill only carries rough cut lumber and I dont own a jointer. Normally I just affix a length of MDF to the stock and cut away, but looking to make something a bit more efficient and less utilitarian. Are there any considerations that need to be taken when building out a 6’ straight cut jig? All the tutorials I find tend to be 3’ or less. Would 2 hold down clamps still suffice, or would I be better served by bumping up that number?

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11369 posts in 4981 days

#1 posted 12-07-2021 04:30 AM

View sawdust66's profile


47 posts in 82 days

#2 posted 12-07-2021 06:32 AM

I’ll throw in my 2 cents. I’ve been using this method (straight cut jig) for about 2 years now, and it definitely works. But has some serious downsides the bigger it gets. Managing something like 84” long on a contractor saw by myself it not an easy feat, but it does work. I recently bought a tracksaw and this is by far, a better tool for this job. Highly recommend it. Not as cheap as making your own sled, but over the long term well wroth the investment. Here is a picture of both side by side below.

-- Chris, Pennsylvania

View Madmark2's profile


3253 posts in 1921 days

#3 posted 12-07-2021 06:51 AM

What are you making that you need that kind of length on? If you can crosscut first you can often split a bend and get better yield. Unless you’re building big built-ins or framing, most cabs etc. can be made from 32” or shorter stock. Seriously, how often to you do long rips in solid stock?

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Axis39's profile


581 posts in 930 days

#4 posted 12-07-2021 03:25 PM

Do you have a router table? Does it have a fence? A two part fence? Can you offset the two fence faces?

I had Ryobi and Bosch benchtop portable router tables. Both had offset fence capabilities. These days, I have an Incra TS-LS fence system. It has a much more accurate adjustment of fence halves. But, this is one of my favorite uses of my router.

I do tend to use a circular saw and a guide to cut long straight cuts, break down sheets, etc. But, i don’t trust it to be as straight as jointing the edges can.

I have a shorter taper/jointing jig. Ive contemplated making a longer one a few times, then I look over at my router and decide that storing another gigantic jig or sled is not worth it any more….

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1907 days

#5 posted 12-07-2021 05:55 PM

I agree with Mark. Do you really need long lengths?

If you do then don’t think immediately in terms of perfection, even with a jointer you sometimes get less than a perfect edge, what you are looking for is an edge flat, and straight enough to run against your rip fence that won’t be dangerous.

4 minute video where John Heisz shows you how. The biggest challenge here is figuring out how to attach the new springy fence to your rip fence.

Variations of this have been used forever. I find that if the new fence is allowed a bit of spring, IOW not fast flush to the rip fence, they work better. Look at the view at 1:35 to see the new fence spring in. It will absorb what it needs to. The thing is, for kickback you need it to pinch, having that little bit of movement keeps it from going into the kickback mode, but allows the blades cut to be straight.

An alternative to that is to make a Jointer jig SLED to carry your pieces on through the blade.

If your fault is 2 dimensional, as many crap boards are, like a crook, with a bow, curl, cup, twist, etc. Then you are best not to have bought that stick, but if you did then all you can really do to get any useable wood is cut it to smaller pieces so you only need to work on one fault at a time. Trying to work it down as one long piece may be done, probably to redo what it already did, just much thinner. All that is why you should have passed it first time you saw it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View splintergroup's profile


6330 posts in 2555 days

#6 posted 12-07-2021 07:23 PM

Assuming you need the length, keeping the jig stationary and bringing the saw/router to the work like Chris shows is probably the method with the leas drama, but you can ride the jig against your TS fence if you support the infeed and outfeeds with stable roller stands which effectively extends your table.

With the circular saw, you can make the rough cut, then slip the work piece over a fraction and follow with a router/straight cut bit to remove any saw marks. A swipe with a jointer hand plane would remove any router marks.

Personally I’d worry more about where to store the jig 8^)

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1907 days

#7 posted 12-07-2021 10:33 PM

Personally I d worry more about where to store the jig 8^)

- splintergroup

Seeing as you don’t need them as often, and if the budget can’t afford a track saw, for storage I would suggest suspended over a drive in garage door. That usually, last unused space we have. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View HokieKen's profile


20636 posts in 2471 days

#8 posted 12-09-2021 07:29 PM

I use a straight edge rip jig pretty much identical to the one SteveN showed. Mine is 6’ long made from a piece of 3/4” plywood. It works fine. I have a jointer that never leaves the corner anymore. For short boards, I joint with a handplane or if I have a lot of boards to do, I use the table saw jig. It’s just faster than using the jointer for me.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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