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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working off a set of plans that calls for a 2”x2” that is 38” long and is 1-1/2” thick on one end and tapers down to nothing on the other end.

I have to make 2 of these that are exactly the same but due to my basic level of carpentry skills I am unsure how to go about this safely.

Please could I have some advise so I don't chop or plane my fingers off.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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The safest and most repeatable way is with a taper jig. You can buy one or you can make one. I would go the make one route. The commercial ones are a bit touchy and may move without you knowing it.

Just take a piece of ply and rip it so that both sides are parallel. Attach some positioning blocks that will hold your 2x2 even with the edge at one end and over hang by 1/4" on the other end. You'll need to add some sort of a clamping mechanism to the leg in place during the cut. After cutting two adjacent sides of the leg, attach positioning blocks on the opposite edge of the jig with the same overhang of 0 and 1/4" and repeat the cut. Label the jig with First cut and second cut so that you can repeat the cuts as often as desired.

This will work great on your table saw. Record the fence distance on the jig so that you can go back to the set up any time.
 

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where's my table saw?
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What tools do you have?

The safest way is with a bandsaw. Draw the tapers on the work cut to the line. Sand to finish.
Next safest would be a taper jig as rrich says...however since you didn't say how many sides need a taper the positioning blocks will only work for 2 sides not all four since 2 of those surfaces will now be at a different angle. This jig can be used to make tapers:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/board-straightening-jig-table-saw-16999/

Also this, it start a little slow....

A scary way, JMO, is this method:
http://creatingsawdust.com/2010/02/how-i-taper-legs/
A router jig can be made to hold the pieces at an angle while the "offending" surface is milled away.
;) bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks guys for the hints I don't have access to a jointer would have loved to have done this on a bandsaw but also don't have access to one. So it looks like a Jig it is. I will have to head to HF to get the clamps as I don't have any like that.




The Taper is only on one side
 

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where's my table saw?
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You don't really NEED clamps

You can use 2 side carpet tape, hot glue or improvised blocks and "T" handles with carriage bolts. Any method to securely hold the workpiece since you don't want it to shift while sawing!!
The clamps are great if you want to make a more permanent type jig.
I made mine since I do a lot of straight line ripping of rough sawn lumber. ;) bill
 

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Old School
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An easy taper jig for what you want to do is to set a straight board at the angle you need against the fence, and fix a stop so it won't slide forward.

It's easy to determine the taper by drawing a line on the subject piece, and then set the line parallel to the fence. You can space the cut whatever distance from the fence you want. When you get the line parallel to the fence, just measure the front distance and the rear distance, and make your straightedge with the appropriate standoffs to the fence.






 

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... tapers down to nothing on the other end ...
I'd be scared to use a power tool to taper down to nothing.

I'd start with a much wider workpiece and create the taper on one side. For example, create a piece that tapers from 5 inches down to 3.5 inches. Then, starting the cut at the wide end, rip 3.5 inches off the entire length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to every one that has posted at the moment it sounds like cabinetman method sounds a safe bet,

but I did not understand the last bit about "the front distance and the rear distance"

I might pickup the clamps you recomened still woodnthings so for future hard cuts I can make a quick Jig.

duncsuss might also use your idea as well I don't like the idea of taking it down to nothing.

Should I run the taper in any certain direction ? my table saw does not have kick back teeth so just trying to make sure that I don't launch part of it.
 

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Old School
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but I did not understand the last bit about "the front distance and the rear distance"
The piece you want to taper you draw a line on it for the taper. To run it through a TS blade, the line is parallel to the fence, but not the edge of the piece. The front and rear distance represents how far from the fence that edge of the wood will be, which is the jig you lay against the fence. The measurements from the fence side of the jig to the edge of the piece that sits against the jig is the front and rear measurements.

Should I run the taper in any certain direction ? my table saw does not have kick back teeth so just trying to make sure that I don't launch part of it.
The pass through the saw is a straight line cut on the piece, as the jig offsets the wood to the fence. It's not that critical which way the cut is made because the grain is at an angle in either direction.






 
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