I have found with my jig it is actually easier to cut thin to thick. It is one of the low cost ones you can purchase that is essentially two beams with a hinge, a cross piece to lock it at the correct angle and a stop to keep your piece from slipping on it. The reason I find if easier to go from thin to thick is because it the other way, I have to hold the workpiece back against the jig and push it forward into the blade at the same time. I find this very awkward and don't feel like I have good control of the workpiece. When I go the other direction, I can push the workpiece into the saw and the jig at the same time. This gives me better control over the workpiece. (Note that I still hold the jig against the workpiece with my hand. I just did that when I am pushing two things through the saw I have better control over the part in back.)
One other benefit of going thin to thick is that the blade can deflect some when the start of your cut is close to parallel to the blade. This can result in blade marks and/or burning.
Which ever way you do it the work must be securely held down. If you cut from thick to thin, you may not have enough surface under the clamps or holddowns to secure it at the trailing end. If you cut from thi to thick, the leading surface may not be secured. If the lead gets "away" it will be worse than the tail...just my opinion. Blocks against the side to register against would help. Securing the work to a wider piece may be the safest method. :yes:
Tman1, please get rid of that thing for safety's sake. You can easily make one like this in 2 hours and you can feed either way. Rockler has theirs on-sale from time to time. I got one for $40 and free shipping last year. I use them both.
When the blade first engages the work piece, you want wood on each side of the blade. This helps prevent the blade from flexing, as it can when starting on a thin edge. By starting on the thickest end, much of the blade is not in the wood at the start, allowing less heat build up and better dust ejection. This is the most difficult part of the cut and this technique will put less strain on the blade and saw, particularly at full height. As the cut progresses to the thin end the stress on the tooling reduces since there is less pinch on the blade.
When you taper something like table legs, the top portion of the leg is often non tapered where it joins with aprons or stretchers. This is often the reference area for the tapers. Lining that up with registration blocks on the taper jig, I find, offers more control when toward the operator. This means bottom of the leg towards the blade first, where the blade will be supported on both sides at the start of the cut. It's the thin end of the leg but the thick part of the cut, if that makes sense.
As soon as you get some experience with the taper jig, it will be evident which way is best for particular situations. The accuracy and quality of the cut tell all.
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