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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How would one go about tapering a 12' long 1 1/4" diameter ash shaft its full length down to 3/4" at the other end? Could it be turned in some way like a long, skinny cue stick? Or would a skilled woodworker have to take a spokeshave to it?

It's for a historical recreation of a cavalry lance whose center of gravity lies behind its midpoint. Due to my lack of resources, I'll have to have someone do it for me, and I just want to have a clue about what is required.
 

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I think a more efficient way would be to use a taper jig on your table saw long enough to accomodate it, cutting a hexagon - 8 sides, then introduce the belt sander with 80 grit to it. then 120 grit. Then, a random orbital snader with one of those new contour pads that conforms to round surfaces like this.

There are higher tech ways to do it, like fin someone who has a lathe long enoughto handle it, but this way I am suggesting would only take a few hours max and you'd be done with it before you coukd deliver it somewhere else IMHO. Cutting the taper on the table saw gets you 85% there.

Edit: Got to going over that in my head a little more you are going to have to be very judicious with that belt sander with 80 grit. You might try the 120 first and not even need the 80. Plus, those new zirconia alumina sanding discs coupled with the countored pad might be enough to take it down all by itself. ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. From what I understand, a tapering jig horizontally slants the stock so that it is tapered large end to small end. On a round piece of stock that is being successively rotated to obtain an octagonal cross-section, though, wouldn't the tapering removal of the stock eventually begin to alter the angle at which the shaft is being fed through the jig?

How about if I had a long cradle built to hold the shaft and left some full-sized stock at each end of the shaft that would always be held fast against the cradle? Slide the cradle through for a pass, rotate the pole, make the next pass, etc., and then have the ends cut off leaving just the uniformly tapered shaft?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The final product is to be a round tapered shaft, but if it's shaped on a table saw with a tapering jig, it will necessarily have a polygonal cross section that will then have to be smoothed to round. It just occurred to me that if it could be shaped into an octagonal cross section on a cradle ran through the tapering jig, it could be run through eight more times to form a 16-gon that would require less smoothing.
 

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George I am liking your idea much better than my own. I spent 30 minutes trying to draw mine last night and as I did I was able to go over it in my head step-by-step and I realized I didn't like it.
I'm not sure how clearly you have your own idea worked out but it sounds more practical.
A tapered jig is easy to build and use but not for a piece 12 feet long.
Try the sled. It sounds doable.
I was also toying with the idea of cutting it down with a router and straight bit using a straight edge on top as a guide which you clamp down where you want. The bit would only have to have a depth to half of the thickness.
 
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