by Bob Moran l I I hy is it that some jigs become indispensable and oth-
} M / crs wind up gathering dust on the top shelf? A good _/ _/ jig has to be dependable, versatile» and stone simple to set up and use. 1 designed this tablesaw tapering jig with just those qualities in mind and it's one of the most often-used jigs in my shop.
With most other tapering jigs, you have to guess at the right angle. This one allows you to key in actual dimensions: the width of the stock you need to remove, and the length of the taper. The jig locks in place for repeated cuts, yet it can be easily readjusted simply by loosening the wing nut.
Although the parts of the jig might look complex, it's easy to make. There arc four main parts: the beam, upper and lower clamps, and a sliding stop. (Sec Fig. 1.) Don't let the intersecting dovetail tenons and weird angles scare you off—it's much easier than it looks. Just follow the steps that are described in Figs. 2 and 3.
Start by cutting the beam to si/.e. (See Fig. 1.) Cut the beam 8 in. longer than the finished length; you'll use this 8-in. offcut later to make the stop. The drawing shows a 40-in.-long beam—a good size for tapering table legs. You can make the beam longer or shorter to suit your work. A 60-in. beam will taper huntboard or standing-desk legs.
Next, cut the clamp stock to size. Both the upper and lower clamps are made from a single piece of wood that measures I V2 in. by 1 Vl in. by 12 in. You'll need to shape this piece, then rip it down the middle to create the two clamps.
First, the clamp stock needs to be tapered, as shown in Fig. 2, Step 1. To do this, make a temporary tapering jig out of a 4-in. by 14-in. scrap of V4-in. plywood. Starting from one end of the plywood, draw a layout line at a slope of 1:8 (a 1 -in. rise-over an 8-in. run). Saw the taper on the bandsaw, but leave about an inch at the bottom to serve as the push block.
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