Most people think the jointer is good only for straight surfaces, but when I want a nice, crisp tapered leg, the jointer is the machine I choose. A well-tuned jointer turns out tapers that are crisp, true, and nearly ready to finish. And unlike the bandsaw or the tablesaw, the jointer cuts tapers without elaborate jigs that just clutter up your shop.
There are several types of tapers: full tapers, partial tapers, short tapers and stop tapers. Each type requires a slightly different setup but the principle is the same: Begin the cut with the board spanning both tables. What will be the wide end of the taper rests on the outfeed table and what will be the narrow end of the taper rests on the infeed table. The jointer will cut wood from the trailing end of the board only, creating a taper.
Let's start by cutting a full taper. Fig. 1 shows the procedure step-by-step. But, before you start cutting, you need to establish some reference points so you know where to position the stock on the jointer table. First, locate the top of the cutting arc, and mark it on the fence with a felt-tip marker. Make a second mark on the fence marking the end of the outfeed table nearest the cutterhead.
Writh that done, cut a full taper on a board 2 in. x 2 in.x24 in. We'll leave the wide end at 2 in., but taper the narrow end down to 1 in. Since the jointer works best making light cuts, we'll lower the infeed table to remove '/if. in., and cut the taper in eight passes.
The first step to jointing a taper is to draw it on the actual stock as shown in Fig. I, Step 1. Draw the taper, and then draw a guideline parallel to it as shown. The distance between the two lines is equal to the depth-of-cut —in this case Via in. Mark the point where the guideline runs off the edge of the board with a third line as
FIG. 1: FULL TAPERS Depth-of-cut exaggerated for clarity.
Step 1: Lay out taper and guideline to locate reference point
Step 2: Make six passes.
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