Taper Jig Uses
- Taper wood ends
- Flatten wood
The taper jig is a table saw jig that can taper wood ends and flatten the wood. The taper jig is intended to cut the wood thickness or the edge grain of the wood. The taper jig is not intended to cut the wood width or the face grain of the wood.
- 12 x 18″ 1/2″ plywood
- 24 x 3/4″ wood runner
- 1/8 x 1 5/8 x 12″ wood
- (2) 2 x 3″ wood block
- Rubber electrical tape
- Table saw
- Wood glue
- Nail gun
- 5/16″ drill bit
- #10-24 X 2″ Machine Screws
- Nuts and washers
- Cut miter track runner
- Cut t-tracks slots
- Assemble t-tracks
- Join base to miter track runner
- Assemble clamps
Cut miter track runner
- Cut the 24 x 3/4″ plywood to the dimensions to fit into your miter slot
For my table saw, I needed to use 3/8″ thick plywood for my miter saw runners. The exact dimensions of your track runners will depend on the depth and width of the miter slot on your table saw.
Once we have this track runner cut out, we will set it aside and move to the next step.
Cut t-track slots
- Mark a 1 5/8″ thick track
- Mark 1/2″ inside of each line to create a thin 5/8″ track
- Cut the thick track 1/8″ deep
- Cut the thin track 1/4″ deep
- Repeat 1-4 for the other t-track slot
First, you will mark a 1 5/8″ thick track. For my taper jig, I marked 2″ from the base edge and then 3 5/8″ from the edge.
Next, you will mark 1/2″ from each line you just marked inside of the track creating a thin, inner track. For my taper jig, I marked 2 1/2″ and 3 1/8″ to create my thinner track.
Next, you will set the table saw blade at 1/8″ high and cut the thick, outer track. In my example, I cut from the 2″ to the 2 1/2″ mark and from the 3 1/8″ to the 3 5/8″ mark at 1/8″ deep.
Lastly, you will set the table saw blade at 1/4″ high and cut the thin, inner track. In my example, I cut from the 2 1/2″ to the 3 1/8″ mark at 1/4″ deep.
- Add wood glue to the 1/8″ outer track
- Place the 1 5/8″ wide 1/8″ wood over the track
- Clamp the track until the glue dries
- Cut a slit in the 1/8″ thick wood
- Repeat for the other t-track
Now you will add wood glue to the outside part of the track that is 1/8″ deep. Then you will place the wood strip in the track. The wood strip should be glued to the 1/8″ deep section and there should be a 1/8″ gap in the 1/4″ deep section. It is essential to use a wood strip that is 1/8″ thick so it does not inset or outset the face of the jig.
Next, you will clamp the wood piece to the track until the glue dries.
After the glue dries, you will now set the table saw blade to 1/8″ high and cut a slit in the middle of the wood. The screw shaft should be able to slide through the slit. With my table saw blade, I had to cut in two passes to create a slit big enough for my screw shaft.
Join base to miter track runner
- Place the runner in the miter slot
- Add glue to the runner and secure the base in place with nails
In this step, you will need to place the runner you created in the first step into the miter slot and add wood glue to the top of the runner. After that, you will align the 12 x 18″ plywood base and join it with nails using a nail gun.
- Drill a 5/16″ hole in the 2×6″ wood blocks
- Add rubber tape to the end of the wood block
- Place the washer in the screw and slide it through the T-track
- Add the wood block, another washer, and the screw nut
- Tighten the clamp using the nut
First, you will drill a 5/16″ hole at the 2″ mark on the 6″ side of the wood block. After you drill the hole, you will add rubber tape to both sides of the wood block. The rubber tape will allow for more grip and is better than using the wood blocks alone.
After the clamps are created, you will assemble them by taking the screw, adding a washer, and sliding the screw head into the T-track.
After the screw is slid into the track, you will now slide the wood block, washer, and then nut through the screw. Lastly, you will tighten the nut to tighten the clamp to the taper jig.
Jig Improvement Opportunities
- Metal T-tracks
- Upgraded clamps
The two main improvements that you can make to this jig are metal T-tracks and upgraded clamping. The DIY T-tracks that I used are cheap and simple, but metal T-tracks will be easier to assemble and will last longer.
Additionally, the clamps that we created were simple DIY clamps that were cheap to make. You can purchase manufactured clamps that are made out of better materials, have greater clamping force, and will last longer.
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