Author Topic: Leg Tapering Jig, my version  (Read 706 times)

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Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1164
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« on: March 18, 2020, 08:00 AM »
I see a lot of people using either a store bought version or a homemade jig using some sort of hinge and a fence to reference the work piece against.  The problem is once you cut one taper and you go to cut the taper on the opposite side, the taper that you just cut creates a void on the opposite side, giving you nothing to reference the edge against.  The solution is to tape the offcut onto the leg to reference against the fence but the kerf of the blade, especially on a table saw creates a void and creates a new kind of headache.

The solution is to skip the tape and drill a centered hole on the bottoms of all legs:


Then insert a bit of dowel into the back fence of your jig:


Now you can slide the leg onto the dowel and simply spin the leg for every cut


Here's a side view of the jig with one cut on the leg.  This is the void I'm talking about.


This particular leg has 2 tapers  on the inside but I'm making 4 end tables with 16 legs (32 tapers), it gets confusing so even for 2 sided taper it keeps things simple.


I cut some small lengths of dowels to fill the holes and it's like it never happened


I can't take credit for this jig, I saw it in Woodsmith some 30 yrs ago.  I still use it to this day, it's pictured above.  For different widths and tapers I just make a new foot piece and screw it into the base of the jig.  It now looks like swiss cheese with all the screw holes in it.  So I'm curious, how do you guys cut tapers on your legs? 

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Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 232
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 06:49 PM »
Very nice executed, I really liked the relatively simple and effective way you do it. I’ve seen some jigs, but many seems complicated, this does not.

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 428
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 11:37 AM »
Good solution but if you are tapering less than 4 faces, you can cut them with a flat face against the table saw surface by just cutting them in the right order. 

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4609
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 02:03 PM »
Good solution but if you are tapering less than 4 faces, you can cut them with a flat face against the table saw surface by just cutting them in the right order.

Show me.

If you run stock along the fence the cut side will be parallel to the fence side.
How do you get the taper that way?

On second read, I think you mean you still need the offset auxiliary fence to get the taper but you can skip the plywood floor of the jig.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 04:37 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 52
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 10:32 PM »
Great tip Jim Kirkpatrick. When you have a number of legs to cut, it can get confusing. Thanks for sharing this. I'll certainly use it next time!
Rich

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1164
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:03 AM »
Great tip Jim Kirkpatrick. When you have a number of legs to cut, it can get confusing. Thanks for sharing this. I'll certainly use it next time!

Confusing is right.  I'm making 4 end tables and even using this jig, I still cut one (only 1) taper on the outside of leg.  Lucky for me it was a back leg so barely noticeable.
It's the bottom left table if you're looking!

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 428
Re: Leg Tapering Jig, my version
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 05:40 PM »
You need a jig of some sort to cut tapered legs but you do not need to drill a hole in the leg and use a dowel to rotate around.  You can just cut them on the flat, assuming you will have at least one face that is not tapered.  But you have to cut the tapers in the right order to avoid needing to tape the offcut back on.