LumberJocks

Tapering Jig Design (Left or Right?)

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Blog entry by rance posted 976 days ago 2210 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had an occasion to cut a taper in the shop this afternoon and wondered why it really felt akward. Many of the tapering jigs seem backwards to me.

or

 

In cutting my taper, my left forearm would be just above the blade if I had not stepped to the right of the fence.

RIGHT SIDE

 

If I don’t reach across the blade, then the whole onus for holding the workpiece in place falls on the jig itself. Many don’t hold the piece. They rely on the operator to hold it in position during the cut. These are the specific jigs I’m talking about here.

Would it not be easier(read: safer) to have the handle on the left of the tapering jig with the cleat on the right? Set the fence to the LEFT of the blade and do the taper this way?

LEFT SIDE

 

Maybe I’m thinking of this all wrong. How do YOU use this type of tapering jig?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--



16 comments so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 976 days ago

Honestly I never have, and I was a go-to guy for odd ball parts in one shop. I either made my tapers on a bandsaw, jointer or an edge sander. If I was in the field, I made a jig with a wide board that I could attach via the back side of the board with some screws. Sometimes I’d have to make up 4 and make them 3 different ways lol.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 979 days


#2 posted 976 days ago

ok, looking at the pictures though, I’d go right side, simply because I doubt you’re a lefty, and I’d use a push stick on teh back side of the work piece.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3076 posts in 1558 days


#3 posted 976 days ago

I use my long sled to taper.

I have one of those jig I bought from HF. I never used it because I felt my hand was too close to the blade.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1547 days


#4 posted 976 days ago

Why not just make one like the first picture except put an insert for the handle in both sides? Then just unscrew the handle and turn it over to use the other side of your saw.

-- Life is good.

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2369 days


#5 posted 976 days ago

Your pictures are just mirror images. Change the positions of your hands in the first and it’s the same as the second. I use a sled also, since these type jigs are an accident waiting to happen.

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

273 posts in 1659 days


#6 posted 976 days ago

in the first pic the left hand should have a push stick, either way will work just use the one you are comfortable with, doing something that feels odd will probably make you do something wrong if a problem comes up during the cut, as others have said a sled is probably better and safer if the work piece is secured to it, as a single piece it is basically the same as running a single board
maybe a good motto here would be Think Twice Don’t Cut Yourself

View jumbojack's profile (online now)

jumbojack

1176 posts in 1248 days


#7 posted 976 days ago

I too use a sled. See Charles Neil’s web site for a free plan. I feel very confident using this sled. The set up is easier (just lay the sled out on your cut line.) The hold downs and stops make repeat cuts automatic.
THANK YOU CHARLES NEIL!

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View rance's profile

rance

4128 posts in 1785 days


#8 posted 976 days ago

Well Dooooh Tim. :) Why didn’t I think of that, seriously. I’ll try that next time, or build me a sled.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7675 posts in 2677 days


#9 posted 976 days ago

Rance,

You moved the jig to the Right side & moved your body to the Left…

... BUT, when the jig was on the Left, your body stayed on the Left when it should have been moved to the Right to be completely SAFE like you pointed out… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2478 posts in 976 days


#10 posted 976 days ago

I used one of those taper jigs just once. It felt like using a death trap. I built a sled with hold downs and slides in the miter slot, it is the only way to go.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Woodbutcher3's profile

Woodbutcher3

364 posts in 1511 days


#11 posted 976 days ago

I knew you’d cut something off one day – looks like you got your arms…....

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 979 days


#12 posted 976 days ago

I worked for a master carpenter for 3.5 years, doesn’t seem like a long time, I made less money than most people would have thought I should, but the education I got was, worth whatever money I didn’t get paid easily. But in that time we did things so many different ways, sometimes I have to stop and sort out which way works best in which circumstance, Makes me look lazy sometimes, but that’s ok, my boss (me) understands.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not the only place I’ve worked, just the most influential on my styles, techniques, and approaches.

But anyways, if it doesn’t feel safe, chances are it isn’t, stop look at what you’re doing and what can go wrong.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112008 posts in 2201 days


#13 posted 976 days ago

Rance
I agree with those who say your type of tapering jig is not very safe.The type of jig that jumbojack uses is much much safer. when I use my tapering jig sled I cut to the right of the blade.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View rance's profile

rance

4128 posts in 1785 days


#14 posted 975 days ago

I agree Jim, it is not safe(for me, at least). I’ll be using something else next time, like a sled.

Rod, actually those are someone else’s arms I got off the internet. It is safer for ME that way.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10714 posts in 1314 days


#15 posted 975 days ago

Rance, Throw that thing away before you cut something important off! I use a sled similar to Jumbojack’s. MUCH safer and I’m all about keeping my parts intact.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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