How to safely rip a narrow angled cut

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Forum topic by Chad posted 10-03-2010 09:05 PM 5005 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2302 days

10-03-2010 09:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question shaping milling bandsaw tablesaw plane

I have the task of making several door threshold ramps for a newly wheelchair bound friend with hardwood floors. These ramps are roughly 36”-48” long and 1-2” tall. They need to taper from the full height down to nearly nothing on a 1:12 slope (approximately 5 degrees). That makes them 6-12” wide. I’m thinking I will have to mate up the wider ones out of multiple boards at this time.

I would like some help deciding what would be the safest way to rip such a steep angle into a relatively skinny board on edge. I have thought of using the table saw, but that tall of a board on edge without a complicated holding jig screams kickback or worse to me. Hand planes could do it, but it is a lot of work and time I don’t have. I don’t have a band saw, or I would use that.

Any other ideas? Thanks.

Chad :)

7 replies so far

View stnich's profile


116 posts in 2341 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 09:21 PM

You could make a sled for a planer where you put shims under the side that will be the thinner side and run it through taking a little bit at a time. Just make sure the the piece is secured to the sled with double sided tape or something along those lines.

View Chad's profile


2 posts in 2302 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 09:37 PM

If I could only convince the Finance Committee to approve the funds for a planer… Hey now it’s a safety purchase…

Chad :)

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13524 posts in 2757 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 09:42 PM

planer sled
like a ‘u’
one side low to keep the work from
sliding sideways
the other at a height to support
the work
at the proper angle

make a drawing to get these dimensions

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View swirt's profile


2105 posts in 2388 days

#4 posted 10-04-2010 04:45 AM

Not sure what else you have access too. How about removing the bulk of it with a drawknife, then flatten it with a plane?

-- Galootish log blog,

View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2342 days

#5 posted 10-04-2010 05:48 AM

It’s not really a complicated jig for the tablesaw.

Make a sacrificial fence (MDF maybe) longer and taller than the threshold. Screw the threshold to the sacrificial fence (bottom side of threshold) from the fence side. Know what I mean?

Tilt blade to 5 degrees and slide it through. You could make the sacrificial fence double thickness to help keep it at 90 degrees beside your fence…

You may not have quite enough height to take the whole cut but you could finish the rest of it with a plane.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View BobAnderton's profile


209 posts in 2207 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 08:32 PM

This is my first LumberJocks post. The 1:12 slope you describe would be 24 inches of tapering for a 2” height and 12 inches of taper for a 1” height. I’m going to call the direction of the ramp taper the ramp length and the dimension parallel with the door threshold the ramp width. You can make a very gradual taper really nicely with a jointer if you are willing to let the grain run the direction of the ramp length. You can lay up multiple tapered boards side by side to get whatever ramp width you want. (really you just need a foot or so of width at each end of the door jamb) To make a taper with a jointer put a 1/8 inch spacer at the end of a piece of 3’ long stock and make multiple passes with that spacer starting at the beginning of the outfeed table. (ie, past the blade) until you get the taper running 2’ up the stock. Matthias Wandel has a nice picture of how to do this to taper table legs with a jointer here:
Using this approach you can make the taper as gradual as you like, even less than 12:1 if you want. I’ve tried this and it works pretty slick.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2993 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 09:09 PM

You don’t say what kind of surface you on or if it’s indoors or out. If it’s on concrete make some out side forms and poor poor and finish the ramp. If it’s wood you can frame up a ramp and use some 3/4 ply on top and have the sides follow your angle down to approximate the 1 1/2 ” in height and then taper a 2×6 piece of hard wood Like Epi or white oak on your table saw so the front edge is around 3/16ths. Then from the framed part of the ramp screw the 2×6 tapered board to the framed part of the ramp. This whole ramp can be carpeted or if you want an exposed wood suface you can use hardwood flooring instead of using 3/4 ply.

-- Custom furniture

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