LumberJocks

Tapering the thickness of relatively small pieces of wood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by bobthebuilderinmichigan posted 1057 days ago 2186 views 3 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile

bobthebuilderinmichigan

130 posts in 1630 days


1057 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tapering thickness small

The clock plan that I recently started on shows a piece of white oak 4” x 9 5/8” being tapered from 1” thick at bottom to 3/4” at the top. The page of the plan in question is shown below:

I’m a little stumped as to how I should go about tapering the thickness of a piece this size. I tried lifting one end up 1/4” and running it through the planer, but it keeps getting stuck and getting all chewed up. I also thought about using a tapering jig on the table saw, but my blade height is only 2 3/4” and this piece is 4”. Any suggestions?

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan


17 replies so far

View Flyin636's profile

Flyin636

57 posts in 1092 days


#1 posted 1057 days ago

You didn’t spec a tolerance….....so I’ll shoot for .005”(+/-.0025).Would simply rough cut on resaw to a line and finish on a right angle fixture on edge sander…...again,am assuming you just want a cpl.Flyin636

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

681 posts in 1100 days


#2 posted 1057 days ago

I wish I could claim that I thought of this, but I didn’t. It is based on a post I saw a while ago and cannot find again now.

Assuming that you have a jointer, you could make a jig that holds the wood at the required angle for planing. First an isometric view that doesn’t show you all that much …

and now a side view with the left side removed …

The top is angled as required and the wood is stuck to the top using double-sided tape.

The sides of the jig are sacrificial – they get planed down at the same time as your wood so you need one pair of sides per piece of wood that you are tapering.

Different (I think) to the jig that I have based these sketches on, I have drawn the jig with a backstop so that the double-sided tape only has to hold the wood up, it does not need to prevent it from shearing off. I have drawn the backstop quite large so that you can also use it as a handle and have included a handle at the front. These should both make the jig safer to use.

If you try this and it works, I’m sure everybody would benefit from you doing a blog on the process with the lessons you learn.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View lew's profile

lew

9945 posts in 2354 days


#3 posted 1057 days ago

Have you considered doing this on the jointer? By carefully setting the leading edge of the piece, on the out feed table, and pushing it through it will create a “taper”. Just be careful!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile

bobthebuilderinmichigan

130 posts in 1630 days


#4 posted 1057 days ago

Well, you have all given me some real good options! Thank you for your time. Since I am not very proficient with the hand plane (I haven’t really gotten my plane all that tuned in yet), I think I will first try the jointer. In fact I just purchased a Ridgid JP06101 6 1/8” jointer on Craigs List. Once I receive my replacement blades, I’ll give it a go! Tootles, your shop drawings are awesome! They made it crystal clear. So, now I’m thinking “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that!” And . . . I WILL be careful.

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#5 posted 1057 days ago

for this taper on the jointer
place piece ON the out feed table
(as lew said)
thick end first
(notice other end is marked)
and joint it as many passes this way as needed
(i have a lever action jointer
so raising and lowering it is simple for me)

for safety sake i held it with a hooked hold down
and started the jointer then

the front end is somewhat rippled
(notice mark on back end
is still visible)

so taking a complete light pass normal
will eliminate this
(or you could sand at this point too)

the finished board all clean
and tapered

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

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile

bobthebuilderinmichigan

130 posts in 1630 days


#6 posted 1057 days ago

David,
Thank you for your very generous help. I will give both methods a try and let you know how it works!

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12252 posts in 2696 days


#7 posted 1057 days ago

Handplane?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

681 posts in 1100 days


#8 posted 1057 days ago

Patron’s method looks simpler as it does not require a jig to be made.

BUt if you do still want to try the jig, something occured to me after I shut down last night. It might be a little safer to move the front handle backwards a bit so that your fingers cannot slip down towards the jointer blade. Revised section drawing below:

I’m glad to see that you do have a jointer because the other thought that occured to me was “what if you do not have a jointer?” I had an idea for another jig based on the one above to do the job with a hand plane. Although you don’t need it, I may just sketch it up later and post it for reference by anybody else who finds this forum question later.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7234 posts in 2246 days


#9 posted 1057 days ago

In instrument making and repair, I often invert a jack plane with a cambered iron
in my vise. The camber make the cut finer near the edges, deeper in the middle.

Saw to the outside of the line and then work to the line with the inverted
plane. A push block helps prevent sliced off fingertips, but if you are careful
it’s not needed.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

681 posts in 1100 days


#10 posted 1057 days ago

Okay, that didn’t take as long as I thought, so here is the suggestion for a jig to plane this by hand. First the isometric view:

Now the front view with hidden detail shown:

Please note that this jig is designed for a right handed person who would plane from right to left. A “leftie” would basically just need to swap the front with the back to get this to work for them.

The wood sits on a base between two stops. No tape required, just gravity. The base is angled as required and fixed between the front and back so that the correct thickness is achieved at each end. The front piece if wood is wider than the back piece (4” vs. 2 1/2”) so that it may be clamped in your vice, the back just sits on the bench surface.

The idea is to use a plane that has a relatively long toe and heel. A Stanley No. 5 is probably fine, but the toe of a no. 4 is probably too short. Rotate the plane to an angle of 45° to the wood grain and rest the heel on the back and the toe on the front (which is also why the hand jig is longer than the jointer jig). Push the plane in line with the grain. Continue until tapered surface is achieved.

One note. I have shown both my jigs being made from wood 3/4” thick. That is not as necessary with the jointer jig – the sides could be 1/8” ply if you wanted. But the front and back of the hand plane jig should be thick. That is so that you can plane right up to the edge of the wood being tapered but can still prevent the blade from shaving away any of the outer edges of the front or back. That means that the jig remains accurate.

Oh, one other thing. The hand jig can be used over and over again. There are no sacrificial parts in it as there are in the jointer jig.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile

bobthebuilderinmichigan

130 posts in 1630 days


#11 posted 1056 days ago

Thank you again for all your help. I’ll let you know how it turns out in the next couple of days!

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1673 days


#12 posted 1056 days ago

My first choice would be a handplane, but I will offer another option to consider.

A belt sander with a relatively course grit can remove a lot of material quickly. I would prefer a stationary belt sander but a hand held will also do the trick.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

681 posts in 1100 days


#13 posted 1055 days ago

I found it!

Credit for the ideas behind the jigs above go to KnickKnack in this blog

Thanks mate

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile

bobthebuilderinmichigan

130 posts in 1630 days


#14 posted 1054 days ago

Tootles,
I used your jig and it worked like a charm! At first it looked like it may take a long time to make the jig and then take it apart and reset the top piece to plane the second piece (these are two sides of a pendulum clock). But resetting the top piece only took a few minutes and I was off and running on the second side. The workpieces are exactly how they are pictured in the plans. I just hope I don’t screw up the “simpler” pieces now! Thanks for all your help.

Patron,
I would also like to try your method but I’m not understanding how you get the taper. Do you start with most of the workpiece on the outfeed side and create the taper in a stepped fashion until you get to the 1” end and then clean up the “steps” with a singe pass over the whole workpiece? I know I’m slow on the uptake sometimes even with step by step picture instructions! LOL

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#15 posted 1054 days ago

the way i showed is what is in the manuals
wherever you lay the board on the out feed table
is where the taper begins
(the cutter only ‘eats’ from there
and as you move the board forward
it takes more off the trailing end
so more passes keep doing that
till you get to the final size
at the tapered end

you can lower the in-feed table
to get more bite
or just make more passes at the height you have the jointer set at

the cutter is set to the out-feed table
so that end only gets no cut at all
as it is already ‘tilted up’
so doesn’t cut any wood there

this is how to taper table legs
and leave the top square for rail mortices

here is a link

http://woodgears.ca/shop-tricks/taper.html

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

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase