tapering on a jointer

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 11-28-2012 12:38 AM 2122 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2351 days

11-28-2012 12:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer depth of cut tapering on the jointer tapering a leg

I received the regular Popular Woodworking e-mail today. One of the articles is a video on how to taper a leg by using the jointer.

I have an older Delta 6” long bed jointer (the one with the open leg bottom). Even with new blades and after a full alignment I get massive chatter, tearout and vibration if I take 1/16” deep cut. The video says to take a 3/8” cut.

Can your jointer do a 3/8” deep cut in a single pass? Should not a 10 year old Delta be able to do it?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

6 replies so far

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4006 days

#1 posted 11-28-2012 12:43 AM

Can your jointer do a 3/8” deep cut in a single pass? Should not a 10 year old Delta be able to do it?


Edit: Take your time and do some reading. There are lots of vids out there too.

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854 posts in 2351 days

#2 posted 11-28-2012 12:54 AM

I am not really wanting to taper legs on the jointer. I was just wondering if my Delta was a poor choice of if the PW editorial staff just had the supper high power jointer that can do anything.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3761 days

#3 posted 11-28-2012 01:12 AM

I have tapered legs with my Ridgid 6-inch jointer for two different night stands. With each leg I made multiple passes at the 45-degree setting at a 1/16-inch depth, starting where I wanted the taper to start (some distance from the top of the leg) and changing a table leg from four wide sides at the top to eight narrower ones at the bottom. A bit of hand sanding tidied up the result.

Easy to do, actually. A photo of a table is attached. I have no close-up shots, unfortunately.

Howard Ferstler

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 11-28-2012 01:48 AM

In the video he only tapered two sides of the leg. I suggest tapering all four, thereby halving the amount of stock removal on any one side, making a maximum cut of 3/16. This is still a healthy sized cut, however, and if that is too much for your jointer, there are other ways to do this where you sneak up on the desired taper in smaller increments. Or, for another solution, just cut the taper on your band saw, leave the line, and clean them up on the jointer with a light pass. or, you could taper the legs on your table saw as well.

-- PaulMayer,

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Logan Windram

347 posts in 2703 days

#5 posted 11-28-2012 01:58 AM

Maybe the article said the tapered piece at the bottom should be offset by 3/8 of an inch?

I taper on my jointer often, if you think about it, it’s the perfect tapering machine..

View AandCstyle's profile


3185 posts in 2498 days

#6 posted 11-28-2012 02:35 AM

My understanding is that you should never take off more than 1/8” in a single pass. I have a 3HP, spiral head jointer and I usually stay at 1/16” and make additional passes when necessary.

-- Art

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