making a tapering jig?

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Forum topic by Belg1960 posted 04-16-2013 10:41 AM 4800 views 7 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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908 posts in 2104 days

04-16-2013 10:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question jig tapering

Guys, I would like to build one of these jigs which will give me the most versatility possible. I need it at the moment to angle some larger panels 12×8, but would like to also be able to use it to taper legs in the future. I have seen a bunch of designs, for me ease of use and flexibility is key. Please post your thoughts and pics/plans and the reason you liked it. One more quick question is there a need to have the runner under the jig? Some have them some don’t. Thanks for any suggestions.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

16 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17942 posts in 1377 days

#1 posted 04-16-2013 11:03 AM

Runner makes them much more stable when cutting.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1616 days

#2 posted 04-16-2013 04:33 PM

You want a runner for stability and predictability of your cuts. Running it against the fence could always result in the jig moving away from the fence slightly affecting the cut.

Here’s the plans I based mine off of:

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4100 posts in 1852 days

#3 posted 04-16-2013 04:44 PM

Mine is like nightwalkers except is uses a Kreg featherboard to hold it against the fence, instead of a miter slot runner. I use a small version for tapering legs that has toggle clamps. Then I have a larger version with rockler hold-downs and knobs. They work really slick.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bbasiaga's profile


380 posts in 1034 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 04:48 PM

I built one from FWW magazine. You can see it in my projects. It has a rail system you clamp to your fence…no runner. I like it that way because even when the jig is all the way out it doesn’t want to tip towards the floor.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2616 days

#5 posted 04-16-2013 04:53 PM

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1325 days

#6 posted 04-16-2013 10:10 PM

I’ve got the cheap aluminum one from Rockler that rides along the fence. It’s okay but it is limited on the length of stock that can be tapered. Too long and/or at too much of an angle, and the leading edge of the board hits the fence. You can oversome this with auxillary fences, etc. but it’s a bit of a hassle. The one pictured above by NW is a better solution.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1981 posts in 1961 days

#7 posted 04-16-2013 11:51 PM

Mine is similar to this>

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View Chris208's profile


231 posts in 1309 days

#8 posted 04-17-2013 02:16 AM

I built the Charles Neil jig. The best thing about it is that when I couldn’t figure out how to do a four sided taper, Charles personally helped me. Really, really cool of him.

I’ve only used it once, but it worked great, and it looks cool.

View waho6o9's profile


6308 posts in 1616 days

#9 posted 04-17-2013 03:36 AM

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317 posts in 993 days

#10 posted 04-17-2013 04:57 AM

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1981 posts in 1961 days

#11 posted 04-17-2013 07:55 PM

Mine is similar to the one Night Walker shows in his post. Fits in the table miter slot so the fence does not get in the way. Once you have a jig like this you can make a lot of fun things that require it. I have made waste baskets, bowls, butter churns, tapered table legs and even made a cornucopia with this jig.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View Belg1960's profile


908 posts in 2104 days

#12 posted 04-18-2013 11:14 AM

Guys, thanks alot for all the suggestions. I like the version that NiteWalker showed, it looks like it will offer alot of flexibility. Is there any more info on how to build it available? It looks pretty straight forward, but any tricky things or specifics that would make it easier to build would be much appreciated.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

636 posts in 1820 days

#13 posted 04-18-2013 03:03 PM

Hi Belg1960.

John Heisz has free plans for what appears to be a very versatile version of a taper jig at

The video demonstrating its use is quite interesting.

I’m just about to build his Advanced Finger Joint Jig – when my nose stops streaming from a cold!

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 1302 days

#14 posted 04-18-2013 04:55 PM

I haven’t built a tapering jig yet, but I am truly thankful for this thread. It’s a great collection of ideas for a singular project all in one place.
Ding! Added to favorites!

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1004 posts in 1149 days

#15 posted 04-18-2013 04:59 PM

Mine is also like Nitewalker’s graphic, except I skipped the t-track and efforts to rout grooves or make it pretty.

I just screw the angle board and stops to the carrier. If I need a different angle, I unscrew them and move them. So many of my tapers are similar, sometimes, I don’t even have to move the parts around.

What’s nice about this style, is offcuts can be taped back on for easy 4-6-8 sided tapers.

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