Long but narrow taper

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Forum topic by mds4752 posted 10-15-2013 11:27 AM 1457 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 1946 days

10-15-2013 11:27 AM

If you needed to put a 1/4” taper on a narrow but long board (2 1/2” x 36”) and your only power tool choices were your Dewalt contractors portable table saw or your router, which tool would you pick? And what kind of jig would you use?

It comes out to a 1/8” taper along each side a board that’s 36” long—which seems pretty thin to me.

I’ve also considered getting a spokeshave or tuning up a hand plane and try that too. Maybe strike the lines and just using a hand plane is the way to go???

Any advice is appreciated!

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

12 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1880 posts in 2205 days

#1 posted 10-15-2013 11:37 AM

You could affix that piece to a piece of similar length plywood, screw two pieces of scrap that hold the line of the taper that you want cut (one on the side of the piece, one on the end), and run that along the fence of your table saw. It should do the trick. Check out Jordsworkshop podcast on youtube, he shows how to do it. Better than I can explain it. Or look up plans for a tapering jig, it’s a useful tool to have around

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View bondogaposis's profile


5150 posts in 2587 days

#2 posted 10-15-2013 12:06 PM

You could hand plane it faster than you could build a jig to do it on a table saw.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3207 days

#3 posted 10-15-2013 12:21 PM

View mds4752's profile


48 posts in 1946 days

#4 posted 10-15-2013 05:35 PM

Thanks for the rec’s everyone.

crank48, if I had a jointer, that would have been my first choice!!

I guess I should have mentioned the number of boards I need to do also. There are only 7 boards, so I need to taper just 14 edges. So, a hand plane might be best. My only issue is that I’ve only got 2—1 is a small old Stanley #220 (block plane) and the other is an old wooden coffin style. I just bought them both and am still getting them sharpened / tuned up. The coffin one cuts pretty good and I think I’ll give it a shot.

Kaleb the Swede—I’ll check out that website and see what the jig looks like. I’ve got an idea in mind of what it is, but I’m anxious to seeit.

Thanks again all—I really enjoy this site!

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3207 days

#5 posted 10-15-2013 07:34 PM

If you have a bunch of old “Shop Notes” magazines, there was an article in there about 18 months ago, give or take a few months, about making a shop built jointer from a router. It was a super article, but maybe more work than justified by this one project. On the other hand, if you make boxes or cutting boards or often need to joint something less than 2” wide, this is one way to go.

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)


4987 posts in 2545 days

#6 posted 10-15-2013 07:55 PM

Clamp on a straight edge and use a pattern router bit.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#7 posted 10-15-2013 08:06 PM

You can also make a taper jig…. or buy one. Sears sells
one that’s not expensive.

A simple pair of fixed taper jigs can be made from two
straight boards of consistent width. Attach a 1/8”
spacer to the end of one and a 1/4” spacer to the
second. Then attach a stop for the board and cut the
tapers on the table saw. If you want you can screw
the jig to a piece of ply underneath and tape your
workpiece to it. In this can each side of the
board can serve as a jig, with a 1/8” spacer on one
side and the 1/4” spacer on the other. The base
of the jig (say 1/4” hardboard) runs against the fence.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3467 days

#8 posted 10-15-2013 08:06 PM

I cut a taper similar to that a few days ago. I needed a filler strip that was 1/4 inch on the thick end and tapered to nothing over the 31 inch length. I used a piece of plywood about 6 inches wide and screwed my piece of poplar to it on each end (away from the blade). I measured carefully, then set my table saw fence so the sled would ride against it. It worked great. The result was a slender, tapered piece of wood that fit my opening perfectly.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#9 posted 10-15-2013 08:26 PM

View toddl1962's profile


29 posts in 2165 days

#10 posted 10-15-2013 10:01 PM

Hmmm. I would use my hand router, bottom bearing bit and position each side of the board along a straight edge on my bench and route the waste off. I have a piece of heavy duty angle aluminum mounted to the edge of my workbench specifically for straightening edges with my router. For my setup this would be the quickest way. This is assuming the wood is not real thick (at least not thicker than the router bit would handle).

-- Todd

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21956 posts in 3342 days

#11 posted 10-15-2013 11:12 PM

I’d clamp a board to it and run the router down the board. If you can screw a board to it, you could set the taper on the extra board screwed to it and gun it down the fence of the table saw!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mds4752's profile


48 posts in 1946 days

#12 posted 10-16-2013 05:48 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions everybody.

I ended up using the hand plane because:
1) I only had a limited # of boards to taper (7; total of 14 edges)
2) The wood was very manageable – 4/4 cypress, so very soft and thin
3) It’s a piece of outdoor furniture so high level of precision wasn’t a requirement
4) I was looking for an excuse to sharpen up my hand planing skills

I used my Stanley #220 and that thing was awesome. With only needing to shave a strip from 0” – 1/8”, it wasn’t a real problem—even for a novice like me. In fact, I enjoyed using it so much I went out to ebay and bid on some additional Stanleys (#4, #5, #7).

Thanks again for all the input: I really appreciate it. And I will definitely find the need for another taper somewhere down the road where a hand plane won’t be the quickest / easiest.

-- "Live each day as if it were your last; one day you're sure to be right." -- Lt Harry "Breaker" Morant

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