How does one taper layers for a bent lamination?

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 136 days ago 605 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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286 posts in 358 days

136 days ago

I’m interested in trying to make a bent lamination. But I want one end to be tapered. I can’t just make up my lamination and taper it – I’d end up removing the entire outer layer and then some. So obviously I need to taper each layer. I can imagine how to do it using a sled in a planer. But are there other ways to do it as well (seems like in woodworking there always is an alternative). Could it be done with hand tools?

14 replies so far

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154 posts in 401 days

#1 posted 136 days ago

I’m not sure I understand but …build the board then shape it seems good advice.

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286 posts in 358 days

#2 posted 136 days ago

Bent lamination – a shop-made lamination that is bent around a form. I want it to taper on one end. I can’t do that simply removing material from the glued-up stack, because I’d be completely removing the topmost and bottommost layers of the stack, which will leave an ugly line and an odd appearance as the underlayers are exposed. So, I need to taper my thin pieces before I glue up the stack.

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Mark Shymanski

5078 posts in 2339 days

#3 posted 136 days ago

Yes you could hand plane the tapers into each piece. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View crank49's profile


3371 posts in 1598 days

#4 posted 136 days ago

Build all the layers except the top and bottom.
Taper this stack what ever way is easiest.
Then add the top and bottom layers.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1654 posts in 1549 days

#5 posted 136 days ago

May not be exactly what you have in mind. I made this sleigh by cutting slots in some oak , soaking it in water, applying glue in the openings and clamped together on a form.

-- In God We Trust

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7399 posts in 2275 days

#6 posted 136 days ago

Of course it can be done with hand tools, but surfacing the
layers precisely by hand will be tricky. Some sort of guide
for a scraper, sanding board or hand plane could be
figured out.

I did some last year using a vacuum pump:

The same sort of jig could be attached to a thing that
rides on a rip fence or in a miter gauge.


View Iwud4u's profile


311 posts in 156 days

#7 posted 136 days ago

I would use an edge sander.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

View Yonak's profile


243 posts in 148 days

#8 posted 136 days ago

Start with a board with parallel edges. On the jointer taper one edge using graduated cuts (cut 2/3 of the way, lift and start again cutting 1/3 of the way, lift and cut all the way – you may have to make the final cut in two passes) then slice off the strip on the table saw with the other edge against the fence. Clear as mud ?

View jap's profile


1225 posts in 681 days

#9 posted 136 days ago

Build a sled to put the pieces in the planer that allow you to hold one end higher than the other and thus taper the wood.

-- Joel

View Tedster's profile


2270 posts in 838 days

#10 posted 136 days ago

It will be time consuming but I think you might get the most precision this way…. Glue up the first couple of layers then sand, plane or scrape the taper. Then add the next top and bottom layer and sand, plane or scrape likewise. Continue till you have all your layers. I’ve never done this but just off the top o’ my head it’s what I might do.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View higtron's profile


192 posts in 1304 days

#11 posted 136 days ago

This guy made a thickness jig for his hand plane to get exact thicknesses something like this with a taper it wouldn’t have to be as elaborate as the video.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View bigblockyeti's profile


1469 posts in 347 days

#12 posted 136 days ago

I was experimenting with this (roughly) by lowering the cutterhead on my planer as it fed. The key was consistent speed. The results turned out better than I had imagined, but it was just on some 2×4s that I wanted to try this with, not any project specifically.

View runswithscissors's profile


906 posts in 652 days

#13 posted 136 days ago

I think Crank49 has a good answer.

But it would help also to know how wide the finished layup has to be. If it’s no wider than 2 1/2” (what your TS could cut), use a taper jig to cut a taper from stock that wide, or as wide as you need. Re set the fence, and cut that tapered piece off. Continue until you have enough tapered pieces for your glue up.

Come to think of it, I made a tapered, gently S-shaped tiller for my sailboat many years ago, and used tapered laminations. But I don’t really remember how I cut them. Probably because my brain’s memory function is merciful.

View markf31's profile


5 posts in 136 days

#14 posted 135 days ago

How many layers of lamination will there be? My thought is if you have say 8 layers of lamination, laminate the first seven together leaving off the final show face laminate. When the first 7 are laminated you can sand, cut, trim them down to create a preliminary taper. Then laminate your final show face laminate on. When that is dry you can sand the profile of that final laminate at the end so as to avoid exposing the underlying layers.

Did that makes sense? It does in my head.

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