Friday, December 26, 2008

Tapered legs

Make a line on the leg blank which represents the taper. Clamp the leg to the taper jig (a scrap of plywood) with the marked line aligned to the edge of the board. The part of the leg which sticks up above the plywood is the part which will be removed.

Lay the whole thing down (with the clamps hanging off the end of the table), and butt some cleats up against the side and end of the leg and screw them down. A few hold-down clamps (only one's installed so far) keep everything snug while moving thru the saw.

After removing the bar clamps and the leg, set the table saw fence so the edge of the jig is against the blade...

... then load a leg blank and check to make sure the face is square to the table. If it isn't, the taper will be a compound angle. I learned that the hard way the first time I used a jig like this.

The leg and the offcut after a push thru the table saw.

... and after 8 more passes, all 4 legs are tapered on two sides.

I find it hard to visualize what a taper will look like from just layout lines, but one of the nice things about tapering is that it's not hard to move the cleats on the jig and take a little more off. I always start conservatively: it's a lot easier to taper a little more off than to add a little back on to "stiletto" legs.

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