How to Make a Taper Jig for Table Saws: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Finishing your wood projects with the wrong equipment can lead to disaster, which is why it’s important to have a table saw taper jig at your disposal. Although store-bought taper saw jigs showcase many benefits, did you know it limits control over your workpiece? Fortunately, our team listed the entire DIY process to help you create your first jigs. 

Purpose of Table Saw Taper Jigs

Before our tool experts teach you how to create a tapering jig, you ought to know the purpose of this tool. You may not be aware, but it’s commonly used for adding tapers in table legs. 

At first glance, it looks like a sled, but it acts as a support to your table saw when making an intricate cut. Apart from modifying furniture legs, a tapering jig keeps the wood piece aligned with the position of the table saw blade when cutting a straight edge or making angle cuts on plywood. 

Although manufacturers made these clamps readily available to any customer, creating your own will lessen the possibility of poor cut output and dangerous kickback. It also gives you the freedom to customize your tapering jig depending on your needs. 

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

When crafting a taper jig for table saws, our DIY experts suggest going to your nearest hardware store for faster checkout to avoid wasting time. 

required material

Prepare building materials like Birch plywood, star knobs, toilet bolts, toggle clamps, flat head screw #6 three-quarter inch in length, pan head screw #12 ¾ inch, and hardwood strip. 

After getting all that for your DIY tapering jig, ensure that you have power and hand tools for the construction. You’ll be needing the likes of a table saw, straight router bit, drill or driver set, gorilla glue, spiral router bit, and palm router. 

How to Make Your Own Table Saw Taper Jig

Step #1: Measure and Cut Your Base

The first step in creating a tapering jig is to grab the Birch plywood you brought from the nearest hardware. Before you decide to cut it, our team advises you to measure your table saw as this would indicate how big it will turn out to be. 

Typically, we would cut the board 8 inch wide for the base of the tapering jig. On top of that, don’t forget to make it at least 6 to 8 inches longer compared to the leg you’ll be tapering. 

plywood measurement

Position the leg piece at the edge of the base plywood board and clamp together to stay in line with one another. By doing this, you can determine how the table saw blade would navigate around your jig. 

Step #2: Measure and Cut the Support and Stop Blocks

After attaching the clamps to the base and leg, it’s time to make the support and stop blocks of your jig. Get any piece of wood scrap and cut it in the same size as the leg. 

If you’re not confident with how a blade saw works, we suggest measuring and adding marks appropriately for added accuracy [1]. Drill pilot holes if that’ll make your construction faster.

At the edge of the two wood pieces, you should place a stop block to act as extra support to the fence. Double-check if the block is thick enough to support the fence, or else your tapering jig won’t be able to assist the table saw to make consistent cuts. 

Step #3: Secure the Support with Screws

After you attach the leg piece and measure everything for the jig, it’s a no-brainer. You need to lock the support and stop blocks with screws. If you drilled pilot holes earlier, that’s where you need to focus. 

Table Saw Taper Jig

You should fasten the supporting piece against the leg attached to the plywood with a clamp to form the fence. 

Once that’s drilled to the board, bolt the stop blocks in line with the edge of the fence. And then, you’ll have to bolt mounting blocks into the plywood as well. 

These pieces have to be as thick as the fence of your table saw tapering jig. Slide these scraps to each tip of the support piece. 

Our resident woodworkers highly recommend checking if these pieces were accurately aligned to the edges before deciding to bolt them into the plywood. 

Step #4: Secure the Stop Blocks with Toggle Clamps

The last step in making a taper jig for table saws is screwing the clamps to the mount blocks you formed together in the previous steps. 

POWERTEC 20327 Quick Release Horizontal Toggle Clamp

We adjusted the rubberized bumpers to ensure that these will press against the fence of the tapering jig firmly. Through this, you can be sure that the leg is firmly positioned when locked down.

Alternative: Grooves on the Base and Support For Adjustable Angles

For this alternative, you have to cut out a 2-inch strip for the fence that’ll support the base of your tapering jig. Secure an additional strip of hardwood, which could fit the miter slot from your tool list. Maple wood pieces would do, but you can use any as long as it’s hardwood. 

With the use of your router table, make a shallow groove that would accommodate the bolts. When you work on one end, ensure that you create gaps so that the bolts won’t go deep to the edge. The same method applies to the other end of the board. 

You don’t need to adjust the fence of your plunge router. Just make a groove again on the one you previously did, but with a hole going through this time. After that, you’re ready to bolt them in. 

making taper jig

Attach the fence to the base in the intersection using spiral bits. After sliding all the bolts underneath the jig structure, add the washer over them and drill the knobs in. 

Next, install your toggle clamps. For this, our woodworking experts suggest using short screws to avoid breaking during the drilling process. To wrap things up, glue the fully constructed jig into the miter bar. 

While we understand that sticking it firmly is an added security to avoid accidents, there’s no need to get glue all over the place. A few spreads over the strip would suffice to keep it in place. Let the adhesive set for about thirty minutes. Adding weights on top of the surface will help dry it faster. 

If you want zero clearance, it will help to run the jig through the table saw blade and trim the edges of the base. 

More useful table saw accessories: 

Using the Taper Jig

Mark the Cutting Path on Your Piece

When using a taper jig for table saws, you need to mark the cutting line of your piece for accuracy. And then, proceed to align the workpiece parallel with your newly-built sled. 

Table Saw Taper Jigs

Secure Your Piece

It doesn’t matter if your tapering jig is made by you or brought from woodworking shops. The most crucial part is its ability to secure your workpieces. After marking lines for your cut with the tip of your jig, lock it to the fence with the clamps you attached. From there, you can continue with the cutting as you please. 

Conclusion

Although creating a DIY taper jig for table saws seems easy for experienced woodworkers, beginners may find this building process challenging to do. And while it may take a bit of time to accomplish, our resident tool experts assure you that it can be a great way to elevate your crafting skills. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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