Project 14585EZ

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Leg Tapering Jig

You’ll find that this jig is quite an improvement over most conventional leg tapering jig designs. With toggle clamps to hold stock firmly in place there’s no need for fingers to be anywhere near the blade. The jig also runs in the miter gauge slot so you don’t have to struggle with push sticks to keep the jig bearing against the rip fence. This jig can be adjusted to accept stock up to 2-1/4” think, 1/2” to 4” wide, and 4” to 31” long. For think stock (less than 5/8”), you’ll need to add a shim between the clamp’s rubber pad and the stock. For stock that’s between 1-1/4” and 1-7/8”, you’ll need to add an auxiliary spacer block under each clamp. Stock that measures between 1-7/8” and 2-1/2” thick will require a pair of auxiliary spacer blocks under each clamp. Because the base must be rigid, make it from solid maple stock or baltic birch plywood. Use solid maple stock for all the remaining wood parts.

Leg Tapering Jig Materials List
Part A B C D E F G H Description Bottom Base Stop Stiffener Guide Toggle Clamp Knob Spacer Block Size 3/4” x 8” x 32” 3/4” x 3-1/2” x 32” 1/4” x 3/4” x 1” 3/4” x 1-1/4” x 24” see schematic 6-1/2” long 1-3/4” dia. 5/8” x 2” x 2” Number Required 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 4

Leg Tapering Jig Schematic

Leg Tapering Jig Instructions
Step 1: Make the Bottom (A) 1. Cut the bottom (A) to the overall length and width shown in the materials list. 2. Lay out and mark the location of the 3/8” wide X 4-3/8” long slots on each end of the bottom (A). 3. Use a router equipped with an edge-guide and 3/8” diameter straight bit and, making several passes with each pass removing no more than 1/8” of stock, cut the slots you just marked. 4. Use the edge-guided router and a 3/4” diameter straight bit and, making two passes each removing 1/8” of stock, cut the 1/4” deep counterbored slot on the underside of the bottom. Step 2: Make the Guide (E) 1. Measure the depth of your right side miter gauge slot and add 1/8” to determine the thickness of the guide (E). NOTE: As shown in Figure 1, the bottom view of the jig, the 1/8” dimension is added to account for the 1/8” deep slot cut in the underside of the bottom. 2. Measure the width of your right side miter gouge slot and subtract about 1/64” in to determine the width of the guide (E). 3. Rip stock for the guide (E) to the dimensions you just determined. 4. Check the fit of the guide (E) in your miter gauge. It should be snug, yet slide smoothly in the Figure 1. Bottom View of Jig groove.

Step 3: Cut the Slot in the Underside of the Bottom (A) to Accept the Guide (E) 1. Measure the distance from the table saw’s right-hand miter gauge slot to the saw blade (see Figure 2). 2. Lay out the dimension you just took on the underside of the bottom (A), stopping it short of the ends as shown in Figure 1. 3. Use the router with an edgeguide and 3/8” dia. straight bit to cut the 1/8” deep slot. 4. Make the first cut to establish the distance from the saw blade to the slot, then readjust the edge-guide to create a slot width that will Figure 2. End View of Jig accept the guide. 5. Use a chisel to square the rounded corners left by the bit. Step 4: Make the Base (B) 1. Cut the base (B) to length and width from 3/4” thick stock. 2. Lay out and mark the location of the 60 toggle clamp bolt holes. NOTE: As shown in Figure 1, each toggle clamp bolt hole has a 5/8” diameter by 3/16” deep counterbore on the underside of the base. 3. Counterbore first, then drill the 1/4” diameter through hole. 4. Lay out and mark the location of the 3/8” x 3/4” slotted hole on the front end. 5. Either use a router to cut the slotted hole, OR bore a pair of adjacent 3/8” diameter holes and then clean up the waste with a small file. 4. Lay out, mark, and bore the 3/8” diameter hole on the back end. Step 5: Add the Stop (C) 1. Rip 3/4” solid stock to a width of 1/4”. 2. Cross cut the stock you just ripped to a length of 1”. 3. Make sure the bottom and end surfaces of the stop (C) are flush with the base, then glue and clamp it in place.

Step 6: Add the Stiffener (D) 1. Cut the stiffener (D) to the overall length given in the materials list. 2. Use the table saw, set at 45 degrees, to apply the bevel along the back edge of the stiffener (D). 3. Use glue and counterbored flathead wood screws to secure the stiffener (D) to the base (B). Step 7: Obtain the Toggle Clamps and Knobs to Complete the Jig 1. Obtain toggle clamps from an industrial supply shop. NOTE: The location of the clamps will depend on the length of the workpiece. 2. Obtain a plastic knob similar to that shown in the schematic, OR, if you prefer, substitute a wing nut, available at any hardware store.

Setting Up and Using the Jig
The jig is relatively easy to set up because the left edge of the bottom represents the cut line of the saw blade; thus, any stock overhanging the edge will get cut off as waste. To use the jig: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Cut your stock to its final thickness, width, and length. Lay out and taper cuts on the stock. Butt the tapered end of the stock against the stop. Adjust the base so that the cut line is aligned with the edge of the bottom. Clamp securely and make the cut.

To cut a taper on an adjacent face: Rotate the stock 90 degrees, then reclamp and cut. To cut a taper on a face that is opposite a previously cut taper: Readjust the base to compensate for the new angle.
These plans were originally published in Volume 11, Issue 6 of The Woodworker’s Journal (Nov./Dec. 1987, pages 44-45).

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