Top-Notch Tapering Jig

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Ease and flexibility make this accessory a real keeper.

Tapers often play a big part in furniture design. At the JD Lohr School of Woodworking, we incorporate them quite a bit, particularly when creating table legs. There are dozens of ways to taper a squared leg using a variety of machines in the shop, but we prefer to use the table saw, which provides clean, consistent results when used in conjunction with the right jig. 

Commercial tapering jigs are available, but many suffer from serious shortcomings, such as the inability to secure the work to the jig during the cut. That’s partially why so many shop-made designs proliferate. We’ve developed a variety of them ourselves over the years, and finally settled on the version you see here, created by instructor Eoin O’Neill.

  The design intention was always to create a straight-edged carrier board that features an adjustable fence, as well as a method of safely securing the work to the jig. This model fits the bill nicely and also includes a fence guide to prevent the jig straying from the rip fence. The final touch is a hook-and-eye system that keeps the stored parts together. Made primarily from MDF and plywood, it’s not terribly expensive to build, especially for such a useful jig.

Most importantly, the jig is easy to use and versatile enough to handle a variety of tapers while safely producing identical results every time. We love it; I doubt we’ll have to improve it.

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