Planing Edge-to-Edge Tapers

A recent commission involved making a 12"-wide by 5'-long ramped threshold for a doorway that spanned floors of different heights. One edge needed to be 138" thick, and the opposite edge 34" thick. I realized that the easiest, most accurate way to make the taper would be to plane the board at an angle, raising one edge the appropriate amount with a full-length support strip.

I first milled the stock slightly oversized in width, and just a bit over 138" thick. I then marked my intended angle on one end of the board and placed it on my bench. I shimmed under the intended thinner edge to bring the marked line parallel to the benchtop and then measured from the underside of the raised edge to the benchtop. After ripping a 5"-long support strip to that measurement, I beveled one edge of it to complement the tilt of the board. All that was left was to attach the support strip with double-faced tape and plane the board down to my line. My client was so delighted with the accuracy of the finished work that he presented me with a fifth of Scotch as a bonus.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

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