How to Cut a Taper on a Table Saw?

To cut a taper on a table saw, you’ll need the right safety gear, a tapering jig or sled, and your workpiece. First, ensure your table saw is set up correctly and has an appropriate blade. Adjust the blade height slightly above the workpiece’s thickness. Next, prepare your tapering jig with an adjustable angle guide to match your desired taper angle. 

Position your workpiece on the jig so the edge you want to taper aligns with the jig’s fence, then securely clamp it. Set the table saw fence to the desired taper width. With everything in place, turn on the saw, and push the jig and workpiece through the blade, maintaining steady pressure for a smooth, controlled cut. 

Finally, ensure safety, wait for the blade to stop, and inspect the cut for quality. Make additional passes if needed but be cautious not to overcut. Always prioritize safety when using a table saw.

How to Cut a Taper on a Table Saw Properly?

By following these steps and prioritizing safety at every stage, you can successfully cut a taper on a table saw while achieving precise and accurate results for your woodworking projects.

Setup and Safety Precautions

Blade Selection and Height Adjustment: The choice of the blade depends on the material you’re cutting. For general-purpose tapers, a standard combination blade works well. 

However, if you’re working with specialized materials, consider an appropriate blade type.

Adjust the blade height slightly above the thickness of your workpiece, ensuring it doesn’t protrude too much to reduce the risk of kickback.

Safety Gear: Safety is paramount when working with a table saw. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential flying debris.

Consider using hearing protection as table saws can be quite loud. Ensure you’re not wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the saw.

Tapering Jig

Purpose and Types: A tapering jig is a crucial accessory for cutting tapers on a table saw. It provides stability and control while guiding your workpiece through the saw.

There are various types of tapering jigs, from commercial options to homemade jigs. Homemade jigs can be as simple as a straight piece of plywood with an attached fence and an adjustable angle guide.

Commercial jigs often offer additional features for increased accuracy and convenience.

Angle Adjustment for Desired Taper: To achieve the desired taper, you need to set the angle of the jig. This angle is what determines the degree of taper in your workpiece.

In addition, measure and mark the desired taper on your workpiece, and then align the jig’s adjustable angle guide to match that angle.

Positioning and Securing the Workpiece

Place your workpiece on the tapering jig with the edge you want to taper aligned with the jig’s fence.

Use clamps to securely hold the workpiece to the jig. This prevents the workpiece from shifting during the cut and ensures a precise taper.

Adjusting the Table Saw Fence

Set the table saw’s rip fence to the desired width of the taper. The edge of the workpiece aligned with the jig’s fence will be the starting point of your taper. Ensure the fence is parallel to the blade to maintain accuracy.

Making the Cut

Controlled Pass Through the Saw: Turn on the table saw and push the tapering jig with the workpiece through the blade.

Maintain a steady and controlled feed rate. Rushing the cut can result in an uneven or rough taper.

Ensuring Even Pressure: Keep the workpiece firmly against the jig’s fence throughout the cut. This ensures that the workpiece follows the desired taper angle and maintains a consistent width.

Post-Cut Safety and Quality Check

Turning Off the Saw: After completing the cut, turn off the table saw and wait for the blade to come to a complete stop before removing the workpiece and jig.

Inspecting and Refining the Taper:

Examine the cut for accuracy and quality. If necessary, you can refine the taper by making additional passes through the saw.

Be cautious not to overcut, as you can’t add material back to the workpiece. Make small adjustments as needed to achieve the desired taper.

Final Words

In conclusion, cutting a taper on a table saw is a useful skill in woodworking. To do it safely, remember to choose the right blade, adjust its height properly, and always wear safety gear like goggles and ear protection. You’ll need a tapering jig, and you can make your own or buy one. 

Adjust the jig to match the taper angle you want. Put your workpiece on the jig, secure it with clamps, and set the table saw fence to your desired taper width. When making the cut, go through the saw steadily and make sure to keep the workpiece against the jig’s fence. 

Afterward, turn off the saw and check your taper for quality. If needed, make small adjustments for a perfect finish. Safety is the most important thing, so be careful and take your time. Happy woodworking!