A taper jig or straight line jointing jig is an easy project that anyone with a table saw can benefit from. There are many variations out there and I urge you to look at as many as you can before you decide which design is appropriate for you. I’ve used a few different designs through the years. Here I’m going to show you my latest design that takes a bit of what I like from my previous designs.
What most all table saw jigs and sleds have in common is the fact that they are positioned on the saw via a runner in the miter slot. Not this one though. For the sake of easy use this sled will have no miter slot runner. Instead it will simply run against the saw fence like any other piece of wood. This may be of benefit to some of you out there that have odd shaped miters lots. Some of the bench top saws I have seen have weird tabs that stick out in the miter slot to prevent the miter gauge from coming out. All you will have to do is set your fence to the width of the jig every time and make sure it is parallel to the blade. IF YOUR SAW DOES NOT HAVE A RIVING KNIFE DO NOT PULL THE SLED BACKWARDS AFTER THE CUT AS I DO IN THE VIDEO. This jig should only go forward through the cut with the jig firmly sliding against the fence just like cutting anything else if you do not have a riving knife.
You will need the following materials:
- 12” wide by however long you want 3/4” plywood.
- At least two 3-1/2” long carriage bolts. The diameter isn’t too important. Having a bunch can be handy at times.
- A matching number of corresponding fender washers and hex nuts or t-nuts.
- A few scrap pieces of hardwood. I actually made the hold downs out of pallet wood while I was making the sled.
The principle of this jig is to allow multiple hold down locations that can be selected as needed by the material that is being used. To increase the options you can drill as many counter-bored holes on the bottom side of your sled. First, use a forstner bit to drill a hole that will allow the head of the carriage bolt to be completely inset in the plywood. Then drill out the center of each of those holes with a drill bit that matches the diameter of your carriage bolts. Now you should have quite a few options to insert a carriage bolt from below and because it is sunk into the sled you shouldn’t be scratching up the table saw surface. The one I made is 12” wide and has a carriage bolt location at every 3” in both directions.
To hold your work piece down we need a few arms. The simplest form of a hold down arm is a long piece of wood with a few holes drilled in it. It is beneficial to drill the holes bigger than the diameter of the carriage bolt to allow for non horizontal clamping of odd thickness materials. You will also need some various thickness scraps for spacer blocks for the opposite side of the arms.
You can make some fancy 5 point star knobs if you wish. I chose to cut a few scrap squares of maple and put a t-nut in the middle. Another option is to use regular hex nuts. To use hex nuts drill a through hole that is the diameter of your carriage bolt and drill a counter-bore that is the depth of your hex nut and the same diameter as the width of the hex nut. Then pound the nut into the counter-bore with a hammer.
I hope you might find this little jig useful. I don’t have any plans for it because it’s pretty self explanatory. Last year I made a smaller version that ran on the miter slot. The video is pretty crappy but for those who are interested here it is.