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The tapered-legs-on-a-jointer method actually works (lol)

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Forum topic by SharkeysEnd posted 11-05-2018 12:38 PM 910 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SharkeysEnd

55 posts in 94 days


11-05-2018 12:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer tapered legs

Hi all. I had seen a few videos of people showing how to taper table legs and such on a joint her, but I was very skeptical that It would work for me. Because I only have an old craftsman 6-1/8” jointer that I picked up used.

What I also found out is that you can use the method more than once if your jointer can’t make a deep enough cut. I had wanted to do a 1” taper, meaning I needed to do a half inch cut. But my jointer only cuts to about 1/8” or so. So I grabbed a piece of scrap and tried tapering the same leg twice, and sure enough it worked. Surprisingly well.

You can’t see from the picture, but the legs are slightly rectangular. So I did three rounds on the wide side and two on the narrower side. This is just my first furniture project, I have no high aspirations for it. I’m using mahogany, which is something I’m sure I will regret.

Edit – I have to clean them up a little, but that’s no big deal. And I changed the forum.

-- "Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder." -Gandalf


21 replies so far

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jutsFL

41 posts in 18 days


#1 posted 11-06-2018 02:40 AM

Nice. Ive watched a few videos on this but hadnt given it a shot yet. Good to hear of its relative ease, but I’ll surely foul it up the first try or two :D

-- Jay - FL

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jmos

894 posts in 2546 days


#2 posted 11-06-2018 12:34 PM

Yes, it does work well. I used it on my last project. I thought it might be dicey, but everything was well controlled.

-- John

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LazarusDB

34 posts in 342 days


#3 posted 11-06-2018 02:54 PM

I’ve used the method as well after watching a Popular Woodworking video on the technique. Don’t know that I’ll ever use another method it was so easy and produced such good results.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

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SharkeysEnd

55 posts in 94 days


#4 posted 11-06-2018 03:08 PM


... I ll surely foul it up the first try or two :D

That’s what scrap is for! Try it – you’ll like it! ;-)

Don’t know that I’ll ever use another method it was so easy and produced such good results.

Same here

-- "Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder." -Gandalf

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WoodenDreams

211 posts in 87 days


#5 posted 11-06-2018 05:07 PM

Without watching the video, You mark a pencil line the angle, then joint to the line. simple. I’ve also tapered legs with a edge sander, mark the pencil line and sand.

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Phil32

176 posts in 80 days


#6 posted 11-06-2018 05:13 PM

This is a straightforward task on a jointer – one I learned in Junior High Wood Shop class 75 years ago. The tapered legs were in maple and attached to the table rails with mortise & tenon joints.

-- Phil Allin - Ventura, CA

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 355 days


#7 posted 11-06-2018 05:15 PM

Why would you do this? It seems it would be incredibly slow compared to table saw/jig.

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SharkeysEnd

55 posts in 94 days


#8 posted 11-06-2018 05:25 PM



Why would you do this? It seems it would be incredibly slow compared to table saw/jig.
- CWWoodworking

I don’t consider it a slow process at all. I was done in about 10 minutes. Now that I’ve done it and trust the results I could probably do it in 5. A few measurements and away you go…

-- "Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder." -Gandalf

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WoodenDreams

211 posts in 87 days


#9 posted 11-06-2018 06:03 PM

We all seem to use a method that seems to be easy or quicker for us.

View LazarusDB's profile

LazarusDB

34 posts in 342 days


#10 posted 11-06-2018 06:23 PM


I don t consider it a slow process at all. I was done in about 10 minutes. Now that I ve done it and trust the results I could probably do it in 5. A few measurements and away you go…

- SharkeysEnd

Completely agree.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

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jmos

894 posts in 2546 days


#11 posted 11-06-2018 06:48 PM

Folks that haven’t seen the technique should watch the video, you’re not just jointing to a line. That would be slow and not terribly accurate.

The quick version: set your jointer to take 1/2 the total amount of taper you want per face. Run the bottom of the leg through the jointer to cut that depth half the total distance of the taper. Flip the leg so the top is facing the blades, using a push block, press the bottom of the leg against the table, so the top is sticking up, and run the leg all the way through the jointer. This takes off the full taper amount.

Total of 2 passes per face, unless you’r jointer can’t take the depth you need.

It really is quick and accurate. It seems questionable having the leg pointing up in the air, but as soon as you start cutting, the outfeed table gives you plenty of support. I think it’s faster, more accurate, and easier to set up than using a table saw.

-- John

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

176 posts in 80 days


#12 posted 11-06-2018 06:59 PM

I would suggest that the taper begin below the portion of the leg where the rails will be joined. This requires starting the jointer pass below that point. So you drop the leg onto the outfeed table and continue to jointer pass.

-- Phil Allin - Ventura, CA

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 355 days


#13 posted 11-06-2018 08:13 PM

I just made 24 tapered legs this morning so this is fresh on my mind. 2 different types. Im sorry I just don’t get it. You have to mark every leg?why not just mark one piece(jig)? Set up on table saw is about 30 seconds. You make one pass vs two with jointer.

I guess if you didn’t have scrap to make a jig it’s ok. Other than that it’s just an inefficient way to make a taper.

But if you guys like it, who really cares.

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bandit571

21548 posts in 2860 days


#14 posted 11-06-2018 08:26 PM

Usually…since I do not have a powered Jointer….rough sawn at the bandsaw , leaving the lines…hand planes to smooth the saw marks…last pass, and no sanding required. Have used the tablesaw for tapers…and having to spend TIME removing the saw marks.

A #5 jack plane can do 95% of the taper….then a pass or two with either a longer jointer (#7 size) or just a #4 sized plane. Rotate, repeat…..

A tad messy….

A bundle of 4 tapered legs….doesn’t take all that long to do….
YMMV

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Tony_S

942 posts in 3259 days


#15 posted 11-06-2018 08:58 PM

I would definitely do it this way….................If my table saw was broken!! lol!
It’s always good to know more than one technique though. Never stop learning.

Pisses me off when I see anyone using push sticks like the ones in the vid jmos posted. They’re dangerous as hell, especially on a table saw. A push ‘shoe’ is by FAR the safer tool to use.

Popular wood working should know better, they’re the teachers.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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