How to Cut a Taper on a Table Saw

Table saws are very versatile when it comes to carpentry and other woodworking. They can be used for cutting up the largest pieces of lumber to shaping really small wooden planks.

If you're involved in carpentry activities every day, then you'll always find a reason to use a table saw for every task you need to get done. 

Because of its versatility, you can use a table saw to cut tapers too. In case you're new to this technique, we'll explain how to cut a taper on a table saw so you can add that to one of the table saw's uses.

The Process of cutting a taper on a table saw

How To cut a taper on a table saw

Cutting tapers is pretty easy and quick to handle with a table saw. Taper cutting has many common techniques, but right now we'll show you how to cut a taper on a table saw with the following steps:

Step 1: Making the Layout

The first step is marking the cutting sections in the finished area. Use a pencil and straightedge or long ruler to lay out your desired line to be cut on the blank wood plank. Don't forget to draw lines or mark the sides of the slot where the blade will cut through the wood's width. This is also known as the kerf line.

Step 2: Attach Guide Board

To make a guide board, you just have to take any ordinary plywood or board scrap. Make sure it's wide so it can cover the discarded material completely. It should also be long enough to extend more than the ends of the blank material.

After you have your guideboard, align this to the layout and kerf lines you made. Just to be safe, you can nail it to the discarded material with some nails. It's best to use a nailer instead of a hammer for a smoother finish. 

This way, when it's being cut through with the saw, the wooden boards won't slide away from the designated lines where they're aligned

Step 3: Setting the Table Saw Fence

Flip your boards, so their ends meet and use the width of your guide board to fix the fence position on the table saw. Make sure the fence is set up straight so you can glide your wooden boards properly along with the saw.

Step 4: Beginning the Cut

Run your table saw, withdraw your guide board, and then carefully cut through the wood. After the finished part falls off, you'll have a clean tapered cut. Make a few more tapers with the same measurements and check if they're all identical so you can know you didn't make a mistake.

Step 5: Using a Taper Guide

Another invention you can use is the taper guide. It's a type of metal tool with 2 legs that are connected at one end. It can be set to any angle and has screws you can tighten, so the angle stays firm in place.

First, you need to draw the lines for your cut on the wooden board. Then set the taper guide between the board and fence while the table saw's blade is sticking out. Adjust the angle so that the kerf lines on the board connect to where the table saw's blade is.

After everything is fixed, set your fence and taper guide, start your saw blade and then move the board through the blade. This technique is simple once you master the taper guide. But the advantage of this is that you don't need a guide board or a jig.

Final Words

There are many ways to cut a taper on a table saw. You can use various tools or make your own D.I.Y ones to help ensure the perfect taper cut on your wooden boards or planks. Hopefully, the article has helped you get a better idea of how to efficiently and effectively use your table saw to cut tapers.

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