A taper cut in woodworking is when one end of the workpiece is simply lesser than the other in relation to the angle of the cut. For it to be a true taper, there needs to be a smooth transition between the ends to be considered a taper.
Cutting a taper with a table saw isn’t as straightforward as pushing the wood through a table saw at an angle. Although, first and foremost this would be considered fairly dangerous as the wood can catch and kickback.
Secondly, you’d find it very difficult to cut a straight edge. The saw blade is incredibly quick and powerful. It is difficult to control the wood that goes through that blade.
To avoid wonky edges and lopped off fingers, the best way to get a tapered edge is to use some guide wood for your tapered cuts.
That said, we’re going to talk you through the process and take the guesswork out of using a table saw to make tapered cuts. Honestly, it’s a fairly simple process and you should get the hang of it quickly.
Why and How to Cut a Taper on a Table Saw Safely?
There are lots of situations where tapered boards or planks are called for. When it comes to kitchen fitout jobs, tapers allow fitters to create artistic custom worktops that are designed to snugly fit intricated kitchen fitouts.
While in furniture making, tapered planks are often used for legs on tables, cabinets, chairs, and benches. Tapers are generally very useful for getting wood to fit odd shapes and within places with limited dimensions.
What You’ll Need to Cut a Taper on a Table Saw
To create a straight and accurate taper, you’ll need the following tools and materials when attempting to make taper cuts with a table saw.
As you can see, cutting a taper on a table saw is a fairly easy task. If you are in the habit of cutting tapers, you could label and then keep your sleds after use. This would give you a library of different tapers you can use in the future.
Mastering the art of cutting wood using a table saw at different angles, like with a tapered cut, can really take your woodworking projects to another level.
So if you want slender-looking legs for your new crafted coffee table, and are determined to make use of a table saw for all your taper cuts, maybe read over this guide a few times before your start the saw up.
Best of luck with your woodworking ventures, and may the sawdust be with you.