Woodsmith Tips

Adjustable Taper Jig


I recently needed to cut some tapered pieces for a project and didn’t want to invest in a manufactured jig. So I built the simple jig you see in the photo above.

It doesn’t take much material to build the jig. You probably have just about everything you’ll need lying around your shop.

Best of all, it’s accurate and can accommodate a wide variety of workpiece sizes. It also works great for ripping a straight edge on rough lumber.


Details 'a' and 'b' The base of the jig is a piece of ¾″ plywood with three long slots used to attach an adjustable fence. Each slot is recessed on the bottom so the head of a carriage bolt sits out of the way (see detail ‘a’).

An adjustable ½″ plywood fence sits on top of the base. It has slots to match the slots in the base for adjusting the angle of the taper. And four holes in the fence accept ¼″ carriage bolts for the hold-downs.

I made the four hold-downs from 1″-thick hardwood (see detail ‘b’). A slot at the top allows you to quickly position and then tighten them down with a wing nut.

To use the taper jig, adjust the fence to the desired taper and lock it in place. Then swing the hold-downs over the workpiece and tighten the wing nuts. Finally, set the rip fence of the table saw so the blade lines up with the edge of the jig. Then simply push the sled along the fence. That’s all it takes to cut perfect tapers everytime.

Good Woodworking,

Phil Huber
Online Editor, ShopNotes

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