applejackson

Best blade for tapering?

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I got a new table saw recently and so I need to re-cut my tapering sled to fit the new saw (it's a zero clearance sled).

So I was getting all set to do so when a question dawned on me.

Is it better to use a ripping blade or crosscut or combo for tapering cuts?

My ripping blade is thin kerf, my other two are full kerf.

I'm leaning towards cutting it too fit the full kerf combo blade (Freud Premier Fusion) but since it's not a full rip cut or a full crosscut, I thought I'd get some opinions.

 

Thanks all

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In my opinion it's a rip cut.   Typically you're going the long direction with the grain.

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2 minutes ago, Byrdie said:

In my opinion it's a rip cut.   Typically you're going the long direction with the grain.

Yes, agree. Almost always cutting with the grain when I taper legs. 

 

Thanks

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If you get a good finish off your combo blade i'd go that route so there is less clean up. Otherwise i'd say rip blade.

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That Premier Fussion is a sweet blade that leaves a finish like glass, but for thicker, harder wood, you might want to try the rip blade if burning gets to be a problem.

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19 minutes ago, drzaius said:

That Premier Fussion is a sweet blade that leaves a finish like glass, but for thicker, harder wood, you might want to try the rip blade if burning gets to be a problem.

These legs are poplar, 3" x 3", tapering down to 2” by 2".

I'm cutting the sled to fit my ripping blade.

Now the only problem I have to solve is that, when sitting on the sled, the thickness of the work piece exceeds the maximum depth of cut on my table saw by about 1/2".

My rough plan, as of about 30 seconds ago is to cut it as deep as I can, and spin the leg around 180* and then cut the remaining 1/2".

I really don't like cuts where the top of the blade is buried in the work piece but I don't know of any other way around it.

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I use a tapering jig that rides up against the fence with no sled for this same reason.  Max depth of cut on my 10" saw is about 3.125".  As long as I keep the jig firmly against the rip fence I don't have any problems.

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Band saw? I do all my tapers there and then cleanup with the jointer or hand plane. I thought we were talking small legs. Anything that gets over 2.5" I feel gets dicy on the table saw. If you are going that thick all the time i'd do a rip blade.

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9 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Band saw? I do all my tapers there and then cleanup with the jointer or hand plane. I thought we were talking small legs. Anything that gets over 2.5" I feel gets dicy on the table saw. If you are going that thick all the time i'd do a rip blade.

@Chestnut thanks, good suggestion. I've got it dialed in pretty well on the TS, though I'll have some cleanup to do on the jointer. Or with a handplane. I'll let you all know how it turns out. As always, I appreciate the advice.

 

 

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Well I may have spoken too soon. This will work to taper two of the 4 faces but not the other two. Those might have to be done on the bandsaw.

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The miter gauge idea is pretty clever but yeah you won't be able to get all 4 sides tthat way.

The nice thing about tapers is that they don't need to be 100% identical. slight variation in size and angle goes completely unnoticeable. The big thing is to make sure that the point where the taper begins is at the roughly the same height all the way around. I've been 1/4 " off and it's been ok though.

Save the offcuts and use them as shims for other tasks in the shop like if you ever have to run a twisted board across your jointer or if you hare having binding issues with cutting something with your track saw ect. I have a stack of shims and use them often then they hit the scrap bin after use typically. Or dare i say if you ever need to shim a door. My last house all of the doors were shimmed with custom 1 of a kind walnut shims. Super bespoke, it's probably why i made as much as i did when i sold it.

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@Chestnut wow you read my mind, I just got done storing the cutoffs with the rest of my shim stock when I read your comment.

They came out ok. I like to begin the taper an inch or so from the top but I had to clean these up on the jointer so I lost that effect. 

Oh well.

Sent a pic to the customer and she's thrilled so I guess that's all that counts.

 

 

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Maybe I'm missing something but both Apple and Nut mention only being able to cut two sides.  Don't you save the offcuts and tape them back on to cut the 3rd and 4th sides?  That's what I've always done though I have to credit Norm for knowing to do that.

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@Byrdie I considered that, but minus the kerf from the cuts, I didn't know if that would affect it or not.

I cut two sides on the table saw and the other two on the bandsaw free hand. Which led to me using the jointer to clean them up and losing some of the taper. Live and learn. I've never tapered legs this fat before. Usually the legs I put on tables are rarely more than 2x2 at most at the fat end.

 

This is for a customer at the store (Rockler) who is a college student and made this ornate table for a class. 

It's probably close to 4' on each side (square) and she bought these broomstick legs for it and well... It looks horrible. Big, Stout table on 4 tiny, skinny legs. 

These will be a dramatic improvement, if nothing else.

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I've never had an issue with taping them on.  You end up sliding them up toward the narrow end of the cut so you get a flat surface but because the angle matches it gets you back to parallel sides to cut the opposite side.

When I get home I'll try to remember to get a shot of the taper jig I use and post it.

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@Byrdie sounds good, and I wasn't doubting you. It was just one of those things where I was thinking about it and didn't know if it would work out or not so I went with something that felt a little more comfortable. Thanks and take care amigo.

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