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Tablesaw Taper Sled

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This project appeared in our May 5, 2007 Newsletter.

Tablesaw Taper Sled

This started out as a different project until I realized that my existing taper jig would not work. Here's the previous taper jig we made in our April 2004 newsletter;

Taper Jig

What I really needed were tapers cut on a 45 degree angle using a tablesaw that tilted the blade left as well as right. Not having such a critter I had to come up with a fixture that would do the job. I designed a universal 45 degree table sled!
The idea is that I can cut tapers along with a 45 degree angle on either side of my tablesaw blade. Just to give you a sneak peak as to why I need this here is a 3D CAD rendering of my next project.

Sundial Stand

It's a sundial stand that will hold a sundial in my yard. The sides are tapered and join at 45 degree angles along the edges.

To build the taper sled you'll need the following:

Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood 28" X 28".
Set a 3/4" wide dado blade 3/8" deep using the T-Track as a guide.

Cut two groves across the plywood centered 8 1/4" in from each side.

Cut a four foot 2" X 4" in half, 24" X 2" X 4".
Cut a 3/4" X 3/4" groove along one edge of each 2" X 4".

Drill four countersunk holes spaced evenly along the bottom edge of each handle. I used my Drill Table to line the holes up.

Glue and screw the handles onto each end running the same direction as the T-Tracks.
Drill some counter sunk holes along the bottom edge of the plywood to screw into the handles and install the screws. Be sure to keep the screws clear of the saw blade area.
Cut two hardwood rails 3/4" X 3/8" X 28".
Set the tablesaw fence 8 1/2" from the edge of the track on the tabletop to the face of the fence.
Place the rails into the tracks on your tablesaw.

Apply a thin bead of glue along each rail.
Place the "sled" flush to the fence and align the rails flush to the end of the sled.

Drill countersunk holes in three places in line with the centers of the rails.
Install the screws and tighten.
Remove the sled and turn it over to remove any excess glue. Be sure to check the table for any glue.

Set your saw blade to a 45 degree angle and high enough to go through about 1 3/4". Place the sled in the tracks and cut through the entire sled. I used my handy dandy Wixey Digital Angle Gage to set my blade angle.

Digital Angle Gauge

Cut the T-Track into four foot lengths with a hack saw. File the ends smooth.

4' T-Track Kit
4' T-Track Kit

Add countersunk holes to the T-Track as required. Here's a little hint, use a brad point drill bit that just fits into the track to set the center for the countersunk hole.

Rockler 25-Piece HSS Brad Point Bit Set
Rockler 25-Piece HSS Brad Point Bit Set

Install the T-Track leaving clearance for the saw blade. I had to grind down some 5/8", #8 screws since I couldn't find any 1/2" ones.
The clamp bracket turned out to be a little tricky because of the clamps I purchased. When you put everything together the clamps would not reach down to the work piece to clamp it securely. I decided to install the clamps from the bottom of the clamp bracket.

Toggle Clamps
Toggle Clamps

Cut the clamp bracket board from 3/4" plywood 3" X 24".
Center the clamps 3" in from each end. Lay out a cut line that the clamp center will clear when installed and cut it out with a band saw.

Draw around the clamp base and the route the area so the clamp will fit flush from the bottom.

Porter Cable 690LR Router
Porter Cable 690LR Router

Install the clamp using nuts, bolts and flat washers on top. I just put two bolts into each clamp.

Using a router cut the slots for the T-bolts to go through. I cut mine on about a 30 degree angle with the center of the slot centered on the T-track. Now that I have it assembled I'm not sure how necessary that is. I think a big sloppy would work just fine.

I put big fender washers under the knobs to clear the holes and spread the pressure. That's about it. We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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