How to Build Tapered Wooden Columns

By Chris Baylor

Tapered wooden columns and tapered legs on furniture are a design element that bring a subtle, yet stated, elegance to a piece of furniture or architecture. Creating a smooth, continuous taper on a solid piece of wood can be challenging if attempted by hand. However, by employing a tapering jig on a table saw, cutting consistent tapers can be done quite easily. There are a variety of styles of tapering jigs, but all use a similar procedure for tapering stock.

Mark the beginning and ending points of the taper on the stock to be tapered.

Position the tapering jig onto the table saw to the right of the blade. Align the top and bottom marks of one of the tapers with the left edge of the tapering jig.

Adjust the angle of the jig to match the position of the stock. Tighten the angle lock.

Place the stock firmly against the stop at the bottom of the jig.

Raise the table saw blade and turn on the motor. Ease the jig forward, keeping the stock firmly against the stop until the taper on one side has been cut. Pull the jig back to the starting position, rotate the stock for the next taper and repeat the process.

Tip

For tapering jigs that use a miter slot for guidance, use the right miter slot. For tapering jigs that use the fence as a guide, position the fence the width of the tapering jig to the right of the saw blade.

Warning

When working with power tools, always wear appropriate safety equipment, particularly safety glasses.

About the Author

Chris Baylor has been writing about various topics, focusing primarily on woodworking, since 2006. You can see his work in publications such as "Consumer's Digest," where he wrote the 2009 Best Buys for Power Tools and the 2013 Best Buys for Pressure Washers.