Stupid Simple Tapers

I needed to transform these 12 shelves from rectangular to tapered along the front edge.

I’m building a couple of bookcases that are out of the ordinary. These book racks are 12″ deep on one side and only 6″ deep on the other, so they taper from side to side. To cut the 12 shelves, I looked to tapered-leg jigs for inspiration. I quickly built a jig for stupid simple tapers.

Grabbing a track saw was one suggestion. Even though it would have easily done the work, I wanted something quicker. I was in the shop with a full arsenal of tools, so why not put them to work?

Shop Scrap to the Rescue

With a scrap sheet of plywood, I decided to whip up a jig to cut the shelves at my tablesaw.


I screwed down a couple of makeshift fences, added a toggle clamp to make sure things didn’t move and set about tapering the shelves. It took less than 10 minutes to do the work. If you add in the time spent to make the jig, the total time suck was about 20 minutes. Not bad considering that the front edge was dead-straight.

Next time you need to make stupid simple tapers, grab some plywood and make what you need.


— Glen D. Huey

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