I’ve got several tapering jigs in my shop, including both shop-built and store-bought designs, but I doubt they’ll get much more use now that I’ve tried a new taper jig called the Microdial from the folks at MicroJig. You might recall that we reviewed innovative push blocks from them a few months ago, and they also have some new basic push blocks, too. We’ll check out both new tools in this review.

Precise, repeatable tapers
Most taper jigs designed to work on the table saw are intended for cutting tapered legs or similar parts. The typical design has a pivoting edge that holds the workpiece and a fixed edge that slides against the table saw fence. The problem arises when you cut two adjoining tapers then want to continue around the leg to cut the third and fourth side. You have to double the angle setting on the jig. And if you ever want to come back and make more tapered legs to match, you have to try to repeat the settings. Easier said than done on some jigs.
Not so with the Microdial unit. It gets its name from two ingenious dial stops that allow you to calculate tapers precisely either by angle degrees or by rise and run. The dials lock into pin detents to precisely select the setting you choose, then a simple locking knob secures the jig for work. Two more movable stops are available to make it really easy to repeat two settings.
Safety first
Not only is the tapering jig precise and easy to use, but it also offers a higher measure of safety when paired with MicroJig’s GRR-Ripper push blocks. They can be attached right to the tapering jig to better hold the work. Most tapering jigs have very little to hold the work other than a base pin or lip. That’s not much gripping power, especially when working with long, slim tapers.
Another new safety tool from MicroJig is the GRR-Rip push block. This is a very basic push block especially for handling wider work in machines such as a jointer or table saw. The jig has four gravity-activated stops, two at each end, that instantly fall down to provide a pushing lip or just as quickly lift out of the way when not needed. The contact surface of rubber with raised circles is very grippy.
You can learn more about these and other MicroJig tools at www.microjig.com.

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