Prototype Taper Jig Using Microjig Dovetail Clamps
Since I first learned about the Microjig dovetail clamps (microjig.com), I have wanted to make a jig using the clamps. One might call this a solution looking for a problem. I decided to re-purpose an existing shop built taper jig to use the dovetail clamps. The prototype resulting from this exercise is shown in the attached photo. The thin black wedge shaped strip is the off cut from the first taper cut. The jig runs in the miter slot (as opposed to adjacent to the rip fence). The runner is intentionally undersized on the width. This allows the user to push the jig against the right edge of the miter channel while making the cut but pull the jig against the left edge of miter slot while returning the jig to the original position. This idea came from the internet but I do not recall where. In my estimation, the Microjig clamps work better at holding the stock in place than do toggle clamps that I had on the original jig. Also, I thing standing to the side of the saw blade is safer than standing behind the saw blade.
Based on my experience with the prototype, I am ready to proceed to the real jig. A drawing is shown on the attachment. (Note that the dovetail slots in the long direction are not shown as running the entire length. This is because of my inability to easily get SketchUp to do what I want. In this case, it is quicker to make the cuts on my router table than to make the drawing.)
There are some issues that I would like input from the community. The material I used for the prototype was good quality 3/4" baltic birch plywood. Unfortunately, cutting a kerf(s) in one side of plywood makes it "bendable plywood". Even though the plywood may have been perfectly flat in the beginning, the finished product is no longer flat. My thought is to try 3/4" MDF as it does not have a layered structure as does plywood. Rather than buy a full sheet of MDF, I am soliciting input from the community. Ideas would be appreciated.