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Marine Engineer
Doug
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4,960 Posts
Wood magazine had an article on it a long time ago. Basically, you make 2 different sized circles out of wood that correspond to your taper. You then screw these guys to the end of your stock using 2 screws on each side. The difference in the two circle sizes and the length of your spindle will determine your taper. You will need to leave plenty of extra length on your spindle because the cutter will not run right to the ends.

The next thing you need to do is to build a sled to safely keep the spindle in position over the bit. one of the easier ways is to make a box with ends, a back and a bottom, but no front or top. The bottom is fitted with a slot that can accept a template guide bushing. This will allow the box to slide side to side as you are "turning" but give you some support as well. I have also seen it done with no bottom on the sled, but just a back that rides against the fence, and 2 stop blocks to control your side to side travel.

Straight bits work well (spirals especially) for turning square work round, but you should knock off all the corners on the table or band saw first. After you have it round, you can add further details by using core box or plunge roundover bits for decoration.

If you want to add flutes, reeds, etc, make some octagonal or hexagonal pieces instead of circular ones. These will allow you to index your stock in the sled and just feed the piece side to side.

Remember, lots of chips, and if the bit catches it could throw a chunk of wood out at you. Eye protection, dust protection, face shield would not be a bad idea. Also, small cuts.

Hope this helps,
 
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