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The older name for the tapered finger joint was a splice joint since that was all that that type joint is used for, to splice the end of two boards together to make a longer board. If the thickness of all the fingers change then the individual cutters must be spreading apart a bit from the pressure of the cut. Otherwise I'm wondering if the board is lifting up or pushing down and not making a perfectly horizontal cut?
 
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I have this one: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/380447121420?item=380447121420&rmvSB=true

I got it cheap on ebay not knowing if I would ever have a use for it or not. I tried it once just to see what it would do and I think it went together okay but it takes so much of a cut that it needs to be done in several passes using a miter sled of some sort so that you can control the depth per cut easier plus keep it square and resist the tear out. How did you run your piece through?
 

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You might want to look at a gap filling glue like Lee Valley's 202GF with a higher solids content than average glue (the GF stands for gap filler). If the fit is loose don't use polyurethane glue, they require a tight fitting joint to work. If it has to be water proof then you may have to go with epoxy and maybe some filler compound in it.
 
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