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Rockler Taper / Straight Line Jig
The Rockler #21597 Taper/Straight Line Jig is a well-designed jig that allows the user to make tapered legs and put a straight edge on rough edge boards that are not square. The jig is made of MDF laminated on both sides with a melamine surface. The design incorporates a great indexing system that makes cutting tapered legs a snap and there is a non-slip tape on the bed to prevent your work from slipping. On the Rockler website there were several reviews that complained about the jig being made of MDF and that the material failed when the knobs were tightened. We were aware of these complaints when we ordered the jig but also know people often over torque the hold down bolts needlessly. We used the jig for the past year making several tapered leg tables without experiencing a failure, and never had work slip during our tests. Another complaint, or concern is that the measuring tape on the face at the ends is metal and that it causes brake fires on SawStop saws. This is a real problem, I hate re setting the saw and eating a hundred dollars because of a needless brake fire so we modified the tape by cutting it back a quarter of an inch and are looking for a non-metal tape to replace the original on a permanent basis. Among the things I like about this product is that the results are repeatable, so all you need to know is what index points you used on the original and you can come back weeks, months or even years later and make duplicates without a problem. The hold downs are great on this jig and the miter track is adjustable so you can get a snug fit without wobble or any other problems while feeding the stock through the saw.
Here are the features as per Rockler’s Website:
- Measures 31-5/8" x 7-3/4".
- Constructed of 1/2" thick MDF.
- Includes 36" miter bar.
- Indexing marks make angle setting easy — each mark represents 1° of taper.
- Dual tape measures provide convenient reference and also help set angles.
- Two wide-body hold down clamps prevent stock from drifting dangerously from your fence.
- Clamps have non-marring rubber caps for enhanced grip.
- Three adhesive strips run across the jig to help stabilize your work piece.
- With taper angle zeroed out, jig works equally well to rip straight edges on rough lumber.
All in all I like this jig, but the materials used to make it with clamp’s that can easily be over tightened is a serious issue. Its human nature to tighten clamps too tight and in several reviews on Rockler’s own page this has been a complaint. The second issue is the metal measuring tape next to the blade. It would be easy to address and Rockler should resolve this right away. The third negative is price, at 80 dollars it’s just a bit high and we feel it should be a little less. Pros would include an excellent clamping system and an excellent indexing system, producing repeatable results. It is also versatile and can be used with or without the miter track depending on the needs of the user. As I have mentioned before, jigs should make an operation safer and need to save time. This jig delivers on both of those fronts so as long as you change out the tapes if you own a SawStop, and you do not over torque the hold down clamps and rip the jig to pieces. Properly used, this product will serve you for many years, however the negatives are real and need to be addressed. At some point Rockler should make an upgraded version of this jig in Baltic Birch plywood. It would be a better product and would be much more readily accepted in the marketplace.
I give this one 4.0 stars out of 5 on my performance scale. Don’t be afraid to purchase this jig, mine is over a year old and has been heavily used and is in great shape so if you don’t abuse it, you can expect it to last you a long time and serve you well.