Build a sled for octagonal tapers
Designed to make quick work of octagons, Tom McLaughlin's bandsaw sled has an auxiliary base with a V-groove in it tacked to the main base.
V-base attaches to main base at an angle to set the taper.
The posts ride on the V-base. Because it’s skewed to the main base, the amount and angle of the overhang determines the posts’ taper. The centered V lets the sled handle both the square and octagonal tapers with the same setup.
Bandsaw the square tapers.
Because there’s plenty of material below the taper to keep the post flat on the sled, you can rotate the post 90° between passes to cut uniform tapers.
Use V-shaped spacers for the octagonal tapers.
To ensure the sled’s toggle clamps apply even pressure across the 90° corners, McLaughlin uses an offcut from the V-base.
Saw the shoulders and plane the facets.
After cutting free the waste from tapering, use a block plane to clean up the bandsawn surface. Check regularly to make sure you’re planing the tapers equally. Use the sled to hold the workpiece.