Sometimes, it seems almost impossible to safely and effectively cut several identical irregularly shaped pieces on a tablesaw.

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A simple jig and custom-made templates help you cut tapers or nearly any irregular shape with straight sides. First, build an auxiliary-fence jig of 34 " plywood that allows plenty of clearance above and to the side of the saw blade as shown. The jig should be as long as the fence.

Now, cut a template of the blank to be duplicated, taking extreme care to ensure correct dimensions and angles. Attach this to the workpiece with brads or double-faced tape, and rough-cut the wood material to within 12 -1" of the final size. (A bandsaw works well for this task.) Then, with the jig attached to the fence, make the final cuts. For safety's sake, turn off the saw after each cut and clear the scraps to avoid possible kickbacks or binding.

—Mike Jagielo, Almond, Wis.