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I was asked to make another pizza paddle for my local sub shop, they seem to burn up one a year! I still have a broken one they gave me a few years ago, I'll show you how i make it, but that's not the purpose of this page. Basically I want to show you how to make a simple taper jig. Then blast through a project that looks more difficult than it really is. Don't be afraid to try somethin different, being different is creative, and that's a good thing!
I start out with a 6' length of 1x6 poplar. There is enough room in the handle area to get two halves out of a shorter piece. The shaded area at left shows my broken sample piece on one side and plenty of room for the other half on the other side of the shaded area. After a very rough layout I cut through the center of the shaded area to create both halves.
After rough cutting down the middle of the shaded area, i flip one side over and you can see the very rough idea of what we're making. Notice the gap between the boards? We can't glue this up with a space like that, so we'll pass both sides through the jointer a few times to make them fit nicely.
No I'm not measuring anything, just using a straight edge to draw some layout lines for our biscuits. I'll put 3 biscuits in the handle to help align things during the glue up. When you set up your biscuit joiner, be sure to cut the slots exactly in the middle. This is fairly important, since the overall thickness will be 1/2" thick. 
No biscuits in the wider area, this area will be tapered to near zero so we don't want the biscuits poking through our finished project.
No I still haven't measured a thing here yet, just using my rule to insure my assembly is nice and flat. Everything is over sized, so there is no need to protect our project from clamp damage.
At the other end of the assembly, i use a few scraps off wood clamped to both sides of the wide end, to insure the assembly is flat. This is very important, so we can taper the paddle on both sides evenly. We don't want a cupped end. All bar clamps should be good and snug, but don't over tighten, this forces all the glue out of the joint, and you'll end up with a glue starved joint. Not good!
After the glue dries, a simple scraper is the easiest way to remove the little balls of glue from the wood. Nothing perfect here just make things flat!
OK, now we're down to the good stuff. we're going to taper this paddle on both sides from a 1/2" handle thickness to about a 1/16" thickness at the tip. In the pic at left are a couple of taper jigs I made from 1/4"plywood, just for this job. The narrow end is 3/4" he same as the stock, and 16" away the thickness is 1-5/16"
Use very short screws to attach the jigs to the sides of the paddle. The 3/4" end goes at the tip of the paddle. Center the 1-5/16" end of the jig near the handle, you should have a hair over 1/4" on both sides of the paddle.
Ok, now we're going to measure the height of a 3/4" straight cutting bit for a height of just under 3/8". That's pretty close to the center of the stock. 
I like to show off my "Router Raizer" that I installed recently. It easily allows you to adjust the height of your router table bits from above. The removable crank allows you to raise and lower the bit easily with one hand while holding a rule with the other. No more fumbling around for me! Well at least not here at the router table. 

Click here to see how I installed mine.
Click here to purchase one.

One last thing to do before we route the taper, fill the miter slot with stock that fits snug and is flush to the table top. This is important because as we rout the paddle, eventually the jig we screwed on will have the opportunity to fall in the slot, ruining your work piece.
Now set up your fence so the bit will miss the screws you used to secure the jig to the work piece. You did measure them, right? Notice in the pic at left the bit is removing nearly half of the stock....
....but as it exits, it removes only about 1/8" of stock! now flip the paddle over and plow a groove in the other side.
You can see in this pic that we have a nice little taper going on here, now lets make it bigger.
Move the fence away from the bit and make another pass, flip the paddle and cut the other side again. Then move the fence away again. Continue the procedure till you reach the other side.... but don't forget about the screws on the other side, they will ruin your router bit!
Now you can begin to see what we'll end up with. A nice taper on both sides! By controlling the height of a work piece over the router bit, you can control the depth! What else could you use this type of jig for?
Ok, back to the pizza paddle. remove your patterns and stuff it through your planer. Alternate the side you mill so the leading edge of the paddle remains in the center, and the biscuits we put in earlier also remain hidden!
Now over to the band saw to cut things out. Notice where my finger is, you can see the part where the jig was screwed to.
Use your drum sander to clean up in the tight places and your random orbital sander to clean up the faces of the paddle and the handle. 
Chuck a 3/16" radius bit in your router table and ease the edges. Stay away from the skinny part of the taper, you'll run off the ball bearing on your bit. Clean this up by hand.
A little final hand sanding your done. No finish on this product, it will get burned in the oven for a nice yucky brown color! 
When I deliver this, I'll be guaranteed another year of free coffee!

For another take on Pizza Paddles, be sure to visit
Mike Senese's webpage,
you'll be impressed!

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