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Half-lap joint jig

Cutting on-the-money rabbets for half-lap joints with a portable circular saw and handheld router is a breeze with this two-in-one jig.

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Build the jig

Build the jig

You can make a simple half-lap joint on your tablesaw with a dado blade, miter-gauge extension, and a workpiece stop. But when working with very long parts, cutting them on a tablesaw proves awkward at best, and maybe unsafe. And what if you don't own a tablesaw? Here's how to form the rabbets that make up a half-lap joint with portable tools. With this jig, you'll save time by cutting several parts with one setup.

First, build the jig

To make the jig base, measure from the motor edge of your circular-saw base to the blade, and add 1/8". Then chuck a 1/2" straight bit into your router, measure from the edge of the router subbase to the bit, and add 1/8". To these two dimensions, add 1 1/2" for the guide, and cut an 18"-long piece of 1/2" medium-density fiberboard to this width.

Cut the guide to the size shown right. Glue and clamp it to the base. Then, with the glue dry, clamp the base to your workbench with the saw side overhanging. With the saw base against the guide, trim the saw side to width. Now with the router side overhanging the workbench, use your router with the 1/2" bit to trim the router side to width.

Measure the trimmed width of the base, and cut two cleats to this length. Then glue and clamp the cleats to the bottom of the base, flush at the ends and edges.

Continued on page 2:  Put the jig to work


Comments (3)
pmd0809 wrote:

Vivo en Mexico y quiero las promociones que publican pero cuando registro mis datos, al llegar a lo relacionado con direccion no puedo acceder por que solo están los de EUA y ya no puedo enviar mi solicitud. ¿Que puedo hacer?

2/19/2012 05:25:10 PM Report Abuse
reffi wrote:

I cut rabbets,dadoes, tenons and half-lap joints by mounting a dado set on my radial alarm saw. Any cut that is going to be long that requires turning the saw head at right angles and using a rip cut should not be done alone. A slow feed and a person on each end is the way to go. I built a king-size water bead with a dado in each of the sides (like a drawer box bottom slot)in 1973. My wife and I were on opposite ends as we fed the boards through the saw.

2/17/2012 06:09:48 AM Report Abuse
Roger L. wrote:

Simple and effective jig, I keep a similar one in my truck that I made years ago . . . to cut door bottoms. Simply mark each side of the door for the correct clearance and then line the circular saw side with each mark. Clamp in place with padded grip type clamps, makes quick work of cutting a whole house of doors .

2/16/2012 10:59:52 AM Report Abuse

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