Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome, Guest! Log In  |  Join Now
More
Close

Half-lap joints

Sure, you can find woodworking joints more beautiful than the half-lap. And, one or two joints might be stronger. But few woodworking joints match the half-lap for all-around usefulness and ease of construction.

Before you make this cut

Before you make this cut

As you can see by the illustration, a half-lap joint consists of two workpieces reduced to half of their thickness where they lap over each other. This provides a face-grain-to-face-grain joint with plenty of gluing surface. Simple butt joints, on the other hand, rely on an end-grain-to-edge-grain bond that can break easily. Even a dowel-reinforced butt joint won't prove as strong as a half-lap.

Half-lap joints do reveal end grain on both sides of the joint, so avoid using the joint where such an appearance proves objectionable. We often use half-laps for shop-cabinet door frames, workbench leg frames, outdoor furniture, and internal web frames for furniture such as dressers.

You need only a tablesaw or radial-arm saw to make a half-lap. We prefer to use a dado set for fast and smooth results.

If you don't own a dado set that will cleanly shear cross grain and leave the sawn surface smooth and flat, we suggest you use a router table outfitted with a straight bit. Here, we show how to make corner- and T-joints with a tablesaw, but you easily can adapt these techniques to your radial-arm saw or router table.


Continued on page 2:  Four easy steps to lap-joint sucess

 

close


Comments (5)
7943808698
blurover wrote:

I believe mmyjak has a good point. You should us a short stop block against the fence that allows the work piece to clear before the cut begins. Also, the method described by berowen uses much less material.

9/2/2012 07:57:04 AM Report Abuse
wdworker509644 wrote:

Miter gauge can be used safely IF the cut is not all the way through the stock.

7/21/2012 05:43:39 PM Report Abuse
kerrygmo wrote:

Berowen, thanks for that tip. That's as easy as it gets.

7/19/2012 10:41:18 PM Report Abuse
mmyjak wrote:

I don't like to advocate using the Miter Gauge in conjunction with the Rip Fence. Rather then instill a potentially bad habit, its just as easy to use a gauge block clamped to the rip fence.

5/4/2012 08:33:23 AM Report Abuse
berowen wrote:

Alternative method for setting depth is to use a scrap piece that is the same thickness as your project wood. Raise your blade to just under 1/2 the stock thickness (eyeballing will do). Make a test cut, flip the piece, make another cut. Bump up the blade height again and repeat the two cuts until the left over sliver of wood just disappears. You should now have a perfectly set blade height.

5/3/2012 10:34:22 AM Report Abuse

Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In

Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."

 

 
 
Connect With Us
more smart savings
  • Recent Posts
  • Top Posts
See More >