A flush-fitting half-lap joint begins with setting the dado blade to the proper height. Start with two pieces of scrap the same thickness as your workpieces. Set the dado-blade height to just under half the thickness of the scrap. Using the miter gauge to guide the piece, cut a rabbet in one end of each scrap. With the two pieces resting on a flat surface, test how the rabbets fit together. Adjust the blade height until the faces fit flush with no gap between the rabbets.

—From the WOOD® magazine shop