How to Make a Half Lap Joint on a Table Saw with Two Cuts and a Jig

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Attractive, strong half lap joints are really quite easy to make. In this video, you’ll learn how to make a half lap joint on your table saw with a shop-made jig and just two cuts.

The Setup

To make a two-cut half lap joint on the table saw, you’ll use a shop-made tenoning jig to hold the workpieces that you’ll run vertically and then horizontally over the blade. The two cuts form the notches that fit together to form the joint. This is how to make a half lap joint that’s sturdy and good-looking.

The Importance of Test Places

To ensure that the cuts on the actual workpieces are perfect, create test pieces the exact same thickness as the heroes. All of your blade adjustments will be done on these test pieces so there’s no worry of making a mistake on the heroes.

Adjusting the Blade

You’ll set the blade height to the width of the workpiece. You’ll learn exactly how this is done in the video. You’ll also learn why overcutting is okay and undercutting is not. It can take multiple tries on the test pieces before everything is adjusted properly and the notches come together to form a flush joint.

Making the Final Cuts

You’ve learned how to make a half lap joint and now it’s time to make the final cuts.One slick trick to make sure you’re cutting the board the right way is to mark the side that faces the bade with an ‘X.’ Then if you get distracted or called away, you’ll know which way to orient the board for the cut. You’ll also discover a tip for how to keep waste pieces from zinging back at you. Once you learn how to use a table saw to make half lap joints, you’ll want to use them in as many projects as possible.

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