George Vondriska

Table Saw Joinery: Tenons and Half Laps

George Vondriska
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Duration:   11  mins

If you’re building furniture, there’s a good chance you’ll be using mortise and tenon joinery. Want to make an exceptionally robust frame? Half lap joints are a rock-solid way to go. You can easily, and accurately, put tenons and half laps on your table saw—once you know a few tricks.

Start with a Dado Head

The easiest way to remove a LOT of material quickly is by using a dado head. For table saw tenons and half laps, I build the dado head up as wide as it will go.

Set the Height

When setting the height of the dado head for tenons, keep in mind the size of the tenon—the amount of material you’re trying to leave centered in the board. Using brass bar stock instead of measuring really simplifies setup. For half laps you’re taking away half the thickness of each board. In both cases, start with the dado head too low and sneak up on the final height setting by making test cuts.

Tenon Length

The length of the tenon is controlled by the fence position. On the Laguna saw, you can simply slide the fence face out of the way to achieve this. On other saws you may have to add a sacrificial fence.

Test Cuts

Be sure to make test cuts in scrap before cutting your project pieces. Your test pieces need to be the same thickness as your project pieces.

Table Saws Are So Versatile

Many woodworkers consider table saws to be the heart of their shop. There are so many things that can be done on a table saw.

More Info

For more info on the Laguna table saws, visit the company’s website.

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3 Responses to “Table Saw Joinery: Tenons and Half Laps”

  1. Josh Bondarchuk

    I don't want to be *that guy*, but there are all sorts of dangerous activities going on in this video. Which I haven't seen in any other ones. Reaching across and assembling parts next to a spinning blade. Using the miter gauge and the fence at the same time. All sorts of accidents waiting to happen.

  2. Andrew Heathcote

    Shouldn't George wait for the blades to fully stop before working near them/it, and why didn't he use the fence to put the wood against, also I have an aid, made by Trend that gives me a digital height readout for setting up saws, routers etc.- it's not very expensive, and can save a lot of messing about and waste.

  3. Brett Laff

    What kind of dado set is being used?

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