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