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Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for HomeHome ▸ Woodworking How-To ▸ Joinery ▸ 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

As you can see by the illustration above, 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 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.

Four easy steps to lap-joint sucess

Install your complete dado set so you get the widest cut possible with it (typically 13⁄16 ). Raise the blade above the table (exact height isn''re working with pieces of different widths, keep in mind that you use a workpiece''t get them confused. Keep in mind that you need to place the face side of one piece up, and the face side of the adjoining piece down, during this step.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Set your miter gauge for a square cut, and attach an auxiliary wooden fence to it. 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