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Old 05-09-2008, 12:12 PM   #1
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Lap Joints

I have been kind of a DIYer for a long time. That is not to say that I have any great expertise, just too cheap to hire it done plus I love to work on home improvement. I recently added to my shop, a Hitachi Table Saw which I desperately needed. That brings my shop inventory to Dewalt Compound Miter Saw, Makita Belt sander, Dewalt finishing sander and Hitachi portable electric planner, Makita plunge router and jig saw. I say all of this just to let you know what I have to work with. Not much, but ok for a beginner such as me. Here is the rub. I want to make a gate off my patio and wanted to join the 2x4s with 1/2 Lap Joints. I can make the half cut at the end of each 2x4 for the start of the joint but I am having fits trying to figure out how to cut the 2x4 in half (on the side)just to the vertical cut to join the 2x4 end. I guess that I may have to use a jig saw or a hand saw to complete the cut. I hope I have made myself clear. I was wondering if there is a jig that will let me complete the Lap Joint cut completely on the table saw. I have read that this is a very easy joint to make but thus far I am not finding that so. I appreciate any advice anyone has.



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Old 05-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #2
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Raise the blade on the table saw as high as it will go and mark your fence the leading edge of the blade. Cut until your half lap is to this mark, stop the blade and remove the piece. Finish off with a rip handsaw and sharp chisel.
You could use your plunge router and remove all of the material or a dado blade in the table saw, but these methods are more time consuming and make more dust/ chips.
As a side note you should consider getting an air circulator/filter for your shop. This will remove most of the unhealthy, fine dust from the air before it settles.


Last edited by 47_47; 05-09-2008 at 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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Lap joints are ideally done with a dado blade. That way you can leave the boards flat and cut the laps with the blade only a little bit above the table's surface.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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You could use this tenon jig for your table saw , this way you will saw your fingers, The above suggestions are fine.if your setting up your shop this is a must. price $132.00 Good luck Bob
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