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Discussion Starter #1
So if I'm wanting to do half lap joints on a table saw, is it a pretty fair statement that the best way to do that is to build a simple cross cut sled and just run my material several times to cut away the material?

I'm thinking of stealing shamelessly the idea from this thread: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/self-watering-elevated-garden-box-59879/

I realized that I'd never done a lap joint before and upon research found that cross cut sleds are very good for this. I needed to make a cross cut sled anyway but I just want to confirm that, short of making a specific jig for this, the cross cut sled (and running the material through multiple times) is the simplest/best way to accomplish these joints.

I ordered a miter slider for the sled already as I figure even if I decide not to use the cross cut sled for this particular project it will be good to have.

Thoughts?
 

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You do not need the crosscut sled. For that simple operation your miter gauge will work just fine. I would put an auxiliary fence on it with a stop block.

George
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You do not need the crosscut sled. For that simple operation your miter gauge will work just fine. I would put an auxiliary fence on it with a stop block.

George
I forgot to mention I thoroughly dislike my miter gauge. At present there is play inside the track and I am just waiting to convince my wife to allow me to buy a nice Incra - probably the V120 or similar. I need something that is adjustable inside the track so I can eliminate the play as it wreaks havoc on my work.

Also I see no reason not to build a cross cut sled for future projects so I'll end up making one for one reason or another.

So is passing the material over the running blade multiple times the best way to accomplish these lap joint cuts on a table saw?
 

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Build a cross cut sled that provides zero clearance for your dado blade. You do have a dado blade, huh?

BTW, I used the plans published by Woodsmith magazine. It is called the Precision Cross Cut Sled. Google it and you should find it.

Good luck.
Mike
 

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That's one way to do it

By making multiple kerfs across the workpiece sliding it down as you go will take a loooong time. It would not be my first choice for removing those areas of material at a time. I would prefer a dado set either in the table saw or in a RAS.

My first choice for ease and expediency would be a bandsaw. The work can lay on the table and be stopped by a block clamped to the fence for depth. I use this method all the time. A lap joint is just a half of a tenon. Look in at 2: 20 sec:


Another method on the tablesaw is a tenon jig, which can hold the piece vertically on end over the blade a uniform distance away. Practice will make perfect cuts or make cuts perfect.

A sled is a safe way to make crosscuts, but a good miter gauge with an extended fence will be just fine also. The kerf in the fence is a good reference for where the cut will be.

You can also use a sliding motion at 90 degrees across the blade, removing small amounts of material at a time. The fence can act as a stop for the shoulder. Bump cutting is the term for this method, if I recall.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does it have to be done with a tablesaw, or are you open for an alternative method?




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I only have access to the following - a 12" miter saw, table saw with 10" blade (for which I can do maximum of half inch dados because of the length of my arbor bolt) and a router. I figured based on those options the table saw with dado set would be the simplest method.

I don't own a bandsaw (yet) though I agree that would likely be easiest.
 

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I only have access to the following - a 12" miter saw, table saw with 10" blade (for which I can do maximum of half inch dados because of the length of my arbor bolt) and a router. I figured based on those options the table saw with dado set would be the simplest method.

I don't own a bandsaw (yet) though I agree that would likely be easiest.
It might be easier and cleaner to do it with a router. Depending on the size of the pieces, either on a table or with a handheld and a guide.






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When I make half laps, I sneak up on the depth of cut by cutting one side of scrap, flip it over and cut the other side. I keep sneaking up until only a sliver remains, about the thickness of a piece of 20# printer paper. Just my method...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I make half laps, I sneak up on the depth of cut by cutting one side of scrap, flip it over and cut the other side. I keep sneaking up until only a sliver remains, about the thickness of a piece of 20# printer paper. Just my method...
I saw this method on a YouTube video but thought it would be quicker and simpler to just measure the depth I need to cut away and then use my digital depth gauge to bring the blade height to that level.

I think I'm going to use the table saw and dado set and cut these half laps half inch at a time (the widest dado my table saw will do). Its only going to end up being a couple of passes since I'll be cutting into 2x3's.

I appreciate everyone's advice very much!
 
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