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Half lap joints

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janus nelson08/08/2012 09:12:04
5 forum posts

Hi folks, seems like the place for answers.........

I have to cut 160 half lap joints in 45mm x 145mm x 6000mm softwood......far too much to do by hand and get perfect, can anyone suggest a machine to do the job, I am looking at a radial arm saw but which one can accomodate such timber ?, 240v only.......

Ron Davis08/08/2012 20:10:22
1619 forum posts
201 photos

A band saw, set up correctly, will do it well. Start with a new blade and check all the guide bearings


Ron Davis08/08/2012 20:13:50
1619 forum posts
201 photos

I was thinking of a half lap on the end, I think that you will be cutting them somehere along the length, I suggest a chopsaw with the sliding carriage and make sure that the adjuster will allow you to raise the blade above the bed, you willneed to pack out the fence to get a flat base


Derek Lane08/08/2012 20:41:17
3219 forum posts
1004 photos

A good mitre sawlike the design in the link make does not matter as when you slide it back and forth the blade will not go below the set depth


janus nelson08/08/2012 21:21:29
5 forum posts

Thanks for the replies, I did not make too clear, the problem is the depth of cut needed, it is 72,5mm..the timber is 145mm x 45mm. The beams are over 6m long so cannot be moved about....


Edited By janus nelson on 08/08/2012 21:22:31

Edited By janus nelson on 08/08/2012 21:23:44

Edited By janus nelson on 08/08/2012 21:24:34

Sam08/08/2012 21:57:39
386 forum posts
110 photos

Hi Janus

I did the same for a bench I was making out of 45mm oak . I used an MDF template I made and sanded / filed to be a snug fit . I used a 1/2 inch long cutter I normally use for kitchen worktops . It worked very well and is as accurate as your jig is . I had no issue using a long straight cutter , as it will reach up to about 50 plus mm .

The pictures below show the joints . I actually made the jig it so the top of the leg had a small radius to make it easier to slot the two together with the gentle persuassion of a rubber mallet . The whole in the top is for a stainless timber drive , which may not be feasable for you if seen .


I will upload the rest of the WIP's later

Hope this helps

kind regards Sam

Simon Reeves10/08/2012 13:19:45
622 forum posts
227 photos

Hi Janus

A RAS would certainly do what you want, but with the timber being so deep as well you would need one with a huge blade to get the depth, if such a thing existed. You could consider using a large circular saw with a suitable jig and support to do the same thing, but without the limitation of a deep workpiece.

As an alternative, you could look at a chain morticer, which can cut mortices several inches deep with no limit on the depth of timber, but they are pretty pricey to say the least.

I think Sam's suggestion of using a router and a large cutter with the timber on its side would be the best (and certainly the cheapest) option. You would still have to clean out the radius at the bottom of the cut, but that should be straightforward with a sharp chisel. Making a jig to allow you to step and repeat the cut would ensure accuracy.


janus nelson10/08/2012 19:56:56
5 forum posts

Just had a look at the chain morticer....what an awesome piece of equipment, very impressive indeed, I have just bought a dewalt ras 1370 it has a 100mm cut just the job, many thanks for all the replies much for the build.

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