Lap joints may not be as highly regarded by the craftsman as the dovetail or the mortise & tenon, but they serve a very important role and are quite versatile. They are used where two or more pieces meet or cross, enabling you to keep the surfaces of the two pieces flush while improving the strength of your assembly. This includes frame members in a cabinet, legs that cross (to add some style), and other support pieces.
The lap joint can meet at the ends to make an âLâ shape, in the middle of one piece and the end of the other to create a âTâ shape, or two pieces can meet in the middle to make a âXâ shape. The pieces don't have to meet at right angles - almost any angle will work. At the point where they join, a half-lap is used, with half of each matching piece cut away so the pieces are flush with each other where they cross. This improves the gluing surface and resists twisting forces.
What You Need
You can make lap joints using several techniques. In each case, it is as simple as removing the waste on each piece to match the other overlapping piece. The important part of making them is to get a crisp, tight, joint both for strength and for appearance. The simplest way is to make the joint with a saw and chisel. While a handsaw works well, a bandsaw is a quicker, more accurate approach. You can also use a table saw or router table to cut the joint.
Â How to Make the Joint
First, overlap the two pieces in the way they will be in the final project. Using a very sharp pencil or a marking knife, mark where each piece crosses the other piece. Using a square, follow this line down the edge of each piece to half the thickness, creating the shoulder. Scribe a line across at that point, marking the cheek.
Now that you have your reference marks, itâs time to start removing the waste. Using your bandsaw or handsaw, cut down the inside of the shoulder mark to the line you made for the cheek. Leave a little extra material to fine-tune the joint. If your lap is on the end of your piece, use the saw to cut the cheek as well. Next, use the saw to make some relief cuts down to the cheek. This will make it easier to remove the waste.
Clamp the piece on your workbench and use a chisel to remove the waste, carefully working your way down to the cheek. You could also cut out the waste using a dado blade on your table saw, or a bottom cleaning bit in your router. Repeat for the second piece.
Test fit the pieces and carefully remove more material until you get a snug fit, with the surfaces flush.
Use of Canadian Woodworking's Website and It's Content
This website is presented with the understanding that:
The authors, editors and related web personnel are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions;
This website is not engaged in rendering professional advice/services; and
Any and all content submitted by this website's users is in no way an expression of the beliefs or opinions of the owners, webmasters, authors and editors.
Canadian Woodworking disclaims all liability for any claim in relation to:
• any matters or factors outside of its control, including the availability or unavailability of the website and digital content due to the availability of the Internet, or telecommunications or other infrastructure systems; for any reasons including but not limited to power outages and maintenance.
The owners, webmasters, administrators, authors and editors, expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a user of this website or not, in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether whole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this website. Please exercise caution when working with any tools or machinery. Follow common safety rules and precautions as outlined in any manuals related to the equipment being used. If advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.
Use of Canadian Woodworking site and Forum
By posting on this site and forum, the poster grants to Canadian Woodworking Magazine/Website the unrestricted rights to use of the content of the post for any purpose, including, but not limited to, publishing the posted material, including images, in print or electronic form in a future issue or issues of Canadian Woodworking magazine or related Canadian Woodworking products, and to use the post for promotional purposes without further compensation, as well as the right to use the poster's name in a credit along with the post.
CanadianWoodworking never shares, sells or rents your information to any third party without your permission.
This statement explains how we collect information from you and what we do with that information.
This policy does not apply to the practices of companies that CanadianWoodworking.com does not own or control, or to people that CanadianWoodworking.com does not employ or manage.
Information Requests and Use
CanadianWoodworking.com collects personally identifiable information when you use certain CanadianWoodworking.com services, when you visit CanadianWoodworking.com pages, and when you enter promotions or sweepstakes. CanadianWoodworking.com may also receive personally identifiable information from our business partners.
Personally identifying information is information that can be used to identify who you are such as: name, mailing address, email address. To enter certain areas of the site, you will be required to register and provide information about yourself. This information is for the purposes of Canadian Woodworking and helps us to tailor the site to best meet the needs of our audience.
CanadianWoodworking.com also automatically receives and records information on our server logs from your browser including your IP address, CanadianWoodworking.com cookie information and the page you requested.
CanadianWoodworking.com uses information for three general purposes: to customize the advertising and content you see, and to fulfill your requests for certain products and services.
The personal information that we retain is what is provided by you voluntarily. We use it to send you information about Canadian Woodworking and its products or to correspond with you regarding your subscription. If you are a subscriber we need this information to be able to deliver you our product(s) and service your subscription.
By completing a form on this website, you will be able to receive email correspondence from Canadian Woodworking. These emails may include information on upcoming events or special offers for subscribers. If you do not wish to receive email correspondence please email [email protected] and ask to be removed from our email list. Every email that we send to you will include an "opt-out" from receiving future email correspondence.
Aggregate information is information that cannot identify you personally. We collect information on our subscribers that may be used in summary reports presented to our advertisers. This information helps them to better understand our audience and provide advertisements that are more likely to be of interest to you and your organization.
Our intention is always to gather information that will help us serve you better and never to gather information without your knowledge.
As with most websites, we do log web visits. This information, however, does not have a link to you personally. These logs help us understand the needs of our audience and the areas of our site that you do or do not find useful. When you simply browse our site, no personal information is being collected. We may disclose this non-personal information to third parties such as sponsors, clients or advertisers.
Information Sharing and Disclosure
CanadianWoodworking.com will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone.
CanadianWoodworking.com will send personally identifiable information about you to other companies or people when:
We have your consent to share the information;
We need to share your information to provide the product or service you have requested;
We need to send the information to companies who work on behalf of CanadianWoodworking.com to provide a product or service to you. (Unless we tell you differently, these companies do not have any right to use the personally identifiable information we provide to them beyond what is necessary to assist us.);
We respond to subpoenas, court orders or legal process; or
We find that your actions on our web sites violate the CanadianWoodworking.com Terms of Service or any of our usage guidelines for specific products or services.
CanadianWoodworking.com may set and access CanadianWoodworking.com cookies on your computer.
Cookies are small text files that most Web sites, including canadianwoodworking.com place on your computer. Cookies help us identify your interests. They also prevent you from having to register repeatedly on canadianwoodworking.com or from repeatedly seeing the same ads.
Third party advertising
If you submit your name through a form on our website to request information from an advertiser or third party, canadianwoodworking.com is not responsible for any marketing or other use of your name by that third party.
In certain areas CanadianWoodworking.com uses industry-standard SSL-encryption to protect data transmissions.
Questions or Suggestions
If you have questions or suggestions please contact us.