How do I set the right depth for a lap joint?

steve22802February 28, 2009

I'm trying to cut lap joints to join 2x4's using a table saw and dado blade but I'm having a hard time getting the depth to be exactly half the thickness of a 2x4. Does anyone have any handy tricks for getting the blade dept set correctly?

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Mark a line on the end of a scrap piece---a line that is 1/2 the width. Set that piece against the saw blade and use the line to set the height of the dado set. Run the piece through. Use a secaond piece and run through, putting the two together for a test. Adjust the height according to the fit.

But, all 24's are not necessarily the same thickness, so there will be variations for different sizes as well as twist, which changes the depth as well.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 8:31PM
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Thanks! This isn't a high precision project but it's always nice when things fit together well. :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:28PM
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The first thing you should realize that unless you size your 2x4's you're going to have problems. Off the shelf 2x4's are not dimensioned exactly and moisture levels will change the thickness as well.

Beyond that, for a perfect fit set the blade a just bit below the halfway point and sneak up on the final dimension by making test cuts.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:03PM
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