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EZ Lap Joints - How to Make Lap Joints the Easy Way

About the easiest and quickest way to bring two boards together is with a lap joint. Lap joints are a good choice for workbench plans, outdoor furniture, and utility-minded projects. As the word "lap" implies, one board simply laps over the other to create the union. How you decide to connect the two boards is up to you, but even the most simple fasteners (like nails) will give you a fairly decent full lap joint. You'll certainly find more specialized styles of lap joints (see below) in all types of furniture, like tables, cabinets, and especially picture frames. The type of lap joint you use depends on the project at hand and the shop tools you have available.

  wood joints - full lap joint   wood joints - half lap joint   wood joints - mitered half lap   wood joints - cross lap joint  

Full Lap Joint

Perfect for outdoor decks, patio furniture, workbenches, and other utility-style structures. Add a little glue on both surfaces and you'll have a decent wood bond that will hold up to almost anything.


Half Lap Joint

A half lap joint means you'll need to cut away a section of material from both of the adjoining boards. Certainly before carpenters had electricity, lap joints were cut with hand saws and chisels.


Mitered Half Lap Joint

Although it's possible to create mitered half laps with some fairly simple woodworking tools, today most woodworkers head to the table saw to make these fairly tricky cuts.


Cross Lap Joints

Cross lap joints call for the same type of work you'll do for half laps - which means you'll need to remove a section of material from each adjoining board and then clamp and glue them together.


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