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Table Saw setup for Half Lap Joint

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Blog entry by rance posted 843 days ago 2938 reads 22 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When you need to set the height of your TS blade to half the thickness of your workpiece(regardless of its thickness), try building a teeter totter. A what? Like this:


 

  • Get a flat scrap of wood and mark perpendicular lines across equal distance between each other and from one end of the board. This is your teeter totter.
  • Raise your TS blade higher than you expect to cut and rotate it so one tooth is at top dead center.
  • Lay that flat board across the blade where the middle line teeters on the blade. (technically, the far side of the blade, not the face closest to your workpiece). The edge of your blade becomes the fulcrum.
  • Now position your workpiece under the other line on your teeter totter like this:

     

Now alls ya gotta do is lower your blade until the far end of the board just touches the top of the TS. I can add more diagrams if need be. Hope this helps.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--



23 comments so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

622 posts in 1871 days


#1 posted 843 days ago

Brilliant! Thanks.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View John in SD's profile

John in SD

140 posts in 2410 days


#2 posted 843 days ago

Wow….what a time saver…..gotta try this ,thanks

-- Life used to be soooo much simpler!!!!

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1095 days


#3 posted 843 days ago

Super idea! You’re a math and sketch-up whiz.
But, uh, where do you get those big red cutters? And are they organic? Will they go rancid?

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Roger's profile

Roger

14098 posts in 1402 days


#4 posted 843 days ago

Super ez. I’ll definitely try it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View xwingace's profile

xwingace

204 posts in 1186 days


#5 posted 843 days ago

Math in action! Simple and effective, thanks for the tip.

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2650 days


#6 posted 843 days ago

Rance,

You have DONE IT AGAIN!!
That is SO Simple… and looks accurate!

(I will have to try it first… If I’m dead-Center on 1st try, without a few test cuts, I will be SOLD on it!)
(I reserve final comment after I try it… LOL )

It LOOKS good to me… You cannot argue with solid Geometry! LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1546 posts in 1585 days


#7 posted 843 days ago

Thanks for the tip.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1758 days


#8 posted 843 days ago

I’m glad this is helpful to many of you For cutting dados 1/3 deep, draw 3 equally spaced lines instead of two, and put the blade on the line closest to the edge.

Gene, the blades only get rancid if you cut yourself on them. I think I’m more of a Cheese Whiz.

Joe, It is only as accurate as you build it. I think you’ll be happy with the results. I would not use Pine for the teeter though. The teeth can sink into it, giving you a false reading. Use a piece of hardwood. Thick plexiglass can also be used.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2650 days


#9 posted 843 days ago

Rance, Thank you for the tips…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#10 posted 843 days ago

Thanks rance looks like a great set up idea.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10551 posts in 1288 days


#11 posted 843 days ago

Rance, I gotta try this as I really like half lap joinery. This is too simple to work but I always trust your math and Sketch Up skills. You haven’t failed me yet!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View eccentrictinkerer's profile

eccentrictinkerer

29 posts in 1626 days


#12 posted 843 days ago

To raise my dado or standard blade to half the board thickness I just raise the blade to a little less than half the thickness (eyeballing it).

Then I flip the board over and do it again. I can sneak up on exactly half by continuing to raise the blade a little bit and flipping. When there’s no more stock, I’m there.

It’s easier to do than explain. ;-)

#13 posted 842 days ago

Rance, I appreciate the SketchUp drawing, and I see why the width of the red blade image is exaggerated (to make obvious the fact that the right edge of the topmost tooth is used as the fulcrum).
This is an example of math used to make a common problem easier.
Thanks for sharing and keep it up!!

Don

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15404 posts in 1464 days


#14 posted 842 days ago

That’s a great idea – now if I can just remember it.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7620 posts in 2650 days


#15 posted 842 days ago

I printed it out…

... and put it in the shop….

Just so I would NOT forget about it! LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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