how to securely pin a half-lap joint?

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Forum topic by rwde posted 07-11-2011 08:46 PM 4269 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rwde's profile


42 posts in 3521 days

07-11-2011 08:46 PM

I am making an arts & crafts style picture frame with half-lap joints at the corners. I wanted to pin the joint, so I clamped sides A and B, marked and drilled a nice hole – and wouldn’t you know it, the sides must have slipped a little while drilling. When I unclamped them and inserted the pin, there’s now an unsightly gap. So – for next time, should I glue the 2 halves together, clamp & dry, and then drill? How do the pros do it? Thanks.


6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#1 posted 07-11-2011 08:49 PM

I don’t know about the “pros” , but I would definitely glue first, and put the pin in later. I can’t see any advantage to doing it the other way.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3626 days

#2 posted 07-11-2011 09:18 PM

Second Charlie’s comment. The door on my router bit cabinet was glued first, then drilled/pinned.
Click for details

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3428 days

#3 posted 07-11-2011 09:33 PM

yeah, i’ve had the same problem. the solution was as these guys say: glue first, let it dry enough, then pin it.

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 07-11-2011 09:34 PM

Is it “off” in the direction so you can drawbore it? If so, you might have the strongest joint around. Plus, you might be able to justify some cool drawbores. ;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View rwde's profile


42 posts in 3521 days

#5 posted 07-12-2011 09:31 PM

Learn something every time. And now I get to look into drawbore joints and square pins. Thanks for the comments.

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4061 days

#6 posted 07-13-2011 02:47 AM

Think there is a Chris Schwarz blog entry on this as well as a video from him on how to do this…

Update – Link to Article

Link to video

DVD with most info

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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