Lap joint

This article will cover what are lap joints, why use these joints, and one way of making them.

What is a Lap joint?

A lap, half-lap or halving joint is one of the most basic joints in woodworking and offers very little in the way of mechanical strength. To create one from two equal pieces of timber, you simply remove half the thickness from each piece and then glue those faces together. This large cross grain glue surface provides a fair amount of strength.

As it has very little mechanical strength it's not a joint you would use where high strength is required but it can commonly be found on picture/mirror frames, small cabinet doors and box lids.

There are various versions of the lap joint including the cross lap, dovetailed cross lap, half lap and mitred half lap.

What do I need to make it?

The two easiest ways to make a lap joint are by using the table saw or the router table. The video below demonstrates how to mark the joint out (which you still need to do when using machines) and make the joint by hand.

What steps do I take?

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