Chris Marshall explains the process of creating half-lap joints for frame joinery. Kimberly McNeelan used this technique to create her dog dish holder in the September/October issue of Woodworker’s Journal.
Since all of the half-lap joints in this project are positioned the same distance (13⁄4″) from the part ends, the parts can all be cut in stages with one setup at a time. Use a stop block clamped to the fence, well in front of the blade, to keep the cut from binding. Use your test pieces to adjust your setup. The blade should be raised to half the height of the thickness of the wood (7/8″) for perfect half-laps. Run all the joints at one fence setting before repositioning the fence to widen the cuts. The resulting two pieces of each joint should slide together with a bit of friction.