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Dangerous Half Lap Joint????

2412 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  gfadvm
I am making a quick and dirty porch swing and needed half lap joints at 15 degrees between the seat support and back support. I thought I could mark the top and bottom of the board and place a stop block to keep from cutting deeper than the shorter cut. I then flipped the board over, worked along the same cut till I hit the stop block and then carefully raised the board off the table till the cut met the desired lenght for the top producing a 15 degree cut. The bandsaw was working harder as I lifted the board but everythign seemed to go ok.

I coudl see the blade binding in harder woods potentially. Is this more dangerous than I think????


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I wouldn't try it with anything very short, but with a longer board even if the saw grabbed and generated several hundred pounds of down force, at the end where your holding it, it wouldn't be enough to create what I would consider a dangerous situation. Not only are you farther from the blade, but the resultant force at the end where you would be holding the board would be unlikely to yank the board out of your hand, much more likely to stall the saw.
I think the unasked question is really, can you think of a safer way to do what you've done, and except for using a hand saw, or plowing it out with a router I can't think of a safer way to do it and agree with BBYeti's points. I'm personally filing the trick away against future need in my own world, thanks!
I agree with the above comments. An idea to make it safe would be to cut a supporting angled piece that fills the gap between the wood and the table. Thats probably more accurate too.
The non-bandsaw solution (which is my case, unfortunately) would go like this for me:

1. Cut cheek using a miter gauge angled on tablesaw
2. Cut kerf for lap joint with the board standing on end using a tenoning jig or similar machine
3. Finish kerf up to the cheek using a handsaw
4. Clean up face using a shoulder plane for tight fitting joint

There are definitely other ways, and probably better ways than the one I outlined, but it's how I'd make that cut. Your method doesn't look unsafe to me necessarily, but without a bandsaw I'd be forced into a workaround anyway. Thanks for posting!
I'd cut it on the table saw with a dado head (or make multiple passes with just the blade) fastest most accurate way to do it. Or set up a jig and do it with the router.
Thanks all for the feedback. I considered using the RAS but dont' have a dado blade so the hundreds of passes with a thin kerf nixed that. I also thought of and liked the wedge idea but started to get all wrapped around the axel pondering how to secure it to the board I was cutting. The bandsaw does produce a less than optimal result but this is basically a prototype out of 2×6's and 2×4's. In a year or two when this rots away I will redo in a hardwood of some kind and definitely take advantage of some of these better methods.
I have done that with Jatoba (very hard) and used Cole's method with a wedge of pine double face taped to the stock being cut. Took the 'scare' out of it for me and my $70 resaw blade!

I've watched a lot of videos of Sam Maloof cutting long angles and curves with the board off the table and he had all his fingers!
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