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What is a Lap Joint?

Lap joint simply refers to the process of joining two pieces of a project by overlapping them. There are four basic versions of the lap join most commonly found in cabinetry woodworking. Each has a specific strength and cabinetmakers will choose which to use according to the needs of the project.

Half lap, mitred half lap, cross lap and dovetail lap are the four most commonly used forms of the lap joint. Each style has a cut characteristic that makes it easily identifiable. Lap joints can be divided generally into two categories: full and half. Full laps do not remove any material from either part being joined, so the end results incorporate the full combined thickness of the original pieces. Half laps are much more common as they provide an equally secure bond but allow for smooth transitions and even thicknesses throughout a project.

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