I need to cut a 2" x 1/2" lap in the middle of a 2x6 (5-1/2" on either end will NOT be cut...only the middle 3 feet). Without a router or router table, what is the best way to accomplish this?

Something like this:enter image description here

  • 5
    If you have a drill press, you could use a forstner bit to remove the bulk of the material and the come back with a chisel to get the edges and corners. Jan 19, 2017 at 19:18
  • 2
    I think you should list what tools you do have available, since this could be done purely using hand tools, certain power tools or a mixture of the two. No point in recommending the method using a table saw if you don't own one!
    – Graphus
    Jan 19, 2017 at 23:28
  • I'm not understanding the dimensions of the board, nor the size of the lap that is being cut. Can you clarify? Even a rudimentary drawing would help. Jan 20, 2017 at 5:32
  • @CharlieKilian I had difficulty too! It's a notch 3 feet long in the edge of 2" thick material, 1/2" deep.
    – Graphus
    Jan 20, 2017 at 8:01
  • 1
    @Graphus Lacking any feedback from OP, I figure that this diagram gives us all the same problem to solve. And IMHO it is exactly what was described.:)
    – Ast Pace
    Jan 24, 2017 at 19:10

2 Answers 2

  1. Cut the edges of your lap with a handsaw (fine-tune the edges later with a chisel, if you like).
  2. Cut a few more lines into the wood down the length of the lap to prevent splits from running out of control in the next step.
  3. Use a chisel and mallet to quickly knock out the wood in between the edges.
  4. Carefully pare down to the line using a sharp chisel and the force of your hand/body.

You want to remove 1/2" of material from the face of the board, for 3 feet in the middle of the board? Sounds like that would be a good job for a bandsaw. Turn the board on edge and cut the two edges. Make a couple of relief cuts along your desired cut, and then cut out the bulk of the material. Flip the board around to get the other edge. Clean up with a chisel or plane.

If you don't have a bandsaw, a jigsaw may work, although you'll need to be careful to keep the base perpendicular to your board. A jig (yes, a jig for your jigsaw :)) may be useful here, which may just be a second 2x6 on edge.

  • 4
    I think OP is not cutting the full 5 1/2" from the face - only 2" x 1/2". Thus a band saw simply is not a way to do it.
    – Ast Pace
    Jan 20, 2017 at 5:20

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