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?
- Cut the edges of your lap with a handsaw (fine-tune the edges later with a chisel, if you like).
- 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.
- Use a chisel and mallet to quickly knock out the wood in between the edges.
- 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.