Newbie question: How to make finger joint cut

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I have almost no experience with woodworking and am wondering which tool would be best to make the following cut. (I can make it fairly well w/ hand tools, but curious what the best approach would be with power tool).
I have a piece of poplar 1/2" thick, 9" long, 4.5" wide. I want to cut a rectangle out of the corner of the board to make a finger. I'd like to remove 1/2" along the 9" edge and 2.25" along the 4.5" edge. I need to be able to make it close to perfectly square, and to do this repeatably on multiple boards.
Visually, here is what I want to do (not to scale):
Before: xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx
After: xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx
I'm guessing I could do this on a table saw, for this case, since I can raise the blade 1/2" above the table and use a dado head blade. However, what about the more general case, if the smaller dimension of the rectangle that I want to remove was larger than the max height of a tablesaw blade?
Thanks for any suggestions.
-Scott
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That's called a rabbet. Same root as "rebate" . . NOT the animal (which isn't a rodent, despite having similar teeth, but that's another discussion). Some older "Rabbet planes" are labeled "Rebate planes"
If your rabbet is deeper than 3/4", you should think about WHY you need to rabbet that deep. There's probably a better way to accomplish what you want in those cases.
Tools? Almost anything. Mark the width and depth with your marking guage. Cut with the bow saw, fitted with the appropriate blade for the task at hand. I use a mirror so I can stand in a comforatable position and still see what I'm doing.
My first attempt at tenons (imagine four rabbets) used exactly that technique, and it was plenty "square". Practice on scrap. Poplar is just about the easiest hardwood to practice on.
I practiced on red oak before I did my actual pieces. Took about three practice runs before I "got it."
Good luck
Charles
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Charles, Thanks for the info.
I may not have explained what I'm trying to do clearly enough. In my case, I want to remove the rectangle all the way thru the whole thickness of the board. Is it still a rabbet in this case?
When I'm done, the whole piece will still be 1/2" thick but shaped like shown in the diagram below (looking at the board from the front)
Before: ------------------ - - - - - - - - ------------------
After: ------------ - - - - - ------- - - ------------------
(In this diagram, the rectangle that I've cut away is the upper right corner.)
I wish it were that easy to get nice square angles with wood. ;)
In case you wonder what I'm doing, I'm trying to build a box. It is the first project in a book by Aime Ontairo Fraser called "Getting Started in Woodworking". The joints for the box are finger joints, as she calls them, which are then strengthened by inserting a dowel pin later in the process. The adjacent board would have the rectangle removed on the bottom half of the board so they will fit together.
--Scott
wrote:

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On 12 Jul 2004 20:55:09 -0700, scott_d snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Scott Kuhn) wrote:

there's that.
if you are trying to do what I think you are trying to do, it's pretty different from what I'd call a finger joint. here's what I'd call a finger joint:
http://www.azwoodman.com/joints/finger-joint2.jpg
is that what you are after? if it is, there are a number of ways to go about it: http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/workshop/fingerjoint.html http://www.growinglifestyle.com/article/s0/a166236.html http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea.asp?id 09 http://www.woodrat.com / http://www.incra.biz/index.html http://www.leestyron.com/lynnjig.php

no
ascii art rarely communicates well. if you have a scanner or a digital camera or a drawing program on your computer either capture the images from the book or draw us a diagram and scan it or whatever and post it to alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking.

that sounds more like a half lap joint. it hardly seems like it would add much to the strength of the box. I suspect that I'm still not understanding what it is that you are trying to do.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote in message

No, that is what i will eventually be after, but right now it's much simpler...

I took a few pics and posted them here: http://home.comcast.net/~scott_d_kuhn/index.html
So now that it's clear what joint I'm trying to make, how would you make it accurately and repeatably? I stopped in my local Woodworking store and asked a guy there, and he said he'd do it on a jigsaw or maybe a bandsaw.
Thx to the previous posters for the resources and info. The book by Rogowski mentioned by Patriarch looks great and is now in my Amazon.com shopping cart.
--Scott
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scott_d snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Scott Kuhn) wrote in wrote in message

If the pictures are the ones that showed up earlier this evening on abpw, then mostly the tools you need to cut this simple joint are readily available. A good little saw, on which you can spend anywhere from $10 up to more than $100, a square for marking the cut lines, and either a sharp pencil, or a razor-type knife.
Since you're starting out, pick up the hobby saw marketed under the name ZONA. It has replaceable blades, cuts with a very thin kerf, and is the maybe $10 model mentioned in the previous paragraph. And, lest you think that it has no class at all, it is the handcut dovetail saw of choice of one of the graduates of the College of the Redwoods woodworking types that regularly hangs out with our woodworking club. Or a Japanese style pull saw, or similar.
Maybe a chisel to clean up the cuts. And a block plane to trim the joints to close fit after glueup. Or use sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood.
Now, the question of repeatability comes up. How much repeatability are you after? Do you want to cut 4 of these joints? Or 400? Or 4000? If the answer is 4, then use the hand tools, and practice, and work with care. If you want to do 400, then a jig or fixture on the table saw or router table will help you cut them repeatably, quickly, and fairly safely. If you need 4000, then find Morris Dovey, and have him program his massive CNC robotic cutters, and sub out the job. ;-)
You see, woodworking is a bit like economics. There are a few questions, many more answers, and no one can really prove any of them wrong. But things DO tend to get more complicated than we ever intended, when once we started.
Enjoy the learning experiences. That's where the value comes, in my limited experiences. That, and making people smile.
Patriarch
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Yeah, that sounds good. In fact, the way I've made a couple of these joints so far is as she recommends in the book, which is using a Japanese Dozuki saw and then a chisel to clean it up. That's the part I find hard - getting the notch nice and square with the chisel. But I think you're right, with practice it'll get better.

I only need 8 of them, so I guess doing it by hand is the best way for now. I was just wondering mostly, is it possible to make this particular cut on a router or TS and you've answered that in the affirmative.

Thanks very much for the input!
--Scott
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Scott Kuhn wrote:

I'm not far from a newbie (only about 6 months woodworking experience) but as far as I know, that joint is called a half-lap joint.
I've gotta cut about 40 of them soon (in 2x2 for making a frame) so I'll be trying to find a repeatable method too. In fact, I'm probably just going to cut them all by hand as:
a)I'm a bit shaky with a router (it is a very cheap router)
b)it's only for a frame underneath an MDF constructions.
Cheers,
Andy
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I was looking on amazon.com at the "Complete Illustrated Guide to Joinery" book mentioned in this thread, and using the "search inside this book" feature you can see thumbnail photos of many joints. Based on that, I'd say the joint we're talking about here is called a "halved joint". A half-lap joint is similar, but half the thickness is removed from each board, whereas in the halved joint each board retains it's full thickness. Have a look at those pictures and see if you agree: (Amazon.com product link shortened)

I hope you'll let us know how it goes. I'd personally be happy to do them by hand, it's quiet, safe, and satisfying, but I gotta admit, if I can do them _better_ with a router....
Regards, Scott
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On 14 Jul 2004 12:26:00 -0700, scott_d snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Scott Kuhn) wrote:

and it's in... section 7- finger joints. <G>
it's not a joint that I can see much use for beyond practice with the tools type stuff. if I'm looking for quick-and-dirty I'll assemble butt joints with staples and glue. if I want strong I'll choose a joint for the application- but I doubt that that joint would turn out to be the method of choice anywhere. If I want attractive I doubt it will be on the short list either, but that being an aesthetic matter someone else might have a different take.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote in message >

I agree with you. I would really like to build a similar box but with dovetail joints or finger joints, but this is good for practice.
Thx fer your input.
--Scott
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Scott Kuhn wrote:

I'm going up to my brother's on the 31st of the month. Over that weekend I'll be cutting all those joints.
My current thoughts lie in using a Bench Saw I already own. It's a weak-ass, small version of a table saw... but for 2x2 it should be fine.
Of course, because it's such a cheap tool it doesn't come with a mitre sled, so I'll be using a T shaped construction as a mitre sled (using the top of the T to slide along the left hand side of the table).
And... as the height isn't adjustable, I'll be placing all the bits to be cut on top of some 18mm MDF (to raise the height so I can only cut through half of the stock).
Anyway, I will post back when I'm done....
Cheers,
Andy
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Andy Jeffries wrote:

Read the "FWIW Kickback" thread currently active on this newsgroup. Lots of discussion there about how to do this safely.

Whoa, STOP. I can't imagine any saw with a circular blade being quite _that_ bad. Even the cheapest hand-held circular saws have a depth-of-cut adjustment. DON'T use the saw you have until you've found that adjustment or made _sure_ that it was never there or found out where it used to be--if it's not there then odds are that some part of the mechanism is either missing or busted off, and if that's the case then who knows what else may be missing or busted? And using a busted saw is a very quick way to the emergency room. If it _is_ there and you didn't know where then there may be other important things you need to know about that saw before you use it.
I'm not trying to rank on you but I think I speak for all of us when I say that we'd rather have you come back on Monday and report that you found out that the saw was busted than have you not come back at all because you are in the hospital after the saw came apart on you in the middle of a cut.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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J. Clarke wrote:

Yeah, I'd read that...
Planning on keeping the guard and splitter in place!! ;-)
I'm also going to be clamping a bit of temporary fence in place (but having it end before the blade starts) for spacing, but ensuring the rip fence is away from the piece when cutting.

I completely understand your advice. There is definitely no height adjustment, never was...
I've had a good look round. There is one handle for angle adjustment, and no other missing items or stubs of missing items or holes where missing items may have been.
Trust me, I take shop safety very seriously. I always use goggles no matter what I'm doing, never wear jewellery (even my wedding ring), no loose clothing.
I know I work with incredibly cheap tools, so I have to ensure my safety practices are more than above the minimum. In fact, I'm getting a face shield soon.....

Don't worry about that, I'm more than happy to receive all advice. Advice like this doesn't wind me up, it just makes me double think what I'm doing - which can't ever be a bad thing...
> I think I speak for all of us when I say

Yeah, definitely not busted... just cheap...
And yes, I'll be checking the nut that holds the blade in place before I start work ;-)
Cheers,
Andy
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Andy Jeffries wrote:

That is truly bizarre. I'm curious--what's the brand and model on this thing?
<snip>
--
--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

That's a very good question. Just been out to the shed^H^H^H^Hworkshop and it's got lots of wood in front of it (been making a fence and all the offcuts/unused stock are just thrown back in the, uh, shed at the moment).
Over the next couple of days I'll be finishing off another bit of fencing so I'll be able to get to it.
It cost about 30 pounds from B&Q (UK) so I guess it must be Performance Power.
It really is a "Bench Saw" as I stated rather than a "Table Saw". To be honest, I don't have the budget for anything much bigger although I am now considering getting a approx 100 pound table saw such as:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part TS10
or
http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 519&tsA362
Any opinion on these saws would be appreciated; unless the opinion is "waste of money, you need to spend 500 pounds at least" - remember what I'm currently using guys!!! I'm sure the Perform (axminster link above) table saw sounds a billion times better...
Cheers,
Andy
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On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:54:18 +0000, Andy Jeffries

a lot of the bottom end cheapies use one handle to adjust height and angle. it might switch functions via a lever or it may be via pushing/pulling the handle in/out while turning.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

Nope, nada!
Never mind, ordered one of the ones I listed (see my longer reply to J.Clarke).
Cheers,
Andy
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On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:54:18 +0000, Andy Jeffries

heavier is better. flip them over and look at the undercarriage. see which one has the least number of loose parts <G>
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

It's a bit difficult to flip them over without seeing them, but I take your point. If I get it and it rattles it'll go back ;-)
Cheers,
Andy
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