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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning a new garden shed.

Part of my design involves quite a lot of cross and end lap joints.

Now I know a lot of people recommend just butt-jointing but it's my project and I'm being stubborn on this one >:)

If it were just a few joints I would do them buy hand - but having totalled up the timbers and intersections I am looking at about 100 joints :surprise:

To make matters worse, they are big joints - 63mm square and 19mm deep for most of them.

My plan is to clamp multiple timbers together and run the router across them, but with such a large amount of timber to remove and only a cheap router at my disposal, I'm worried it will be too much for it.

I had a thought - If I set my circular saw to a little less than the final depth and make several cuts with it, much like I would when making the kerf's by hand, and then use the router to remove the remainder and set the final depth.

Is this a good strategy do you think?
 

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I am planning a new garden shed.

Part of my design involves quite a lot of cross and end lap joints.

Now I know a lot of people recommend just butt-jointing but it's my project and I'm being stubborn on this one >:)

If it were just a few joints I would do them buy hand - but having totalled up the timbers and intersections I am looking at about 100 joints :surprise:

To make matters worse, they are big joints - 63mm square and 19mm deep for most of them.

My plan is to clamp multiple timbers together and run the router across them, but with such a large amount of timber to remove and only a cheap router at my disposal, I'm worried it will be too much for it.

I had a thought - If I set my circular saw to a little less than the final depth and make several cuts with it, much like I would when making the kerf's by hand, and then use the router to remove the remainder and set the final depth.

Is this a good strategy do you think?
have a look see here...
Oliver aka Gaffboat has your method, jig and answer...

http://www.routerforums.com/general-routing/60401-setups-rout-wide-long-area.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
have a look see here...
Oliver aka Gaffboat has your method, jig and answer...

[can't post the url :(]
Excellent - so I wasn't being daft then - that was practically what I was thinking of doing, but those sketchups sure helped visualise it.
 

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It's always a good idea to remove as much of the waste with a more efficient tool no matter what the routing operation. If it's a hole or mortice then drill the waste, skil saw in this case where you have a lap, following a pattern then bandsaw or jigsaw, etc. Routers are a finishing tool. They aren't good at removing a lot of wood.
 

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Excellent - so I wasn't being daft then - that was practically what I was thinking of doing, but those sketchups sure helped visualize it.
daft is a good thing...
we understand and communicate well in daft here...
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I'm multi lingual


I can do British, American and Australian...

As well as endless gibberish!
 

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Jon, doing multiple timbers at the same time is for sure the way to go!
Gang cutting on jobsites is standard practice, especially for something like you're doing.
I often have to do that on 4 x 4/6x6 posts, where they'll be supporting beams or box joists. Just makes sense; huge time saver, and way easier on your tools.

Here's a discussion on the concept...
contractortalk.com/f14/cutting-rafters-88708/
 

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In hindsight, wouldn't a radial arm saw with a dado blade have been a good solution? That's what Norm would have done in the day.
 

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I'm multi lingual


I can do British, American and Australian...

As well as endless gibberish!
drooling adds character...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In hindsight, wouldn't a radial arm saw with a dado blade have been a good solution? That's what Norm would have done in the day.
Maybe, but I am in Britain, unfortunately we do not have space for entire factories in our back gardens (yards).

I only have hand tools (plus a small, cheap router table) and no space for that really.

Here's another option Jon
Stumbled across that when doing my own research, but thanks for the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, back to the serious stuff...

Based on the above I will saw out and snap off as much as possible and finish with the router.

I presume a straight bit is the best here, bit what size?

My router is cheap, only 1250W (variable speed and soft start though), and has a choice of 6mm, 6.35mm (¼"?) and 8mm collets.
 

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Neat idea Pat. I may make use of that soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did this one with a big 14 degree dovetail bit.
Wastes a lot quickly and the lap wedges. It resists twist and assembly is twice as easy as a standard flat lap.
That's OK for the end laps, but I have a lot of cross laps and only a fraction of end laps.
 

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OK, back to the serious stuff...

Based on the above I will saw out and snap off as much as possible and finish with the router.

I presume a straight bit is the best here, bit what size?

My router is cheap, only 1250W (variable speed and soft start though), and has a choice of 6mm, 6.35mm (¼"?) and 8mm collets.
You can either use a straight bit or a flush trim bit.

Using a flush trim bit, grad a flat peice of scrap sheet material and line the straight edge up with the edge of the lap, the run the bearing on the flush trim bit along the sheet material.

Using a straight bit you would need to make the guide, that the router would run along, the same distance from the edge of the lap joint and the distance from edge of router base plate to cutter.

Wealden do some lovely bits. I've tried the cheaper one from faithful and silverline, but they are really 'disposable'.

See here for 8mm shank straight, here for 1/4" straight, and here for trimmers.

They do next day delivery included. Just a minimal postage charge for orders under £15.00 but, trust me, when you see the quality and what they have you'll spend more than that :D
 

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Will your base fit into the space that you need to route out? You can build a jig but it sounds like a lot of moving and adjusting to me which equates to a lot of time. I would do as you plan and make a series of cuts with a circular saw but I would use a chisel to knock the waste out. It's going to be a shed so it doesn't have to be furniture grade smooth. If you want it smoother use a block plane or a belt sander. Sometimes what seems like the quickest way takes the longest time. A band saw would be the perfect tool for this project.
 
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