Outlining the halflaps on the top rails

The top rails comprising the top of the arbor are joined with half-lap joints. To mark out the dadoes in all the pieces in a single setup—and ensure that they align—clamp the five short top rails and then the four long top rails together face to face. Make sure the ends of the pieces in each set align. Starting 14

inches from one end of the boards, begin marking the dado shoulders. To extend the lines accurately across the rails, use a carpenter's square, butting one arm against the outside edge of the stock (above). Each dado should be 2 inches wide. Mark the dado depth—2 inches—on each rail.

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