Cutting Long Finger Joints
By: Woodsmith staff
Here's an easy way to tackle making some extra-long finger joint. You do it with a combination of your table saw and a Japanese-style rip saw.
Cutting long finger joints in the tail vise end block for a workbench that I built recently is a simple task with a dado blade installed on the table saw. But when it came to cutting the finger joints in the mating side block, I couldn’t use the same technique. The finger joints on the side block are 31⁄2" long — too long to cut with an 8"-dia. dado blade. So I had to come up with another method.
I started by using the fingers already cut on the end block to lay out the notches on the side block.
Then, in order to get a deeper cut, I swapped out my dado blade for a standard rip blade and cut each notch by making a series of passes, as shown.
Even with a 10"-dia. blade though, I couldn’t cut the notches to their full depth. So the remaining waste needs to be removed by hand. This is simply a matter of cutting along the sides of each notch with a hand saw, (as shown in the first slide). I used a Japanese-style rip saw. Then the remaining waste can be removed with a chisel, as you see here.